Alzheimer’s Care: When Driving Becomes Dangerous
In the United States, a driver’s license means freedom. This unfortunate fact means your parents may fight and struggle against giving up their own. Sadly, there will come a point when allowing them to keep their license is a danger to other drivers. On the plus side, there are a number of transportation efforts these days. This means your parents won’t necessarily be trapped in their own home, or even worse in assisted care. Instead of feeling degraded, they may well feel relief.
How To Know It’s Time
It’s a good idea to keep an eye on your parents as they drive. That way, you’ll be able to look for signs. Here are a few things to watch out for:
- Slowing down more than necessary when attempting to change lanes.
- Getting lost even though they’re driving a familiar route.
- Getting peddles, gears, and other driving actions confused, using the wrong one at the wrong time.
- Getting agitated more easily while driving.
You should also inspect their car regularly. If you see any new scratches or dents, you may consider asking them about what happened. You should also check to see if they’re maintaining the car, ensuring they fill it up regularly and get the oil changed. If they’re forgetting these things, that may be a sign that they can’t properly maintain the vehicle, let alone drive it.
Occupational Therapy Rehabilitation Specialist
If you’re seeing clear, evident signs of driving difficulty, then taking them to a specialist for occupational therapy rehabilitation is the next step. These therapists can more specifically diagnose the troubles your parents are having, and gauge if they should stop driving or simply limit the amount of driving they do. They’re also trained to help teach your parents how to manage and cope with the issues that make driving difficult on them.
Options for Transportation
As stated previously, there are a number of options available for transportation that wasn’t as recently as a few years ago. Having someone else manage their transportation may even allow them more freedom if they’ve been avoiding leaving the house for fear of causing an accident. There are a number of communities that can help, as well as assisted living companies. Houston assisted living or whichever city or town you call home likely has an assisted living program. You might also check to see if there’s any kind of local retirement agency or senior community center that can help. If your family has enough people to manage it, a driving schedule can do wonders. Simply agree to times and days on which someone can drive your parents around. You might also consider checking with neighbors. People make a lot of friends over their lives, it’s no surprise that some of those friends will step up to help in a time of need. If your city has a public transportation system, that can also work well. However, ensure your parents have someone to help them. Keeping the schedules and routes in mind can be taxing for someone with Alzheimer’s.
In Home Assisted Living
Of course, assisted living can do more than just help your parents get around. They can help with many of the daily activities necessary to allow your parents to live on their own. Call or contact Assisting Hands Houston for more information on how we can help! It has always been a goal of ours to promote spreading awareness of Alzheimer’s and the effects it has on your loved ones.