People are living longer than ever before in human history. Statistics show that 1 in 6 American drivers are older than 65 years of age. There is a growing debate about whether it is safe for older drivers to be on the road. Some people say that older drivers put other drivers at risk because they have poorer vision and judgment. Other people say that driving allows older people to remain independent and mobile.
Both sides of the argument are well taken. Unfortunately, it appears that older drivers are getting in more accidents on the road. A 2015 Senior Driving research study discovered that nearly 14 million older American drivers were the direct cause of car accidents in 2014. A report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that almost 712 senior adult drivers suffer injuries from car accidents each day. The same report showed that 19 of them die in car accidents each day.
It is not fair to be ageist against all drivers over 65 years old. Many older drivers do not have any physical or mental health issues. However, the chances of an older driver suffering cognitive or physical decline are significantly higher. It is even worse once they pass the 80-year age mark. The best thing you can do is recognize the signs of physical and cognitive decline in your older loved one.
If you notice they have vision problems, slower reflexes, poor hearing, chronic fatigue or poor judgment, then you should be concerned about them driving on the road. Pay close attention to their driving habits and the condition of their car. Do you see any car damage? Does your loved one fail to put on their seatbelt or obey traffic laws? If so, you must do something before an accident occurs.
You’ll need to have a heartful and compassionate conversation with your loved one about their health and the dangers of driving on the road in their condition. They might react angrily at first because they don’t want to lose their independence. But as they think about their declining health and their risk to other driver’s lives, they might start to understand your concerns more clearly.
Hire a Home Health Aide for Transportation Purposes
A senior will need an alternative way to travel around their local area after they give up driving. Before you call an Uber driver or taxi service for your loved one, you might want to consider hiring a home health aide instead. It will save you more money in the long run because you won’t have to keep hiring a different driver each time the senior wants to leave. You can stick with a home health aide that assists the senior in more than one way.
A home health aide is a non-medical professional who serves as a personal care assistant. They can assist a senior with all their normal daily activities, such as walking, showering, cleaning, cooking, and transportation. Whether the senior wants to visit the grocery store or go to their doctor’s appointment, the home health aide can drive them to these destinations. They can also perform tasks for them, such as grocery shopping and mailing letters.
Health Care of South Florida has an experienced team of home health aides in South Florida. They’ve been transporting seniors around Miami-Dade County and Broward County for many years now. These services allow seniors to remain mobile without endangering any drivers or pedestrians on the road.