Senior Care Advice for Aging Drivers in Chapel Hill

May 2, 2017 | By Lorenzo Mejia

Driving is important aspect for senior care. It allows them to get to doctor appointments, shop for food and to be active socially. As we get older, driving can make some things more challenging. Seniors may notice their eyes  becoming weaker, their bodies becoming stiffer and their reaction time becoming slower. There are some tips to help them deal with the changes.

 

Stay physically active. This will improve your strength and flexibility so that you can turn the steering wheel easier and look over your shoulder when necessary.

 

Schedule regular hearing and vision tests. Hearing and vision decline has we age so it is important to have a yearly appointment to monitor your health. Hearing is important so that you have the ability to hear an emergency vehicle or train. Eye conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma or macular degeneration can also make it difficult to see when driving and it can become even more difficult at night.

 

Manage your chronic conditions. You may want to adjust your driving if you suffer from diabetes or seizures so that you stay safe behind the wheel. It is also important to be cautious of any medications that may cause drowsiness or dizziness that could affect your driving.

 

Understand your limitations. You may find it difficult to hold or turn the steering wheel due to arthritis. An occupational therapist could offer assistance to help you drive through exercises or assistive devices. You might also consider a car that is easier to get into or one that has larger dials on the dashboard for easier reading.

 

Drive under optimal conditions.  Drive on clear days in good weather. If weather is bad or the visibility is poor, you might consider delaying your trip to another day.

 

Plan ahead. Look up the route to your destination ahead of time so you are not fumbling with a map or looking for directions. Focus on the road and avoid using the cell phone or eating.

 

Update your driving skills. Some insurance companies offer discounts for safe driving courses. Look for courses at a community center or senior center.

 

Acorn provides screened and vetted in home care givers.

Our clients have dementia, Alzheimer’s, ALS and other similar conditions.

Call us if you have any questions.

We serve Chapel Hill, Carrboro and other nearby locations.

 

by Sheri Chandler

Filed in: News

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