Older drivers are regarded to be some of the safest drivers, as they always wear their seat belts and drive without intentional impairment. However, with aging comes physical and cognitive changes, medications, and health conditions beyond our control that can compromise one’s ability to drive safely. Making regular assessments of the driving ability in aged adults are important to guarantee their safety and that of their loved ones and community. Here are some factors that make driving challenging or even dangerous for aged adults.
Limited Mobility, Strength, and Coordination
Driving is not physically demanding, but minor limitations like joint pain and stiffness, muscle weakness, and arthritis can impair one’s ability to control and maneuver the vehicle. For example, checking blind spots and looking behind may be affected by these afflictions. Having slower reaction times accompanied by physical difficulties as a result of a sedentary lifestyle may pose danger risks.
Loss of Hearing and Vision
Sight and sound naturally weaken with age. Eye conditions like glaucoma and cataracts can cause vision problems, which is one of the greatest limitations a driver could face. Hearing loss is also a factor as it will make it harder for aged adults to hear sirens, horns, or even noises emitted by their own vehicle due to mechanical issues.
It is not advisable to drive if an aged adult has been diagnosed with certain medical conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s. Cognitive issues can make it hard for drivers to concentrate, make speedy decisions, and navigate unfamiliar routes, increasing the likelihood of accidents or getting lost. The driving ability of an aged adult in the early stages of dementia may appear to be functioning smoothly, but it is not worth taking the risk. If a loved one has a medical condition that is affecting their ability to drive safely, such concerns should be taken to their healthcare provider.
Side Effects from Medications
Prescription medications are for treating different conditions and achieving specific outcomes within the body. Unfortunately, there are also potential side effects that come with the benefits. Medications do not affect everyone in the same manner. Aged adults, in particular, are prone to adverse and disruptive side effects like drowsiness, slowed movement and reaction time, blurry vision, drowsiness, fainting, and inability to concentrate, all of which will impair one’s ability to drive. These side effects are typically associated with medications like sleeping pills, cold and allergy medication, narcotic pain medication, antidepressants, and tranquilizers.
Lead an Enriching Life with Discovery Village At Naples
Even if your aged loved one is no longer able to drive, they can still lead independent and enriching lives at our senior living community, Discovery Village At Naples. We offer plenty of excellent amenities, activities, and lifestyle programs catered to cultivating health and wellness, and opportunities for socialization, personal growth, and relaxation. If you have any questions about our senior living options or would like to take a tour of our community, our team will be more than happy to assist you and your loved one.