There comes a time in most seniors' lives when it's time to give up the car keys. For family members, having this discussion with your loved one can be nearly as difficult as talking about end-of-life matters. As home caregivers serving the San Francisco Bay Area, we have a few warning signs that may indicate it's time to take away the keys.
Do you notice dents or damage to the car that your aging loved one cannot explain?
Does the senior have a hard time parking, whether in a parking lot or parallel? This could result in damage to not only your loved one's vehicle, but others around it.
Mobility issues can make it difficult for a senior to back up, as it becomes harder to turn around to see what's behind them. Backup cameras and other technologies available in newer cars today can help with these issues.
Those who suffer from mild dementia or even occasional confusion may operate the brake and gas pedals backward, for example putting their foot on the accelerator when they meant to apply the brake. This could result in catastrophe.
Making bad decisions. This can happen to any motorist, but seniors are particularly prone to bad judgment such as making a left-hand turn when there is no turning arrow (in other words, the turn is unprotected).
Seniors may get confused as to where they are. Even though they may not have dementia, seniors often become disoriented, not realizing exactly where they are although they've driven the route dozens or hundreds of times.
As we age our motor skills deteriorate. We cannot react as quickly in certain situations as we once did, which can make driving dangerous.
Having "the talk" with an elderly parent about driving is difficult; seniors often feel as though they're losing their freedom, their connection to society. Driving equates to independence for many seniors, many of whom can operate a vehicle safely even into their 80's and 90's.
At Care Indeed, our goal is to help San Francisco seniors remain as independent as possible for as long as possible by helping them remain in their own homes. If your aging loved one could use some help, our senior care experts offer a wide array of in-home care services customized to your needs.
Home care is derived from the belief that older adults should be able to age at home with the level of care they need to be safe and comfortable.