When should Seniors stop Driving?

Determining when senior citizens need to stop driving is a case-by-case matter.  Recent cases of senior citizens losing control behind the wheel include:

-An elderly woman drove the wrong way down an interstate

-An 86-year-old man lost control of his car and ran over ten people.

-An elderly man slammed his car into an apartment building.

Jim Grawe with KWCH 12 Eyewitness News in Kansas reports “seniors, and those close to them, need to look for the warning signs”.

Dahlstrom, an AARP representative, lists some Warning Signs that it may be time for a senior to quit driving:

-When they start running into curbs.

-Forgetting where they parked the car.

-Frequently turning in the wrong direction.

-Noticing a lot of dings and scratches on their car.

-Slower reaction times.

-Loss of control behind the wheel.

-Impaired vision.

When these warning signs are apparent, a younger family member or friend should have the difficult conversation with the senior about hanging up their keys for good.  Resistance to stop driving comes more from elderly men than women.  Because nobody likes to be told they cannot drive, it’s recommend that the decision is mutual and that seniors realize it’s time on their own, with tactful guidance from a loved one.

AARP has put out resources on the topic of the elderly driving.  www.SafeDrivingForALifetime.com is a useful website for both loved ones and senior citizens on when driving is no longer appropriate. A

Seminar on this website entitled “We Need to Talk” gives advice and scenarios of the best way to approach the topic with a senior.

There are many seniors who, although in their 70s or 80s, are still driving.  Senior Care of Utah encourages seniors and their loved ones to be mindful of when it may be appropriate to hang up the keys.  Thank you!

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