For most people, driving is viewed as a symbol independence and freedom. Taking away that privilege can be a frightening thought. However, seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia will need to find different modes of transportation at some point in time.
In many cases, caregivers wait until a loved one is lost or is involved in an accident before taking their driving privileges away. There are several signs that caregivers can look for before their loved one is hurt or harms others.
The following are telltale signs that mean your loved one should not be driving any longer:
- They are not driving at the legal speed limits
- They ignore traffic signals
- They become involved in minor fender benders
- They get lost in familiar places
- They cause others to have concerns about their driving
If you believe that your loved one should stop driving, they may need some encouragement to come to terms with their actions and behaviors. Acknowledge their feelings and be understanding with their disappointment. Help them try new modes of transportation, such as taking the bus or train. Focus on the positive aspects of not driving, such as saving money on gas and insurance, as well as having less stress when dealing with traffic.
While studies show that there is no difference in the accident rate between a person who has Alzheimer’s for two years (after the initial diagnosis) and a person who does not, the accident rate increases as the disease progresses.
For more information about our philosophy of care at our Hampton assisted living facility, contact us at (770) 824-3385.