Determining when your senior should stop driving is not an exact science, but there are some clues that you can use. See if any of these are happening with your senior now.
She Tells You She’s Ready to Stop Driving.
It’s rare, but your elderly family member may actually tell you that she’s ready to stop driving. She may feel that she’s uncomfortable behind the wheel or that she’s physically just not able to keep driving. If you suspect that it might be time for your senior to stop driving, see if she’ll talk to you about how she feels.
She Seems to Be Less Confident Behind the Wheel.
When a driver feels confident behind the wheel, there’s not a lot that can rattle them. As your senior experiences changes in her physical and mental health, though, she may start to feel less confident about driving and the decisions she makes while driving. This can be apparent when you watch her, even from outside the car. She might be driving slower than usual or appearing as if she’s lost.
She’s Distracted When She Drives.
If you do ride along with your aging adult, be sure to pay attention to what she’s doing. A driver who is distracted is dangerous to both the people with her in the car and to other drivers and pedestrians. You might watch for whether she’s playing with the radio, whether she’s using her mirrors, and whether she seems to be aware of what’s around her.
Her Car Is Looking a Little Worse than it Should.
When you look at your senior’s car, are there more dents, dings, and wounds on it than there realistically should be? This might be more obvious if your senior has always kept her car in good condition. If you haven’t kept tabs on this sort of thing, start making it a point to give her car a thorough examination once a week or so.
She Won’t Let Anyone Ride with Her.
Some aging adults get nervous about allowing anyone to ride with them. For some, this is about worrying about passenger safety. But for others, it’s about keeping you from noticing that her driving skills are not what they used to be. How your senior responds to your request to ride with her can tell you quite a bit.
When it is finally time for your senior to stop driving, make sure that she has alternative transportation. Elder care providers make excellent replacement drivers for your aging adult because they can handle so many other tasks, too, while being ready to go at any time.