Being able to drive a car is seen as a sign of responsibility and independence, which is why many seniors do not want to stop driving. According to a 2010 study by Dr. Amanda Adams, up to 76 percent of seniors with early dementia can still drive reasonably well. Unfortunately when dementia progresses, driving can become unsafe for seniors. When Arkansas dementia caregivers notice their loved one’s exhibiting the following signs, it may be time to take away the car keys.
Involved in Car Accidents
Try to keep an eye out for new dents showing up on your elderly loved ones car. It may prove that he or she is bumping into things and either forgetting about it or not mentioning it. If your senior loved one has gotten into one or more car accidents lately, it is probably a sign that his or her reflexes and driving skills are fading.
Gets Frequent Tickets
Statistics indicate that people over the age of 70 who have had more than two tickets for speeding or other violations in the past three years are most likely to get into a serious car wreck. It’s also a good indication that your loved one isn’t paying as much attention behind the wheel of the car and shouldn’t be driving.
Gets Lost Often
Though it does not necessarily mean that your senior loved one’s driving skills are failing, constantly getting lost is still problematic. When your loved one can’t remember where he or she is, it shows that his or her ability to function independently is impaired.
The American Academy of Neurology finds that seniors with dementia who drive less than 60 miles per week do not drive safely. If your loved one is avoiding getting behind the wheel when it is dark or raining, it could be a sign that he or she is aware of his or her limitations.
Has Road Rage
Even if dementia has not impaired your loved one’s driving skills, it can cause detrimental personality changes. Increased irritability can encourage seniors to succumb to road rage and enter dangerous arguments while driving.
When you notice any of the above signs, sit down and talk to your loved one. While he or she may not be willing to hand over the keys, it’s safer for your loved one and other motorists to quit driving. These days, there are other ways your loved one can get around. With help from Arkansas, AK, senior home care providers like Home Care Assistance, seniors with dementia won’t be limited to staying at home. Our reliable caregivers assist seniors with daily activities such as prescription pick-ups, grocery shopping, and even transportation to and from appointments. Call us today at (501) 764-1312 to set up a complimentary consultation with a friendly Care Manager.