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Keeping your Aging Parent Safe Behind the Wheel

You may have noticed your parent’s car wears a few more dents each time you go to visit. On your last outing together, you suggested they drive and found the brake wasn’t working on the passenger’s side and your parent was slow to switch lanes and had difficulty looking over their shoulder. You begin to wonder if it’s still safe for them to be driving.

Senior Care in Oakland CA: Safe Driving

Senior Care in Oakland CA: Safe Driving

Helping your Parent Drive Safely.

Physical changes alter a person’s ability to drive, but there are lifestyle options that your parent can incorporate into their lives that just may be able to keep them driving a little bit longer.

  • Physical Exercise. Arthritis and decreasing flexibility can make turning the wheel or looking over one’s shoulder difficult to perform. Help your parent remain as flexible as possible by enrolling them in one of the many classes designed to increase both flexibility and balance. These are commonly taught at the local senior community center or the YMCA and are found in exercises such as yoga and Tai Chi.
  • Physical or Occupational Therapy. These types of therapies can provide activities, exercises, and physical modalities that may keep your parent driving safely longer. This may include paraffin wax baths for your parent’s hands as well as exercises to increase flexibility and strength and decrease pain. Therapists can also offer your parent alternative ways to perform various activities with their present limitations in mind.
  • Be sure to make a yearly appointment for a comprehensive eye exam for your aging family member. An ophthalmologist can check for many diseases that offer no warning signs and that can, ultimately, cause loss of vision. If driving at night seems to cause concern or difficulties, consider suggesting that your parent limit their driving time to daylight hours and find alternative solutions such as a carpool or the local community program that offers volunteer services for homebound seniors.
  • Make a list of the medications your parent is on and take it to their pharmacist. Ask them to look it over for any possible drug interactions or medications that should not be taken when driving. There are often alternatives or a change that can be made in the time the dose is taken.
  • A driving rehabilitation specialist can determine if it is safe for your parent to drive and offer solutions that can keep them driving longer. This may include limiting them to daylight driving, avoiding highways, or staying within a certain radius from their home. They can offer tips on how much distance to keep between them and the car in front of them and instructions on early braking.

Senior Care Provider.

If your loved one is having difficulty performing the everyday activities of living, requires transportation, or is home alone most days, consider the services of a senior care provider.

If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Oakland, CA, contact the caring staff at Provident Home Care. Call today (877) 572-3411.

 

Resources

https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/older-drivers

Robin Conley RN, Owner and CEO

RN, Owner and CEO at Provident Care - Modesto, CA
When my grandmother’s health began to deteriorate... My greatest fear was that something would happen to her when I couldn’t be there. She had become unsteady on her feet, forgot to take her medications when she was supposed to, was not eating meals that fit into her dietary restrictions and often failed to recognize signs that she was getting into trouble. I knew that it was her firm desire to stay in her own home, but the amount of oversight I knew she needed was sometimes overwhelming for me to do alone. This is where my journey started! Providing care to seniors in our community is not just a job for me... It is something that has touched my life personally and something that I am passionate about! I know firsthand the worry and uncertainty caused when someone you love becomes ill or injured and how overwhelming the responsibility of caring for a loved one can be. I also know that finding a compassionate caregiver can often restore health, provide seniors with a renewed sense of control and independence, reduce depression, and relieve family members so they can once again be a caring son or daughter. So if you find yourself or someone you may know, in this situation... Our team of care managers and professional, compassionate caregivers at Provident Care would be honored to help you care for your loved one. Our staff is committed to caring for our clients as if we were caring for a member of our own family.

Robin Conley RN., Owner and CEO of Provident Care Home Care Providing HOME CARE- ASSISTED LIVING PLACEMENT ASSISTANCE