In 2016, about 7,400 adults 65 and older were killed and more than 290,000 injured and treated in emergency departments for motor vehicle crash injuries. While the ability to drive helps older adults stay mobile and independent, the risks of being injured or killed in an accident increases as they age. The physical and mental changes that come with aging are significant, including a slower response time, a loss of flexibility and muscle strength, a loss of clarity in vision and hearing, drowsiness from medications, and a reduction in the ability to focus. Thankfully, there are several steps you can take as the loved one of an aging adult to improve the safety of themselves, and others, while on the road.
Bright & Sunny
Make sure your loved one only drives during daylight and when whether conditions are in their prime. If weather reports are calling for rain, hail, or snow, plan accordingly. When driving, utilize only the safest, most familiar routes with well-lit streets, intersections with left turn arrows, and access to easy parking.
Medications & Care
Ask your loved one’s doctor or pharmacist to review medicines, both prescription and over-the-counter, to reduce any ill side-effects or interactions. Many medications can cause drowsiness on their own, or when mixed with other medications. If you must take these medications in the morning, it is recommended to not operate heavy machinery, including an automobile. Have your loved one’s eyes checked at least one a year and wear glasses and corrective lenses as required. Keep a pair of prescription sunglasses in the car within reach to use when necessary. A hearing test may also be important to get, as well.
Obtain an up-to-date inspection on all vehicles used by an aging loved one and ensure there are no issues with the vehicle in between. Check tire pressure especially during times of fluctuating temperatures.
Unfortunately, sometimes it may be time to “Hang up the Keys.” This may be a decision made by yourselves, or by the aging loved one themselves. Either way, At Home Senior Care offers Incidental Transportation as one of the primary benefits of our Companion Care Services. We will help with the groceries and the errands. We will always help with those times that you just need to get somewhere, whether it’s a doctor’s appointment or meeting a friend for a movie.
Allow your loved ones to maintain their freedom while keeping them safe. For more information, call At Home Senior Care at 8555-419-3109 and see what services we are able to provide to help your loved ones stay at home during their golden years.