Sometimes the driving skills deteriorate with aging because of medications, mobility issues, and many other factors. There can be problems in vision and hearing too. However, the problems increase manifold for the disabled elderly who find it tough to be in charge behind the wheels. So, if you are a caregiver of a senior or disabled elderly, know the top safety tips to make sure your loved one stay safe while driving. So here we go.
Ensure regular eye and ear exams
Seniors or disabled elderly experience major issues during driving due to weak eyesight or hearing loss. Ensuring regular check-ups helps to cope with the situation in a better way. If prescribed, provide them with a hearing aid or prescription glasses.
Do proper consultation with a doctor
It happens that certain medications make you feel sleepy. So, have a proper consultation with the doctor about the same. Ask your loved one to refrain from driving if he or she has taken a medication that can induce sleep.
Make sure to establish a bedtime
Adequate sleep is essential before hitting the road. So, establish a bedtime for the senior or elderly so that he or she can have enough sleep. Remember, dozing while driving can prove disastrous.
Request to limit distractions
Many seniors love listening to music while driving. However, this may affect their driving skills. So, politely ask them to refrain from using earphones or turning on their car stereo to stay safe. Also, ask them to not engage in any conversation over the phone during driving.
Ask to avoid driving in the dark
Despite a vision, seniors can experience difficulties while driving at night. Fog lights, high beams, and other kinds of lighting on the road for better vision can cause glare leading to accidents.
Don’t allow driving in poor weather
Accidents are more during poor weather conditions such as rain, hail, snow, fog, and so on. So, ask the senior to stay indoors during such weather conditions. If travelling is necessary to reach a place, ask him or her to use public transportation or rideshare services.
Ask to choose safer routes
Ramps on highways or confusing intersections can prove dangerous for senior drivers. They can have trouble taking a left turn or U-turn. So, convince to choose safer routes while driving.
Avoid peak hour traffic snarls
Traffic snarls during peak hours can make anyone lose patience. People behind the wheels become stressful during peak traffic hours. So, request the senior or disabled elderly to avoid driving during such hours. Ask them to drive when traffic is comparatively less.
Invest in a swivel seat cushion
Those with physical disabilities struggle a lot while getting in or out of their vehicle. So, if you can, invest in a swivel seat cushion which can turn 360 degrees.
Lastly, if anyone of the above tips do not work, politely request the senior or the disabled elderly to avoid driving unless it becomes an absolute necessity. In some cases, hiding the car keys or sending the car for repair can also work wonders! For more caregiver support, you can make use of plenty of free resources over the web.