For some caregivers, co-piloting feels like the answer to their elderly loved one’s driving woes. That can work for some people, but there are situations in which it might not be the best answer.
Reaction Time Is Deceptive
One of the reasons that your loved one might be less safe as a driver can lead back to reaction time. This is the amount of time between when your loved one realizes that she needs to react to something and when she actually does react. As your loved one’s co-pilot in the car, there’s not only her reaction time to contend with, but also yours. This can actually be a hindrance.
Co-piloting Can Translate as Nagging
If you’ve ever driven with a backseat driver anywhere in the car, you already know how this can go badly for everyone. You’re there to provide help and because you’re concerned about your loved one’s safety, but that can actually translate to your loved one as nagging while she’s driving. For some people, this can make them even more nervous behind the wheel, creating big problems in terms of safety.
Find Alternatives to Your Loved One Driving
When you’re really concerned about your loved one’s driving, you need to start looking for other options. Some of those can include driving her yourself, asking family members to drive, and having items and services delivered to your loved one. You might also want to consider hiring elder care providers to drive for your loved one, especially during the week when most other people in your family tend to be busy.
Avoid Limiting Your Loved One’s Travel
One situation that you want to avoid is deliberately limiting how much your loved one goes out or whether she’s able to see people. Even doing this accidentally can lead to isolation, which can be very damaging for your loved one. Work out a schedule for your loved one that allows her to still have freedom and companionship but keeps her safe in terms of driving.
Always monitor and adjust what’s working for your loved one and what isn’t. Few plans are written in stone and the more flexible you can be, the better those plans serve your loved one.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering elder care in Old City, PA, please contact the caring staff at Assisting Hands of Central Philadelphia. 215-274-0900.