Are you at the stage where your aging parents should no longer be driving. Usually, this is one of the hardest tasks you will probably face as the family caregiver.
However, a person's age is not a justification for removing there keys. Seniors in their 80s and 90s can drive safely, while others in their 50s and 60s are dangers to themselves and others. However, seniors get the blame for bad driving. The most driving-accident-prone age group is 15 through 19.
Your parents losing their independence, by removing the car, can be devastating to them. However, if physical and mental condition impare their ability to drive, you have to act for their and others safety. Here are some indicators:
Vision: Your parent's optometrist or ophthalmologist can identify vision problems, limitations, concerns and cautions. Some limitations can be accommodated by not driving at dusk or night. Some conditions, such as cataracts and glaucoma, can be corrected surgically.
Physical ability: Driving takes dexterity, ability and strength in both arms and legs/feet to control the vehicle at all times. Therefore, if your parent currently does no physical activity to maintain or build strength, agility and aerobic ability, this should be a concern.
Diseases: Demetia like Alzheimer's disease can cause disorientation. A severe diabetic may fall into a coma. Discuss your parent’s issues with their physician.
Medications: Prescription drugs are chemicals designed to produce specific and desired changes or functions within the body. However, a reaction may cause drowsiness and/or a slowing of a reaction time. In the field of medicine these are identified as side effects and may effect, even seriously, a person's ability to drive.
The American Medical Association has published a detailed report and recommendation to all of its physician members that they assist caregivers, answer their questions, and present their recommendations regarding the elder's physical and medical conditions. The report also recommends that the physician be actively involved in counseling the patient to hang up the car keys.Tags: aging parents, dementia, driving, family caregiver, independence, medications, physical ability, vision