Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Signs that Dad should no longer drive

Knowing when to take the keys from your parents is an extremely difficult task. In revoking driving privileges, caretakers can easily, even if accidentally, insult the seniors whom they love. But not revoking driving privileges can cause much more damage, as seniors who insist on driving even after they should turn in their license can cause automobile accidents. These accidents may be minor or fatal, but they are all a danger to both your elderly loved one and other drivers on the road.
Asking your parents to turn in their keys is an emotionally difficult responsibility; however, it is a necessary task that can keep them and other drivers safe. The senior care professionals of Durham, North Carolina, have provided these three warning signs to help you determine when it is time for your mom or dad to stop driving.

1.       Your parents’ vision does not meet the demands of driving in traffic. Avoiding accidents by remaining vigilant is the only way to keep from hitting other cars, pedestrians, trees, and a number of similar objects.

2.       Declining reflexes. Preventing accidents requires defensive driving, meaning that drivers must be capable of quickly reacting to the actions of other drivers. For instance, moving to avoid a car that has swerved into your lane. If your parents cannot react quickly enough, they may put themselves and others in danger.

3.       Difficulty remembering where they are going and how to get there. Many elderly individuals experience memory loss. When mild, they may still be able to drive; however, when this memory loss interferes with daily life it is time to stop driving. Memory loss can affect driving in several ways. For example, your parents may forget where they are going, how to get there, and the rules of the road. When this occurs, their driving can become extremely dangerous.
The senior care professionals in Durham, North Carolina, understand that asking your parents to quit driving is a difficult task. But communicating why you feel as though they should give up their keys, and how you believe their actions could affect other drivers and family members, can help your parents understand that you are looking out for their best interest—not trying to take away their independence. 

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