Community Blog

How Can Pain Affect Your Aging Adult's Ability to Drive?

By Erin Carll

One big factor in keeping your elderly family member safely behind the wheel of her own car can be how much pain she's in on a daily basis. Depending on the type and severity of the pain your senior family member experiences, she may need to consider letting someone else do the driving for her.

Neck Pain Inhibits Necessary Movement

If your elderly family member is experiencing pain or even simply stiffness in her neck, this can keep her from seeing everything that she needs to see. Pain in the neck often means your elderly family member isn't looking back over her shoulder and can easily have blind spot problems. This type of pain can also cause your aging adult to have trouble controlling the car, which is incredibly dangerous.

Leg Pain Means Less Pedal Control

Pain in your senior family member's legs and feet may mean that it's difficult for her to move her feet from one pedal to the other. It can also mean that she doesn't have the strength that she needs to apply the right amount of pressure to each pedal to operate it correctly.

Arm and Shoulder Pain Inhibits Control of the Vehicle

Like neck pain, shoulder and arm pain can cause your elderly family member to be unable to control the car. This type of pain can also keep her from being able to respond quickly if she needs to avoid another vehicle. If the seatbelt hits your elderly family member in a spot that is painful for her, she might even forego wearing the belt, which is a tremendous problem in terms of safety.

Her Attention Might Be Diverted

No matter where in her body your aging adult is experiencing pain, it can be incredibly distracting. Long term pain is often enough to have your elderly family member's attention diverted from what she needs to be doing, which is focusing on what is happening around her. Failing to keep her attention on the road can lead to an accident quite easily.

If pain is a problem for your elderly family member, consider hiring senior care providers who can drive for her.

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring senior care in Cheswick, PA, please call the caring staff at Home Helpers. Call today (412) 201-0712.