Elderly Health Care: When is it Time to Stop Driving?

One of the most painful aspects of aging is when the time comes that you need to stop the normal activities that you usually engage in. One of the first things that have to go is driving.

Aging and Driving
When you grow older, changes occur in your reflexes, vision, and hearing. All these changes can make it a challenge for you to drive safely.

– When you age, your vision becomes weaker. It’s harder for you to read road signs and see other things on the road.
– And your reduced hearing may prevent you from an important honking of screaming.
– The reflexes also get slower. Your slower reflexes will not allow you to act quickly enough to prevent a road accident from happening. Other than these, the weak muscles and stiff joints also make it a struggle to look behind while you’re backing up.

Signs of Trouble with Driving
Unfortunately, there is no set age when a person should stop driving. Some people need to stop driving at the age of 65 while others can go on driving until they’re 80. It’s different for every person, depending on personal circumstances and health condition.

Often, it’s up to the person when it’s time to stop driving. Some signs that may tell you it’s time to do is when the following circumstances arise:

• You are often honked at.
• You get confused with the pedals.
• You feel fear or anxiety whenever you drive.
• You find it a struggle to stay in your lane.
• Your loved ones start to worry about your driving.
• You have difficulty reading traffic signs and signals.
• You often get lost even on what used to be familiar routes.
• You often have accidents, even if they are only minor ones.
• It seems like people, cars, and bikes appear out of nowhere.
• You often get close calls on collision or accidents with other cars.
• You find it difficult to move your foot between the brake and gas pedals.

Plan Ahead
If you do decide to stop driving, you need to prepare yourself for the upcoming situations, as you know it would a little more difficult for you to move around. For one, you can ask family and friends for help. You can also practice using public transportation. Try to use a bus a few times before you completely stop using your car. This will make you comfortable about the idea of commuting.

Another option would be to use taxis. Yes, this option sounds expensive but if you compute the amount that you pay for when you have your own car like gas, insurance, and maintenance, the difference isn’t that big. You can inquire with the local senior center regarding transit options. There are some areas that offer cheaper bus or taxi service for senior citizens.

When you stop driving, you don’t have to get rid of your car right away. It can make you feel better to know that it’s still with you in case you need it. You can also ask for help from your family like if you want to be driven to some place.

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