No one would deny that the number of senior drivers on our roads has increased substantially over the past few years. Seniors nowadays drive well into their 60s, 70s and even 80s, and there is no reason why they should not do so, as long as they’re feeling physically, and mentally healthy.
However, there are risks associated with aging that could impair a person’s driving skills. Older drivers must be aware of these risks, and discuss with their caregivers and others how those risks can be mitigated.
For instance, failing vision and hearing are major problems as a person gets older, because they interfere with the persons ability to identify accident cues in his environment, and hear other motorists around him. Get your eyes tested every two years. Get cataracts removed if you have them. Always wear anti-reflective lenses and corrective lenses while driving, and encourage your senior loved ones to do the same.
Also, get your, or their, hearing checked at least every 2 to 3 years, and get a hearing aid, if necessary. Minimize distractions inside the car- switch off the radio, and your cell phone. Avoid driving a car which has a number of passengers – the conversation could affect your ability to hear traffic or focus.
Another major risk for senior citizens is drug interactions or medication side effects. A senior citizen may be on more than one medication, and 90% of seniors are on at least one prescription drug. Many of those drugs can interact with each other, causing potentially serious side effects. If you are currently taking medication that causes you to become drowsy, do not drive after you take those medications. Avoid driving if you’re feeling fatigued or lightheaded, and never mix medication with alcohol.
Discuss your medications with your doctor, and inform your doctors when you start taking new medications. Our senior home care services involve monitoring of your medications, and our aides can help a senior take medications on time.
Look in to driving refresher courses. These can help you update your driving abilities. Avoid driving during times that are riskier, like peak hours or at night. Our senior home care services can take care of driving seniors around, as their driving skills become progressively impaired.