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A Complete Guide and Care Profile for Senior Citizens behind the Wheel

Senior citizens are found to be driving on the roads of the United States for quite a while now. With a recent survey, it has been made clear that every one in six drivers is an elderly person or as modern teens like to call them the “Boomers”.

Many car accident doctors who have dealt with accident cases of the elderly people recommend them to reduce driving a car by them. However, for most people, it might be impossible to do base on their living standards.

In this article, everything that you and your elderly loved ones needs to know about being behind the steering wheel at a certain age.

Statistics of Accidents by Older People

Data clearly indicates that driving gets increasingly dangerous with age. A recent survey for Senior Driving and Drivers revealed that around 14 million Americans have been involved in an automobile accident triggered by an older person in the preceding year.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that about 712 elderly drivers were hospitalized and 19 plus people are killed in traffic crashes in the U.S. every day.

Causes of Difficulty in Driving With Age

It is important to know the symptoms that an elderly loved one is no longer able to operate a vehicle safely. The next stage is typically the worst, though: how to speak to the loved one about giving up the keys.

If you can obviously see the risk of having an old driver to keep driving behind the wheel, your elder loved one can fear the loss of independence, the freedom to socialize and commute as per their desire but most importantly, be a part of their society.

·      Weak Physical and Mental Health

Physical and mental disability can undermine driving strength and judgment. When you have concerns regarding someone's capacity to drive because of his or her health issues, check with their doctors, when possible, and discuss the topic of driving safety.

·      Eyesight Issues

Deterioration of vision is a natural result of aging, with slightly greater levels of visual loss of individuals 75 years of age and older. Even less light hits the eye when the body ages. Older people are often more vulnerable to cataracts, glaucoma, and other sight challenged disorders. Encourage your family member to get daily eye tests, and consult with the eye doctor if you get any questions and red signals.

·      Hearing Issues

Few individuals are aged without any loss of their hearing. In reality, one-third of those over 65 have hearing issues. The hearing impairment will develop slowly, without the individual knowing it, losing the ability to hear alarms, screeching cars, sirens, and other noises that should usually place anyone on a high alert. Make sure you have daily hearing checks on the person under your supervision.

·      Use of Medications

Many drugs can impair driving capacity by triggering fatigue, blurry vision, panic, tremor, or other side effects. Many medications used in conjunction can also interfere and trigger serious problems. When a loved one needs a lot of medication every single day, as many older people do, make sure to educate yourself on the medicines and their potential side effects.

Also, herbal remedies and over-the-counter prescriptions can impair driving capacity. Speak to the physicians and pharmacists of your family members and make sure to inquire about potential medication reactions.

How To Prevent Accidents And Ensure Driving Safety?

·      Keep Up To Date with the Doctors

Ensure sure the driver is up to speed on safety and vision checks. When you are worried that issues with health or vision can affect your driving skills, notify your doctor or eye doctor. Be clear about the signs you have encountered.

·      Driver Rehabilitation Specialists

If an aging driver is still healthy behind the wheel but his abilities may be strengthened, a few Certified Rehabilitation Specialist sessions will help him break poor habits and develop new skills. A CDRS can also suggest protective aids, such as special mirrors or adjustable foot pedals.

Alternative Transportation Options for seniors

When your aging loved one is no longer able to drive, it is possible that he or she may still require the following types of assistance: support from family carers, relatives or neighbors; Support from licensed carers; Transportation as part of a long-term care group or an adult day care facility. There are many options to get around, including:

    • Ride Sharing
    • Public Transportation

We will discuss them in details so you can choose which one is a better alternative for the aging driver:

·      Ride Sharing

Transportation is evolving quickly, not least as a consequence of the explosion of innovative ride-hailing apps such as Uber and Lyft. In a limited period, these easy facilities have been essential to traveling around towns.

To people who have trouble with new technologies and others who reside safely in supported communities, a number of programs have been introduced lately to support seniors and their families overcome some of these issues, including successful campaigns from business leaders Uber and Lyft.

·      Public Transport

Public transport is one of the most common ways to travel from one place to another. In developed cities, public transport options are wide and highly developed. People can book seats and rides in advance to avoid problems while most of the services also have the option of pre-booking.

However, public transport can sometimes be quite crowded and loud which might be disturbing for an elderly senior looking forward to a peaceful ride.

Conclusion

Car accident doctors have reported senior citizens to be one of the causes many road accidents happen and they claim that the presence of an old person behind a steering wheel is very dangerous. To make sure that your elderly person is safe and able to drive without any issues, you must consult with their doctors and examine their driving patterns.

If there are a distortion and disturbance in their driving, you can always take over or give them other alternatives like ride-sharing or public transport.