Community Blog

Taking The Keys Away: Older Driver Safety Awareness

By Frank Esterle

In 2014, nearly 5,700 senior drivers were killed and 221,000 were injured in traffic crashes. This number is only climbing as the years pass.

Although Americans are healthier and living longer than ever before, seniors are outliving their ability to drive safely by an average of 7 to 10 years. This is primarily due to impairments in three functions that are important for driving—vision, cognition, motor function. The way aging adults want to determine when to stop driving differs; 30% of Americans 65 years or older prefer for their family to determine when it’s time, while 26% of Americans 65+ prefer to make the decision themselves. It’s hard to know which percentage your loved one will fall into, and Home Helpers is always here to help. To support these needs, our Exceptional Caregivers have been trained to aid families who experience a wide variety of care issues.  We offer companion care, personal care, homemaker services, transportation and much more. 

There’s no reason your own conversation with a senior loved one about driving should go poorly, that’s why we created a list of 4 steps that will help. 

  1. Have a Plan in Place – If you’re planning to take away some independence, how can you help return it? Is public transportation viable? Are there local senior driving services?
  2. Start a Conversation ‒ One of the big obstacles to having THE TALK is our natural human instinct to TELL. The point of saying it’s a conversation is that we need to understand what the situation is from the older person’s perspective before we can even contribute to a solution or a recommendation.
  3. Involve a Third Party ‒ Many families turn to a neutral third party to evaluate a senior driver and help break the news to them that they should consider quitting driving. This can be a family doctor, an occupational specialist or a therapist who specializes in aging issues.
  4. Get Creative – In cases where a driver should not be driving, it may be necessary to take more drastic steps. Some methods experts condone include disabling the vehicle, hiding the car keys, and keeping the car elsewhere.

At Home Helpers of Lansdale, we understand how to best prepare aging drivers for any circumstances. We have many free guides available, such as “How You Can Help With Aging Independently,” ways to live a purposeful life with “Purpose Doesn’t Retire,” and “Discussing Health and Aging Issues with Your Family.” Go to www.HomeHelpersHomeCare.com to view our free online resources library.  

Call us at 215.631.9126, or visit our website www.homehelpershomecare.com/montco/home to schedule your free in-home consultation to see how we can tailor a care plan that meets the needs of your loved one and provides you the peace-of-mind you deserve. Our vision is to be the extended family when the family can’t be there by delivering the same Exceptional care we would want for our loved ones. We have a mission that matters and would love to work with you to design a plan that meets your needs and budget.

Taking The Keys Away: Older Driver Safety Awareness