What Can You Do When You’re Worried about Your Senior’s Driving?

Your senior’s ability to continue driving is an important one, especially for her mental and emotional health. But if her ability to drive is declining, that is a massive safety concern. It’s important that you as her caregiver get an accurate picture of her ability to drive and whether it’s time to look into other options.

Set up a Time to Take a Trip

Home Care Kentwood, MI: Seniors and Driving

One of the best ways to get a true picture of your senior’s driving is to go on a ride with her. If she knows that her driving isn’t all that great, she might try to put this off or to protest the idea. When you finally do get in the car with her, don’t comment on her driving. You’re there just to notice what happens while she’s driving. You don’t want to make your elderly family member uncomfortable, because that could cause her to get into an accident and that’s what you’re trying to avoid.

What Does Her Doctor Say?
Now that you have some empirical evidence, it might be time to talk to her doctor about what you noticed. Her doctor can piece that information together with data about her health and let you know whether you need to be concerned or not. Her doctor can also help you to know what to do next in terms of limiting your senior’s driving or talking to a specialist about what’s going on.

Consider Driving Evaluations and Other Options
If your senior’s health is alright, next it’s time to look at other options. Defensive driving courses for seniors are helpful as they can refresh your senior’s driving skills. They also offer a discount on car insurance. Another option might be to get an independent driving evaluation to get an objective look at your senior’s true driving abilities.

Bring Answers to Your Senior
In the end, you really need to come to this conversation with your senior with some answers of your own. If she’s convinced that your only recourse is going to be to take her car keys away, she may not be receptive to what comes next. But if you let her know that home care providers can drive for her when it’s not safe for her to be the driver, that lets her know that you’re not trying to restrict her movements. Give her options that work for her.
This conversation is about keeping your senior safe, but she might not see it that way. For your elderly family member, this might feel like she’s losing her independence. Tread carefully and let her know that you want only the best for her.

Excerpt: If you’re worried about your elderly family member’s driving, you need to face the situation head on.

If you or someone you know needs help with Home Care in Kentwood, MI, contact Gauthier Family Home Care. We provide quality and affordable home care services in our community. Call us at (616) 258-2300 for more information.

About Dan Gauthier

Dan Gauthier has a long and successful business pedigree. He spent his college years working in the restaurant business and worked in various executive management positions at Universal Forest Products, Inc. over a span of 17 years, and Therm Technology / Family Safety Products for 12 years.

When the recession hit in 2008 Dan was “downsized” from UFP and spent a few years consulting for local companies Amway and Cascade Engineering. During this period Dan’s in-laws were experiencing catastrophic health problems and it required Dan’s wife Marion to focus full time on caregiving for her mother. Marion enlisted help from a local home care agency and it did not go well. This experience led to the creation of Gauthier Family Home Care, a home care agency that is uniquely holistic and family centric. Dan now works full time running GFHC.