Most of us remember the first time we got our licence to drive a car. What a glorious independent feeling it gave us! That is an almost universal emotion, and consequently it is quite a blow to a senior when it’s time to take away their keys. Each case concerning seniors and driving is different, but making the decision is an essential responsibility for anyone involved in senior home care in Toronto.
Keeping your senior as well as the general public safe is of utmost importance. The “designated driver” of a group of senior friends may well be the person who should be in the back seat.
Just because someone is older doesn’t mean they are a bad driver, so tread carefully.
You may be continually monitoring your senior’s mental ability, how easily they remember directions, or their ability to pay attention. These are all important, but have you checked their vision or hearing lately? Cataracts can cloud vision, and glasses prescriptions need to be checked regularly for people over the age of 65. Being able to hear horns or emergency vehicles is crucial for safe driving.
When a senior becomes accustomed to compromised vision, they just accept it as normal. Take action to fix the problem and limit their driving. In some cases driving in the daylight might be acceptable, or it might be time to take away the keys.
Seniors become forgetful as they age. It may a simple memory lapse like “Where did I leave my keys?” or it could be a more serious concern like forgetting how to get home. Getting lost while driving is a red flag that should not be ignored.
As a senior caregiver in Toronto, you can’t be with your loved one 24/7. If they are still driving, it is recommended that you spend some time as their passenger to observe how they are doing. Look for situations like:
Any of these are warning flags that their driving could be unsafe.
Beginning this discussion is an emotional challenge for all involved. Senior home care in Toronto brings many challenges and in this case forces you to take charge of a delicate circumstance. It is helpful to get the support of siblings or objective persons like a physician.
There is a free seminar to help you through the conversation that allows you to watch at your own pace.
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