Community Blog

How Can You Tell if Your Senior Needs a More In-depth Driving Assessment?

By Ketan Shah

At some point, you may need to determine if it's safe for your elderly family member to continue driving. One of the best ways to get a full picture is to have a driving assessment done, but how do you know it's time for that?

The House or Car Have Unexplained Damage

Start paying close attention to your senior's vehicle and even to the areas around where she parks her vehicle. If you're starting to notice that the house, garage, or car have damage that your senior is reluctant to explain, you may need to do some more investigating. This can be a sign that she's having trouble maneuvering the car both in the driveway and out on the road.

Crashes and Almost Crashes Are a Regular Thing

Are you hearing your senior mention a lot more "almost accidents" than she used to describe? This can be a big warning flag for you as her caregiver. Avoiding accidents is a good thing, but it could mean that she's contributing to these situations. Likewise, if your senior is actually involved in accidents more often, that's an even bigger issue.

Your Senior Has a Lot of Tickets

One big drawback of being a dangerous driver is that others take notice. Your elderly family member might be amassing a small stockpile of warnings and tickets from police officers who happen across her. You might not see the tickets themselves, but her car insurance company definitely will and they'll raise her rates. From there, you can request a driving record from the Department of Motor Vehicles to get a closer look at what's going on.

She's Ignoring or Misinterpreting Road Signage

Road signs can sometimes be a problem for elderly adults. If that's the case for your elderly family member, she might inadvertently go the wrong way on roads or receive moving violations for ignoring a roadside warning. Signs and signals are key to being able to safely drive, so you need to know that your elderly family member understands them.

She's Not Staying in Her Lane

If your elderly family member isn't able to stay in her own lane, she's likely to wind up in an accident sooner or later. One of the best ways to determine if this is a problem for your senior is to ride along with her as she drives. Avoid making her nervous and just observe. If you're not comfortable with her driving, it might be time for a more comprehensive evaluation.

Your aging adult may need to take a time out from driving until you're more comfortable with her abilities behind the wheel. One way to do this safely is to hire home care providers who can do the driving for your elderly family member.

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring homecare in San Jose, CA, please contact the caring staff at Home Helpers today (408) 259-5930.