As we age, it’s normal to notice differences in our senses, including hearing and vision. It’s also normal to experience a slowing in our response to things going on around us. These changes can affect our ability to drive and respond quickly to what’s on the road. Many seniors will go on to have many more years of driving safely, but it’s still important for family members, caregivers, and even seniors themselves to make the driving experience as safe as possible—and know when to put down the keys. Here are a few tips to make driving safer for seniors.
- Get those regular health checks. Annual physicals and vision and hearing checks can ensure that a senior’s senses are robust enough for driving.
- Make sure to get enough sleep. Lack of sleep can impair any driver, but it can be especially detrimental for seniors.
- Don’t be lured by whiz-bang technology. Our cars are becoming smarter and smarter with their technology, but that doesn’t mean we all need (or can even afford) the latest and greatest. A recent study released from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Study found that drivers ages 55 to 75 took their eyes off the road for more than eight seconds longer than drivers ages 21 to 36 when using even common car technology features, such as programming navigation or changing the radio. Although technology can be helpful, don’t assume it will always make life easier—and encourage your senior loved ones to allot more time to use technology in a safe manner.
- Exercise….well, not while driving. However, a regular exercise routine can keep seniors limber and strong. This makes it easier to respond to any hazards while driving. Make sure that your senior loved one incorporates stretches, including neck stretches, into their fitness routine. This will make it easier to see everything going on while driving.
- Know your senior loved one’s driving limits. For instance, they may still do great driving on local roads, but busy highways now make them nervous. Be respectful of their limitations and discuss them regularly, as those limitations may change over time.
- Save money with a safe-driver course. Some insurance companies offer a discount when policyholders take such a course. It also can be surprising to find out what you’ve forgotten over time when you take a safe-driver course. Here is information on AAA’s Driver Improvement courses.
- Seek help if you are doubtful about a senior loved one’s ability to drive. Sarasota Memorial Hospital’s Driver Evaluation and Rehabilitation Program offers driver assessment and re-education courses, to help determine if someone can still safely drive. Find more details in our previous article about the program here.
Call Secure Aging to Find Out How We Can Help Seniors With Care Management
At Secure Aging in Bradenton, we transform the weight of the world into a sigh of relief for our senior clients and their concerned family members. The mission of Secure Aging is to protect and preserve our client’s independence and dignity through careful and thoughtful financial and care management. As our clients age, it is their desire to remain independent and age with dignity. Our services protect our clients from talented con artists looking to exploit and deplete the financial resources of our vulnerable seniors. Secure Aging helps families in Manatee County and Sarasota County and in and around the communities of Anna Maria, Bradenton, Bradenton Beach, Ellenton, Holmes Beach, Lakewood Ranch, Longboat Key, Myakka City, Palmetto, Parrish, and Sarasota. Call us at 941-761-9338, or visit us online at www.secureaging.com.