According to the Administration on Aging, by 2030, the number of drivers age 85 and older will quadruple. And while senior drivers get high marks for certain safety standards, such as wearing seat belts and sober driving, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety still sites an uptick in traffic accidents after age 65. Driving is a form of independence and provides a vital connection to social and medical resources, so deciding when to give up the keys can be a difficult process. Here are a few things to consider before getting behind the wheel.
Health Parkinson’s Disease, ALS, MS, and Alzheimer’s disease are a few ailments that can impair motor and sensory skills and interfere with a senior’s ability to drive.
Hearing and Vision Trouble hearing horns and sirens or problems reading road signs and traffic signals can make driving hazardous for seniors and for other drivers sharing the road.
Drug Interactions Some prescription drugs carry warnings of side effects, such as dizziness, nausea, and fatigue that can impair driving, but seniors should also be aware that certain drugs, when combined, can have the same effects. Even some over-the-counter medications can lead to impaired driving.
More than 8 million seniors rely on others for their transportation. Having viable transportation options not only gives seniors access to important medical and social resources but also gives them a sense of independence and helps keep them connected to friends and family. That’s why Caregivers by Wholecare offers transportation services to seniors who are not able to drive themselves.