Senior Care Awareness – National Traffic Awareness Month
August is National Traffic Awareness Month. This is the perfect time for you to spend some dedicated time evaluating whether your parent is truly still able to handle the task of driving, or whether it may be time for you to tell them to hang up their keys and start a new chapter in their life. This is especially important if your aging parent has been suffering from new or worsening conditions such as arthritis, hearing loss, vision loss, or cognitive functioning decline. Take a ride with them and pay close attention to how they respond in specific situations so that you can determine if they are still safe on the road.
Some things for you to look out for when you are riding with your parent include:
- Proper preparation. Start paying attention to what your parent is doing and how they are doing it before you even get on the road. Make sure that they put on their seatbelt promptly, check everything that they should, and turn on the car without hesitation. This proper preparation can be extremely telling.
- Following of signs. Watch how your parent responds to traffic signs as well as other signals such as painted marks on the road or the signals of other drivers when they show up along the way. They should notice them early and begin to respond to them properly and quickly. If they do not respond, respond late, have to wait for you to tell them to respond, or respond the wrong way, it could be an indication that they are no longer really capable of driving on their own.
- Use of mirrors. A decline in awareness of what is going on around them and how to react to others who are on the road is a common occurrence with older drivers and can put them and the others around them in very serious danger. One way that you can check this is by watching their use of the mirrors in their car. Make sure that they are looking in them properly to determine the position of the drivers around them and to aid in their movements while negotiating traffic.
If you are concerned that your parent is no longer able to drive safely and are considering telling them that it is time for them to stop, now may be the perfect time for you to consider senior care for them. One of the most valuable services that a senior care provider can offer to an elderly adult is safe and reliable transportation. This transportation can allow your parent to maintain the active, independent lifestyle that they desire and deserve. Rather than having to call you every time that they need or want to do something and have to either allow you to do it for them or to make time in your schedule to come get them so that they can do it, they can simply rely on the senior home care services provider to bring them. This can make them feel more autonomous and make the time that they spend with you even more valuable.