Elder Care in Newport Beach CA
One of the greatest challenges of planning and executing an effective elder care plan for your aging loved ones is facing difficult decisions regarding their independence. Remaining as independent and autonomous as possible is important for elderly adults, but there are some things that are important to their sense of independence that they will no longer be able to do as they get older because they become too dangerous. Knowing when it is time to end these activities is an essential part of keeping your elderly loved ones safe, comfortable, and healthy throughout their aging years.
Of the activities you may need to stop your parents from doing as they get older, driving may be the most pressing. Most adults see driving as their greatest connection to freedom. It allows them to do the things that they need and want to do on their own, and control their schedules without having to ask for help from you or their elderly health care services provider. Unfortunately, driving as they get older can put your aging parents at serious risk.
Some things that you should know about seniors driving include:
• Motor skills and reaction times decrease with age, making it more difficult for them to drive safely and react to the events that occur around them while driving
• Research has shown that seniors are far more likely to be involved in accidents involving multiple vehicles
• Studies show that aging adults are more likely to be involved in accidents at intersections
• Risk of fatality increases dramatically after the age of 75 because their bodies are more vulnerable to serious injury
• Senior citizens account for nearly 20 percent of pedestrian fatalities
• Seniors account for 13 percent of all traffic-related fatalities
There are several reasons why elderly adults tend to have a more difficult time driving safely. If you worry that your parents are dealing with any of the following, it may be time to take their keys and start finding alternatives to them maintaining their driving independence:
• Diminished vision. Eyesight tends to get worse over time, and as older adults deal with slower adjustment to changing light levels, decreased peripheral vision, reduced depth perception, and compromised field of view. This makes it difficult to detect properly perceive everything around them and make correct decisions when reacting to different situations;
• Reaction time. Studies show that older adults have slower reaction time than younger adults. This means that they are less able to respond to dangerous situations such as people stepping in front of their car, accidents, or unsafe drivers;
• Mobility problems. Reduced mobility can make it difficult for elderly adults to perform basic driving tasks such as turning the steering wheel properly, pushing the pedals with the correct amount of pressure, or sitting up enough to see over the dashboard. Sudden stiffness, pain, or immobility can lead to the inability to control the vehicle;
• Memory loss. Cognitive problems such as memory loss and processing issues are extremely dangerous for a senior behind the wheel. These problems can lead to a senior getting confused, lost, or not remembering the basic aspects of driving.
Get in touch with the elder care agency in your area to find out more about senior driving safety and learn ways to help your parents through their inability to drive any longer.
If you or an aging loved one is considering home care in Newport Beach, CA or the surrounding Orange County areas, please call us at 949-535-2211. We provide senior care services in Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Laguna Woods, Laguna Beach, Mission Viejo and surrounding areas of Orange County California. Contact us today to learn more.