16 Considerations For Elderly Seniors To Stop Driving

16 Considerations For Elderly Seniors To Stop Driving

Posted on December 8, 2014 by ElderCare Resources in Activities of Daily Living, Blog, Caregiver Education, Caregiving, Independent Living, Senior Living, Senior Safety

Caregivers and family often become concerned with the question: when should my elderly mom, dad or other loved one stop driving. Though there is no set time in age, the following signs may be indicators for concern:

Information For Caregivers

  • Drive at inappropriate speeds, either too fast or too slow;
  • Ask passengers to help check if it is clear to pass or turn;
  • Respond slowly to or not notice pedestrians, bicyclists and other drivers;
  • Ignore, disobey or misinterpret street signs and traffic lights;
  • Fail to yield to other cars or pedestrians who have the right-of-way;
  • Fail to judge distances between cars correctly;
  • Become easily frustrated and angry;
  • Appear drowsy, confused or frightened;
  • Have one or more near accidents or near misses;
  • Drift across lane markings or bump into curbs;
  • Forget to turn on headlights after dusk;
  • Have difficulty with glare from oncoming headlights, streetlights, or other bright or shiny objects, especially at dawn, dusk and at night;
  • Have difficulty turning their head, neck, shoulders or body while driving or parking;
  • Ignore signs of mechanical problems, including under inflated tires;
  • Have too little strength to turn the wheel quickly in an emergency such as a tire failure, a child darting into traffic, etc.; and
  • Get lost repeatedly, even in familiar areas?

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Should the answer to any of these points be yes, then caregivers or family of elderly seniors may want to explore if any of the following may be a contributing factor:

  • Has had their vision and hearing tested recently;
  • Has had a physical examination within the past year to test reflexes and make sure they don’t have illnesses that would impact their driving;
  • Is taking medications or combinations of medications that might make them drowsy or confused while driving;
  • Has reduced or eliminated their intake of alcohol to compensate for lower tolerance;
  • Has difficulty climbing a flight of stairs or walking more than one block;
  • Has fallen – not counting a trip or stumble – once or more in the last year; and
  • Has had a physician tell them that they should stop driving? There are programs to help senior drivers adjust their driving to changes in their physical condition.

Related: Mobility In Elderly

Thank you to Stephanie Groves, DHI Staff Writer for the above tips.