To many seniors, driving equals freedom, which makes them reluctant to give up this privilege. However, general aging and changes in health can make it more difficult to stay safe when behind the wheel. Tucson 24-hour care experts have a few tips to help your aging loved one have a safer driving experience.
Test the Eyes
Many seniors have refractive eye problems, cataracts, or glaucoma, all of which can make it difficult to see well enough to drive. Encourage your loved one to get regular eye exams and update his or her eyeglass prescription as needed. Because multifocal lenses do not always provide the necessary field of vision for driving, your loved one may want to invest in a pair of single vision glasses to use specifically for driving. If your loved one has a more serious eye condition, he or she should schedule a visit with an ophthalmologist.
Get the Right Vehicle and Modifications
Because the body shrinks with age, pedal extensions or even a booster seat may make it easier for your loved one to see the road and safely control the vehicle. Many seniors prefer driving in vehicles like crossover SUVs because they are easier to get in and out of and provide a better field of view.
Plan in Advance to Avoid Unsafe Conditions
Older adults often have difficulty seeing in low or changing light. It is a good idea for seniors to avoid driving at night or during twilight when their eyes are more likely to have problems adjusting to the light. It also pays to do some advanced planning to avoid heavy rush hour traffic or left-hand turns at dangerous intersections.
Take a Refresher Course
Even though your loved one has probably been driving for many decades, it might be a good idea for him or her to take a driving safety course. There are a number of free or low-cost courses aimed specifically at the needs of older drivers, such as the courses offered by AARP and AAA. Taking these courses can help your loved one feel more confident on the road and may even help lower his or her auto insurance rates.
Another safe way to help your loved one get from point A to point B is by hiring a professional caregiver to provide transportation. At Home Care Assistance, our caregivers can drive your loved one to medical appointments and social events, and they can also help with a wide array of other important tasks. For more information on the elder care Tucson, AZ, seniors count on, call one of our friendly Care Managers at (520) 214-5440 today.