The other day a car was weaving in and out of the lanes. The speeds were erratic, speeding up and slowing down at an irregular pace. As I cautious pulled up to the car, I expected to see a drunk or distracted driver. Instead, I saw a 90-year-old woman who could barely see over her steering wheel.
There comes a time in our lives where driving is not longer a safe option. Most elderly people have no problem driving, but some are a danger on the road. Telling someone, especially an adult, that they should or can no longer drive is not easy. Seniors are just like you and me, and do not like being told what to do. Driving gives them independence, and without it, they become essentially homebound.
What do you do if you are concerned about a loved one who is still driving? How do you broach the topic? Know going into it that it will not be easy, however, it could save lives.
First, evaluate the physical or mental health of your loved one. Ask yourself these questions:
- Does he or she have difficulty driving safely?
- Does he or she take any medications that could affect safe driving?
- Does he or she often complain about being dizzy or excessively tired?
- Does he or she get disoriented easily?
- What is his or her reaction time? Can he or she easily turn to look at their blind spot?
- Does he or she have dementia or Alzheimer’s?
- Does he or she have an eye disease such as glaucoma?