As your parent gets older, you may notice physical and mental changes that begin to impact his or her life.
When it comes to driving, you want to make sure your parent is safe on the road. How do you know? These ten questions can help you determine whether your mom or dad can continue to use a car safely.
- When driving, does your mom react to dangerous situations more slowly than she did before?
- Does your dad get so angry at other drivers or at situations (such as traffic jams or red lights) that it affects his driving?
- Does your mom miss regular physical exams or eye exams?
- If your parent wears glasses or contacts, does he or she ever drive without them?
- Does your dad take any medication that might impair his driving?
- Has your parent received traffic tickets, been pulled over, or had any collisions within the last year or two?
- Does your mom get overly anxious about traffic situations such as having to merge or crossing an intersection?
- Does your dad ever lack the strength or flexibility to apply the breaks, shift gears, or turn the steering wheel?
- Does your parent ever get lost while traveling to familiar locations?
- Is there anything else about your mom or dad that makes you feel concerned about his or her ability to drive?
A “yes” answer to any one of these questions may not be a definitive indication that your parent should no longer be behind the wheel. But if you did answer “yes” to one or more of the above, have a chat with your parent about your concerns. If necessary, get your parent’s doctor involved, as well. If you and your mom or decide that it’s time to put down the keys, explore ways to help your parent maintain independence. For example, your local city or county might offer door-to-door senior transportation.
If you find that your parent struggles to live independently, it might be time to consider long-term care options. If you have questions about how to pay for long-term care, Paying for Senior Care can help. Send us a message with your question, comment, or personal story.