ComForcare is committed to helping seniors and their families make smart, safe, and healthy lifestyle choices. As part of this effort, we have been sharing safe driving tips with our fans on Facebook. Recently, we posted a message discussing the varying driving rules for older adults, a topic that has caught headlines as of late. With a higher number of older drivers on the road than ever before, a clear set of rules would be nice – but that is definitely not the case.
Varying State Standards
Thirty states plus Washington D.C. have some sort of requirement for driver’s licenses for older adults, ranging from an uptick in vision testing to making seniors renew their licenses more frequently. But, each state boasts a different set of rules, making it confusing and disorganized. Maryland, for example, starts eye exams at 40, while shorter license renewals begin anywhere from age 59 in Georgia to 85 in Texas.
Some experts say the reason for the inconsistency is because age doesn’t kill people, health issues do. You can be 40 and considered an unfit driver, while a healthy 90 year old could still be passing driving tests with flying colors. The important thing to remember is that seniors may not always know when they should stop driving, and it is our responsibility to pay attention.
According to reports, about 60 percent of seniors voluntarily cut back on driving as they age, but how do we approach this subject with our aging parents or loved ones who are not so quick to hand over their keys?
Be sensitive to their feelings. Remember that parents don’t typically appreciate the role reversal, with their children suddenly making the rules. Put yourself in their shoes and tread carefully. Do not make it confrontational, but rather honest and open. Make it about safety and your concern for them and others.
Pay attention to their health. If your older loved one has experienced a loss of eyesight or hearing, limited mobility or has a dementia-related illness, this are conditions that can greatly affect their ability to drive properly and safely.
Get a second opinion. If your loved one just will not listen, encourage them to talk to his or her physician, a close friend or other relative. If you are seriously concerned and you know that your parent or loved one should not be on the road, consider contacting the Department of Motor Vehicles in your area and ask about revoking a license.
Don’t strip them of their independence. If you have come to the agreement that your parent will no longer be driving, be sure to introduce other forms of transportation so they can still run errands and get around. This may be public transportation or you can offer to drive them around once a week. Home care services like ComForcare also offer transportation services for seniors. A home care provider can help drive seniors to appointments, the pharmacy, the grocery store, or even to the hairdresser. Home care transportation services can be scheduled on a reoccurring basis or on a one-time or as-needed basis.
By partnering with your parents and having an open and honest discussion about their driving safety, you can help ensure they continue to live a long, happy, and healthy life. If you are interested in learning more about ComForcare home care services or elderly care services such as transportation assistance, contact your local senior services office today.
About ComForcare Home Care
ComForcare is a premier provider of private-duty home care services to people of all ages with offices conveniently located nationwide. We can help make life easier for those coping with a chronic medical condition, recovering from an illness or injury, or dealing with the challenges of aging – in the comfort of their own homes. In addition to helping clients maintain prescription medication compliance, we offer elderly care services including personal care, homemaking, transportation, companionship and family respite services to improve the quality of life and level of independence for every individual and family receiving our services. Each ComForcare office is independently owned and operated.
ComForcare Home Care
2510 Telegraph Road, Suite 100
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48302