As parents get older and children become caregivers, the issue of driving
is one of the many questions that come to the forefront. It’s natural
to have concerns about an elderly person behind the wheel, and it’s
also natural for seniors to be hesitant to give up the independence that
driving brings. As you deal with issues like the need for
home care, be sure to also confront the issue of driving and whether it is safe
for your aging parent. Although getting older does not automatically mean
that someone should stop driving, here are some signs that your parent
should reconsider getting behind the wheel.
Significant Medical Event
With age, the risk of major medical events, such as a stroke or heart attack,
goes up. Although suffering one of these conditions does not necessarily
negate the ability to drive, it could. For instance, someone who needs
home care after a stroke because of mobility or cognitive issues might
also have difficulty operating a car safely. After a medical crisis, consider
discussing the lasting impacts your parent may experience with his or
her doctor and whether those new symptoms could make driving unsafe.
Good vision is an essential component of driving. Many age-related eye
health changes, including cataracts and glaucoma, can impair vision and
make driving dangerous. Encourage your parent to have an annual eye exam
and to discuss driving with the doctor. In some cases, the doctor may
recommend not driving, and in other cases, corrective lenses can make
If your parent is showing signs of confusion or memory loss, driving may
be unsafe. He or she could become lost and panic, and his or her reaction
times may be slowed, which could lead to accidents.
Home Helpers understands the pressures of become a caregiver to aging parents
and the adjustments required of the whole family when issues like home
care arise. That’s why we’re here to help with a variety of
care plans to meet your specific needs, including
specialized home care in Philadelphia, our Friendly Visit Program, and Total Care Plan. Learn more about our
services by calling (215) 334-2600.