One of the most important things you do for your aging loved one as a family caregiver is help them to stay safe and secure as they age in place. Sometimes this means making difficult decisions and having awkward conversations about changes that may need to be made in your parent's life. You never want to feel as though you are limiting your parent or diminishing their quality of life, but for many elderly adults, challenges and limitations can make it far more difficult to complete daily tasks without assistance. One such task is driving. Cognitive and physical limitations can reduce your parent's ability to drive safely and effectively, which can put them at risk and also cause danger for everyone else on the road. As a family caregiver, it is critical for you to honestly evaluate your senior's abilities and determine when it may be time for them to stop driving so together you can make this transition.
Some things that may indicate it is time for your senior stop driving include:
- Your loved one has started demonstrating wandering tendencies
- It is taking your senior longer to drive to or from familiar places, which might indicate cognitive function decline that is leading to them getting confused or lost
- Your parent has asked frequently for directions or help getting to familiar places
- You notice damage to the vehicle such as scrapes or dents that might indicate your parent has been involved in an accident with another vehicle or has run into a stationary object
- Your parent has been pulled over recently or otherwise been in touch with law enforcement about their driving ability or behavior
- Your senior has exhibited other signs of cognitive functioning decline or memory loss that might stop them from being able to remember traffic laws, how to read signals and signs, or how to properly operate their vehicle
Starting senior care can be one of the best decisions you make for your elderly loved one during a course of your caregiver journey. A senior home care services provider can give your aging parent exactly what they need just stay safe and healthy, be more active and engaged in the world around them, and maintain more of their independence as they age in place. For you, knowing your parent has access to this care relieves you of your stress and allows you to focus their care as well as all other aspects of your life in the most efficient and meaningful ways possible.