Knowing When It’s Time to Turn the Car Keys Over
There may be a time when you have to discuss an aging loved one’s ability to safely drive. The conversation may not be easy, but the safety of your relative and the safety of other people could very well depend on it. It is important to recognize the signs a loved one can exhibit that shows he or she may not be able to safely drive any longer.
You might be wondering: How can I be aware of the signs if I do not live near my aging relative?
Senior care technology can help you monitor your relatives’ daily activities and can shed light on any signs that may indicate that driving may not be the best for your loved one, even if you live thousands of miles away. Thanks to the Internet and wearable technology, you can be updated around the clock about your relative’s health, activities, and any unusual behavior, all from your mobile device, and without it intruding on your relative’s independence.
Whether you are able to observe your relative in person or via senior care technology, let’s start by discussing the indicators that help tell if it is safe for your relative to continue driving.
The question regarding when it is time to limit or stop driving is all about the ability of the driver. Many believe it is about age, when in fact it is not. The best way for you to tell how well he or she can drive is by observing your loved one doing so – if you are able to visit. Here are some of the signs that you should look out for:
- Becoming easily distracted while driving
- Hitting curbs when backing up or making right turns
- Delayed response to unexpected situations
- Driving too slow or too fast for road conditions
- Having regular close calls
- Having trouble maintaining the correct lane or moving into traffic
- Getting dents or scrapes on a mailbox, garage, or car
- Decreased confidence while driving
If you are using senior care technology to help you observe your loved one’s actions at home, there are things to look out for from a distance that may signal that it’s time to take the car keys:
- Wandering aimlessly from one room to another
- Frequent falls or dizzy spells
- Irregular respirations or heartbeats on a frequent basis
- Obvious forgetfulness over “common sense” tasks
- Slow reaction times after instances, such as after dropping something on the floor
- General fatigue that is long-standing
- A tendency to nap for just a few minutes several times a day
- Pain that makes moving the legs, arms, or head and neck quickly difficult
- Observing your loved one becoming confused or angered often and easily
After realizing your aging relative exhibits some of these signs, the next step is talking to him or her. This discussion can be emotionally complex because older drivers have an entire lifetime of experience driving and they are accustomed to the mobility and independence driving imparts.
While some seniors become upset and angry over the idea that they are no longer able to drive safely, many others understand when it’s time to turn over the keys, especially when they become afraid to drive or they understand that they could seriously injure themselves or others.
Contact us today with any questions you might have about senior care technology and how it can help the quality of living not just for your loved one, but for you and others, as well.