It isn’t unusual at all for seniors to be in denial about changes that mean driving is more difficult to do. The key is for you and your elderly family member to find solutions that help her to get where she needs to go as safely as possible.
She’s Limiting Her Own Driving
Very often seniors may limit their own driving, by only driving at certain times of day or under specific conditions. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but if she hasn’t talked to you about it, she may be avoiding the conversation as much as possible. That’s a form of denial and it can keep you from finding solutions together.
She’s Getting Lost in Places that Are Familiar
Driving may have been easy for your senior to do for a long time, but now she might find that even familiar locations aren’t easy to maneuver. If that’s happening more often, there may be reasons. Sometimes it’s due to anxiety rather than anything big, like cognitive changes, but it’s still something that she should address.
The Car Is Looking a Bit Rougher than it Should
Have you looked at your senior’s car recently? If not, it’s probably a good idea to start taking a closer look at it. You need to be on the lookout for changes like new scratches, dents, and dings. These can tell you if your senior might be having small accidents you’re not aware of when she’s out on her own.
Her Health Is Changing in Big Ways
If your aging family member’s health is changing, such as arthritis getting worse or blood sugar levels being more difficult to control, that can have a significant impact on her ability to drive. That doesn’t mean that you or her doctor are necessarily going to prevent her form driving, but it could mean that she needs to look at other possibilities, like letting home care providers drive for a while.
You’re Spotting Cognitive Changes
Cognitive changes have a huge impact on your senior’s ability to do so many things, including driving. Those changes may also contribute to her being in denial about some of the activities that are more difficult for her now, however. Talk to your senior’s doctor as soon as you or she suspect cognitive changes. An early assessment helps her to get the assistance and treatment that she may need.
Regardless of what’s causing your senior to have more difficulty with driving, home care providers can help. Knowing that elder care providers can take over the driving can give your senior the help that she needs to hang up her keys if now is the right time.