Putting The Brakes On An Elderly Driver
- Created: December 12, 2010
- by: admin
One of the most difficult things to tackle is when you suspect that an elderly relative should no longer be driving. Here are some tell-tale signs to watch out for.
We’ll be seeing a lot of our families this season. And one of the most difficult things to tackle is when you suspect that an elderly relative should no longer be driving. Reflexes, eyesight, ability to focus, all wane as we age. 4 million Americans currently have some form of Alzheimers. Diabetes can effect ability in the eyes, hands and feet. Strokes and Parkinson’s disease diminish muscle control, balance and cognitive reaction time. While giving up the freedom that driving brings is a difficult step for many, this is definitely a case of better-safe-than-sorry. Over 11% of all fatal accidents involve drivers who are old. With a larger and larger segment of the population getting older and older, projections indicate that number will jump to 25% by the year 2030. While conversation with the elderly about their driving ability is never easy, all of us, not just medical professionals, need to start watching for tell-tale signs that it’s time to hand over the keys.
If your elder…
- had an accident in the last five years
- has gotten two or more tickets for moving violations in the last three years
- drives fewer than 60 miles a week.
- avoids driving at night or in the rain
- gets repeatedly lost, especially in familiar areas
- has decreased ability in problem solving (the way someone responds to small problems is very indicative of how they will drive)
- shows an obvious lowering in the ability to focus, make quick decisions, or react to visual/aural input
…then it’s time to start talking.