Driving is a way for your elderly family member to continue to live her life the way that she wants, but some of her health issues can keep her from driving. This is especially a problem if your senior has been reluctant to take care of some of these health concerns.
Pain is far more impactful on your senior’s ability to do a lot of things that she might realize. When a person is in pain, it’s difficult to concentrate, which can be a problem while driving. Then there’s the actual pain itself, which can make specific movements difficult for your elderly family member to make.
Chronic Health Problems
Certain health problems can be more of a problem for your senior behind the wheel than others can. Low blood sugar or diabetes, left out of control, can be extremely dangerous because it affects your senior’s judgment and her ability to maintain control of the car. Likewise, any health issues that can cause seizures or instances where she fades out for a few moments at a time are extremely dangerous. Make sure you talk to your elderly family member’s doctor about how her health conditions affect her ability to drive.
Whether your elderly family member is dealing with insomnia or she’s simply experiencing periods of fatigue, being too tired is a recipe for disaster behind the wheel. In some cases, getting more sleep is the right answer. Again, this is a situation in which you might want to talk to your elderly family member’s doctor so that you can get to the root cause.
Inflexibility in Joints and Muscles
If your elderly family member isn’t very flexible any longer, it might be difficult for her to do things like twist to look over her shoulder before changing lanes. She might also find it difficult to maneuver the vehicle the way that she should. Stiffness in joints can also hamper her ability to move and to control the car.
Having poor vision can usually be corrected, but if your aging family member is significantly losing her vision or she’s developed bigger problems like cataracts, driving may not be an option for a while. Regular eye exams can help to spot problems with your senior’s vision well before they take her out of the driver’s seat.
If your elderly family member is dealing with these issues now, she might find that the problem is only temporary if she makes some changes. Having elder care providers available for transportation allows her to continue to go where she needs to go without putting herself in danger.