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Signs It’s Time to Stop Driving (and Perhaps Ask a Loved One to Help You Find the Best Solution Moving Forward)

If you notice any of these signs in yourself or your senior loved one, it may be time to stop driving and hire home care to help.
Home Care in Durham NC

How old were you when you first got your driver’s license? Maybe you’ve always lived in a metropolitan area with ample public transportation and never bothered. After all, with the cost of parking, there was no need. Yet, for tens of millions of Americans and other people around the world, getting a license to drive is a monumental moment in life.

Most people remember exactly where they were, what they were doing, and how it felt when they received their driver’s license and were able to touch it, hold it in their hands, and show it to friends and family. It is often considered a sign of freedom and independence in this country.

Unfortunately, that right is not constitutionally guaranteed, so it can be lost. There are many ways a person can lose their driver’s license. They can drink and drive, they can become involved in too many car accidents, they can be reckless and speed and receive too many tickets, or they can reach a certain age where they are dealing with mental or physical decline.

You may be recognizing mental and physical decline in a loved one. This might be your mother or father. It could be a grandparent. It might be an aunt or uncle, a close friend, your brother or sister, or somebody else you care about. You might worry about them getting behind the wheel.

After all, slipping into the seat on the driver’s side of the car, putting the car in drive, and easing out on the road means a person is driving a 2,000-pound weapon, and with many SUVs and pickup trucks on the road today, that could easily be 4,000 pounds or more. At 30 miles an hour, you could strike somebody and kill them instantly.

So where do you find the balance? How do you know when it’s time to sit down and have a conversation with this loved one about their ability or even their “right” to drive? What if this is all about you and you’re in your 70s or early 80s and are wondering whether it’s time to give it up? Let’s look at a few signs to consider.

Sign #1: They’ve been involved in a fender bender or two.

If you notice or have heard that this senior was involved in a fender bender or two recently, that might not seem like much. There are plenty of people out there getting into minor accidents, especially at traffic lights. That’s because most people are more interested in what’s coming across their phone or texting than they are in paying attention and keeping other people around them safe.

Yet, most seniors aren’t involved in such immature behavior. They’re simply slow to react. So, if this is developing a pattern, they should consider themselves lucky, but it might very well be time to have their driving abilities evaluated again.

Sign #2: They’re not comfortable driving.

That doesn’t mean they don’t drive. It simply means that if given the choice, they would rather stay at home or that somebody else, like home care, go to the grocery store or take care of certain errands.

If you notice this senior doesn’t seem comfortable driving, but they are reluctant to stop, they may feel there are no other options, which is why they keep doing it.

Sign #3: They’ve accidentally hit the gas instead of the brakes.

We hear about this too many times; an aging senior confused the gas pedal for the brakes and either drove through a crowd of people, into the front of the building, or worse. People get killed this way. Sometimes, it’s the senior behind the wheel.

If you notice any of the signs within you or somebody you care about, it is time to have a conversation about their ability to continue driving moving forward.

If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care in Durham, NC, please contact the caring staff at Affordable Family Care.
Serving Raleigh, Greensboro, and the surrounding areas in North Carolina. Call today at (919) 676-1070
Donnie Shelton
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