Approximately 233,200 older drivers were injured in crashes in 2020. Over 6,500 were killed in traffic accidents. Four factors help determine whether an older driver should still be behind the wheel. What are those four factors?
Your dad needs quick reaction times and thought processes to safely drive his car. Therefore, if he cannot think quickly or process information rapidly, it’s time to stop driving.
If he has dementia, then he may not remember how to get home or what a traffic sign means. He shouldn’t be driving after a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia.
Some health conditions require your dad to stop driving. If he had a heart attack or stroke, then he needs to hand over the keys for now. Until he has medical clearance again, he shouldn’t risk his own and other people’s safety.
Your dad’s health issues also require him to take medications with side effects like dizziness or drowsiness. Again, he shouldn’t be driving.
Has your dad’s muscle strength diminished? Does he have arthritis that makes it difficult to move quickly or turn far enough to fully check his blind spots? If his motor functions have changed, then he may not safely drive.
He has to turn far enough to look over both shoulders to see behind him, before backing up or changing lanes. Your dad needs, therefore, to quickly move his foot from the accelerator to the brake. He must use the different controls to clear his windshield, turn on his directionals, or turn high beams on and off.
How is your dad’s vision? To legally drive, his corrected vision must meet state driving regulations. This varies from state to state, but most are 20/40. Your state’s DMV will have this information available.
He should go to his eye doctor each year for an exam. If his eye doctor tells him it’s time to stop driving, he needs to listen and do what his doctor says. Someone else can drive him around.
Certain eye health conditions will impact his ability to drive. If he has cataracts, headlights and bright lights may be too distracting. His eye doctor may advise against him driving at night or on a dark, stormy day. Glaucoma often takes away the peripheral vision first, and that’s another reason to stop him from driving.
Your dad may not be able to drive, but that doesn’t mean he has to be stuck at home. Senior care aides are happy to drive your dad to area businesses and community centers. They can take him shopping or bring him to medical offices for appointments. Talk to a senior care specialist to get prices and a list of popular services.
If you or someone you know needs Senior Care in Marshall, MN, contact Adara Home Health. We provide quality and affordable home care services for many fragile or senior members in the communities we serve. Call us at (888) 660-5772 for more information.