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Senior Driving Safety – How Do I Encourage My Dad’s Friends To Stop Allowing Him to Drive?

Question: How Do I Encourage My Dad’s Friends To Stop Allowing Him to Drive?

Answer: When anyone discusses senior driving safety because of their declining mental or physical health, it raises a lot of questions. Naturally, we want what is right for our parents, and are always looking out for their best interests. Your father’s friends probably mean well, but they probably are not aware that your father has any health issues. Also, some seniors can drive well when they are 80 or even 90.

In an August 2002 edition of the American Journal of Public Health, medical research determined that seniors continue driving longer than most people think. A team of professors and medical doctors carried out research on 4,699 seniors over the age of 70. They determined that senior drivers between 70 and 74 years old kept driving for an average of 11 years.

My grandmother drove until she was 86. Although, she didn’t want to stop driving, but she understood that her health was beginning to decline and understood the significance of not getting behind the wheel anymore.

My mom drove until she was 79. My sisters and I were terrified that something might happen because she became forgetful. However, when her doctor gave her a checkup, he told us that she seemed healthy enough to continue. When she forgot the directions to return to her senior living facility, and drove around our small town for more than two hours looking for it, we knew the time had come to take away her keys.

When seniors are denied the privilege of driving, it might be a serious blow to their confidence and they could become depressed. This would take away one of their last forms of independence. Afterwards, they will need to depend on public transportation or the assistance of family and friends.

What You Can Do to Help Senior Driving Safety

Here are some things you can do to help senior driving safety. This could determine if your dad’s license should be revoked or if he should stop driving voluntarily.

  • Drivers Testing – Most states shorten the mandatory retesting time for senior citizens. This will test your dad’s reaction speed, concentration, and physical abilities.
  • Check with His Doctor – Your elderly loved one should have regular checkups with a doctor. Before checkups, remind the doctor that your dad is still driving and that you are concerned about that.
  • Don’t Confront – You should never confront your father unless you are certain that there is a problem with his mental or physical health.
  • Check His Medication – Make sure your dad doesn’t have any medications that cause drowsiness. If he does, make sure he’s not driving while taking his medication.
  • Get His Vision Checked – Your father might be in good mental and physical shape, but he still might have problems with his vision. If he cannot see properly, this can affect his ability to drive correctly. This is especially true at night, when he is in a lot of traffic, and when he’s driving at greater speeds on the highway.
  • Have a Talk with His Friends – If you are close with any of your father’s friends, then have a talk with them about your father’s health. If your father has shown signs of cognitive impairment or has any other medical conditions that might make driving an issue.

Senior Driving Safety – Conclusion

Senior driving safety could become an issue for some families. If it does, everyone needs to keep a cool head about it, and search for the best solution. Remember, a senior’s right to drive feels just as important to them as the first day they got their drivers license. It represents freedom and independence. When they can longer drive, it can be painful for them.

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Useful Resources:

Older Drivers Education

AARP Driver Safety

Applewood Our House has four residential assisted living homes for those with memory care needs.

Applewood Our House has a Better Business Bureau A+ Rating.

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