When it was your childhood, your parents looked after you. They gave you everything you needed for a good life – food, shelter, care, and love. But as the years pass by, the responsibility gets swapped. Your elderly parents become dependable on you and their deteriorating health becomes a point of concern.
With time, seniors encounter degenerated vision and slow reflexes that highly impact their driving ability. Driving is no longer safe for them, especially for the ones having age-related health conditions such as dementia. That is why it becomes essential for you to regularly monitor their driving abilities.
An important point to note is that all drivers are different and the time to stop driving for each one of them may be different. There are many senior drivers who can put the younger drivers to shame with their quality of driving and there are many others who are victimized by severe health ailments and are forced to leave driving at their early age.
So, look out for the following signs before you prevent your older family to get behind the wheel:
- Hearing or Sight Loss
Getting older doesn’t automatically mean that your elderly parent should stop driving. However, if you see them struggling with road sign reading or ignoring the honks of vehicles behind, it is an alarming situation. They may persist on getting hearing and visual aids but there comes a time when such aids can do very little in mitigating the potential risks while driving on the road. Explaining them the scope of damage that can happen is the only way out.
2. Dull or Slow Reactions
If you see your parents or senior family members running the red lights and the stop signs or failing to brake when an animal comes out suddenly on the road, it is a warning sign. It could be a child next time. Hence, you have to help them understand that they need to give up on their driving, not as a punishment but for their and others’ safety.
3. Reduced Concentration
It is normal for the seniors to start forgetting and abandoning their minor tasks, but what if the same happens in the case of driving? Well, there can be disastrous consequences. Elderly people tend to get easily distracted by a conversation, changing of radio channels, or adjusting the temperature controls of the car. So, such tasks should be delegated to the person sitting by and let them focus on the road entirely. If these precautionary measures don’t help, it is strongly recommended by driving experts to ask the seniors to stop driving.
4. Dented or Damaged Car
Those minor dents on the car bonnet, cracks on the wing mirrors and broken tail lights are the outcomes of small crashes that your parents may not be even noticing. Older people face a hard time getting in and out of the parking space and often bump into the vehicles behind them. This may lead to a more serious accident in the future. Thus, ask them to be more careful next time or simply get over driving.