Your elderly family member most likely wants to continue driving for as long as she possibly can, but that can be impossible if she can’t see well enough to drive. Talk to your senior about whether she’s experiencing any of these situations as she’s driving. From there you can sort through possible solutions.
Street Signs Are Difficult to Read
One of the most important parts of driving is knowing what the street signs are saying. If your senior can see the signs but has trouble distinguishing what they say, that is a big problem. Similarly, your elderly family member may not be able to distinguish facial features of the people on the sidewalk. These are indications that her vision is a significant hindrance to her driving.
Lane Markers, Curbs, and Other Items Are Invisible at Dusk
Dusk and dawn are both times in which people with difficulty seeing tend to have even more difficulty. The lighting is just different enough from daylight that it can play tricks with your senior’s eyes. Items that may be easy for her to see during the day such as curbs, other vehicles, and other obstacles may seem almost hidden at dusk or dawn.
Night Glare Makes Driving Difficult
Full darkness has its own problems for someone with diminished vision. The glare from headlights, streetlights, and even moonlight can create blind spots for your elderly family member. This makes driving at night extremely hazardous since she can’t determine where exactly she’s going.
She’s Wearing Old Glasses Instead of the Current Prescription
It’s not unusual for people who wear glasses to keep an old pair around, just in case. But the problem with wearing those old glasses is that the prescription is almost always woefully out of date. If you’ve noticed that your elderly family member is wearing an old pair of glasses because her current prescription lenses are damaged or missing, she may not be able to see well enough to drive.
If your elderly family member identifies with one or more of these situations, it’s time for her to at least temporarily hand over the keys. Find another transportation answer, such as having senior care providers available to drive for her.
Excerpt: While you may have some ideas about whether your senior’s vision is strong enough for her to be able to drive safely, she may have other ideas. Here are some ways that she can identify for herself that she’s got some vision problems.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Homecare in Garden City, NY, please contact the caring staff at Family First Home Companions.
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Jennifer has specialized training in Alzheimer’s disease through the Long Island Alzheimer’s Association and the Long Island Alzheimer’s Foundation.She also volunteered her time with the Alzheimer's Disease Assistance Center of Long Island for 3 years by providing cognitive stimulation to an Alzheimer’s patient group.
Jennifer educates the community about elder care and speaks to caregiver support groups, senior centers, and at professional organizations.Topics include home safety, effective strategies for family caregiving, elder care planning, and awareness about elder abuse.
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