For elderly Americans, the ability to drive is one of the key traits in maintaining one’s independence. It allows one to go to the store for groceries and supplies, to build or maintain friendships and social interaction, or to seek out medical care when necessary. So, when deciding whether to have your elderly parent’s license revoked, you should bear that in mind and make the decision cautiously.
What factors should I be considering?
The first thing to look at is their physical and mental condition. Do they have any vision issues? How about their physical ability or activity level? Do they have any diseases that may affect their ability to navigate or to remember where they are in relation to their destination? If they are on medications, what sort of side effects do they experience? A vision problem may be serious, but it may also be easily corrected, so speak with an ophthalmologist or optometrist to find out the available options. Driving is a physical activity so it requires that drivers have a certain level of strength and physical dexterity in order to do so safely. If your parent lacks that strength or dexterity, talk with him or her about implementing a workout regimen.
How can I assess their driving fitness?
To assess your parent’s driving fitness, go out for a drive with them. Obviously, you want to let them drive; then, as they’re doing so, take mental notes of their ability and decision making. You should also check their vehicle for dents and scrapes, but do so discreetly.
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