How can you tell whether or not it is safe for your aging parent or relative to operate a vehicle? As a Pasadena health care facility, we will discuss some things to think about when you determine the risk involved in driving for your relative.
Besides entering and exiting a car, operating brake and gas pedals necessitates a lot of mobility and strength. Confirm that your relative has more than enough joint movement capability to drive, besides enough strength to apply the pedals and good skills to make a blinker active or grip the wheel.
If your relative has frailty on the right or left side, or cannot enter and exit a car safely, a physician should evaluate them before they operate a vehicle. Any health condition that induces unsteady or shaky legs or hands can cause serious issues during driving.
Most people with dementia seek quality care from certain health care facilities. Cognitive functioning matters for safe vehicle operation. Any person with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis cannot drive. It may seem obvious, but if they are in the early phase of the condition, they might want to operate a vehicle.
A cognitive decline type can make it unsafe for a person to drive. Talk to your relative’s physician about not only any concern you have regarding cognitive decline but also how to start a driving-related conversation with that person.
It is normal for an older adult to consume multiple medication types each day, which possibly makes it trickier to keep up with their side effects. Drowsiness-inducing medication can negatively impact eye-hand coordination and attention span. This means that it would be unsafe for your relative to drive if they are on that type of medication. As per the FDA, medications for pain, seizures and anxiety can make driving dangerous for a person.
Are you unaware of the present medication regimen of your relative? If so, ask their physician or pharmacist to look at their medication types and tell you whether any of those could contribute to dangerous driving conditions. When you are concerned about your relative driving, seek the expertise and assistance of such professionals. They can broach the matter to your relative, keeping you from becoming the ‘villain’ with regard to potentially taking the key away from them.