Driving Issues As We Age........

Hi Everyone…..I am a resident of the Sun Cities and am aware of the driving issues facing our community.  It always surprises me when a caregiver for someone who has dementia or other neurological issues says that he/she cannot take the keys away from their loved one.  So, that person with reduced comprehension or mobility is still driving which is not only a danger to them but also to all of us!  Here is a list of questions to ask yourself when making that decision to take away the keys or not.  It comes via a compilation from the National Institute of Health (NIH)
If you answer yes to any of the following questions, you should be concerned about your loved one’s driving skills. It might be time to ask whether it’s time they retire the keys.

  • Has a friend or family member expressed concern about your loved one’s driving?
  • Has the doctor advised limiting driving for health reasons?
  • Has your loved one been pulled over by a police officer and warned about poor driving behavior?
  • Has your loved one been stopped by the police or had near misses or accidents in the last 3 years?
  • Does your loved one sometimes get lost on familiar routes?
  • Do you notice that your loved one concentration wanders when they drive
  • Does he or she become confused or angry?
  • Do other drivers honk frequently when they are behind the wheel?
  • Does your loved one complain that cars or people walking seem to appear out of nowhere?
  • Does your loved one have trouble moving their foot between the gas and brake pedals, or do they confuse the two?

It’s important to be aware of gradual limitations and how they may affect driving. If you’re not sure whether a driving problem is developing, discuss the situation with family members, friends, or the doctor to seek advice. The most important thing is that everyone be safe on the road.
Adapted from NIH SeniorHealth Older Drivers
….and I would ask one more question…..do you help them drive by telling them when to stop and which ways to turn?  Important questions to consider…..take care….Regina