When the Elderly Drive


Seniors can extend their years of driving...  

  • Ask a member of your family to observe your driving.  Concerned family members are often reluctant to bring up the subject, for fear of offending.  
  • Have your eyes and hearing examined to improve your driving ability.
  • While you are still able to drive, look at transportation alternatives, and make occasional use of them.    
    • Bus transportation.  (Learn about fares, routes, how transfers work, and practice getting to various destinations by bus to build up confidence.)
    • Taxi cabs.  (The eventual sale of your car can help pay taxi bills.)  
    • Three-wheeled cycles can transport you outdoors for short distances.  
    • Locate grocery stores that are willing to deliver.  
    • Consider family, friends and neighbors who would be willing to provide transportation.  
  • Purchase an umbrella insurance policy, to reduce the chance of losing your savings to a lawsuit in the event of an unforeseen accident.

Helping the Elderly

How do you know when it's time for your loved one to limit or stop driving?  Itís a tough subject for most families, but it's a serious matter. 

  • Now there's help. AARP offers a free online seminar called "We Need to Talk" that will help you determine how to assess your loved onesí driving skills and provide tools to help you have this important conversation.  And since it's online, you can set your own pace. 
    http://www.aarp.org/home-garden/transportation/we_need_to_talk/

  • Observe the driving skills of elderly family members.  The AARP recommends you note if elderly drivers are
    • easily distracted while driving
    • hitting curbs
    • having trouble merging
    • using poor judgment making left turns
    • failing to follow traffic signs and signals
    • being overly cautious or slow (which is also dangerous)
    • using medications which can impair ability to drive  
  • Request the DMV send out a notice for a driverís license re-test.  Some states will do so immediately, while others wait until the renewal date. 
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