Right after your senior is diagnosed with a cognitive illness like dementia, she might see her entire life changing before her eyes. One of the biggest changes might be whether she’s able to keep driving or not. Is it still possible?
The Vague Answer Is Maybe.
While most people assume that dementia means no more driving at all, that isn’t necessarily true for everyone. If your senior is having some significant memory issues and is not able to cognitively do what she needs to do in order to drive safely, then maybe now is the time to give up the keys. But this is a decision that you can work through together.
Work out a Time to Stop.
Once your senior has a diagnosis, she has a better idea of where she stands and what her immediate future looks like. Together you can determine when you and she no longer feel safe with the idea of her driving. That might be when she has trouble remembering where she’s going or it might be much sooner. If she doesn’t feel comfortable driving, then now is probably the right time.
Keep a Log and Talk with Your Senior.
If she does opt to keep driving, start keeping a log of what you observe and what your senior lets you know about driving. Make it a point to talk with each other regularly about how she’s doing behind the wheel and where her comfort level is. The log can help you to have some data to look back at and compare to what’s going on now.
Update Her Doctor on Her Plans.
Now that you have a plan and a log, keep your senior’s doctor updated on her plans. He can let you both know what else you need to watch out for along the way. When you start to notice new symptoms or you’re not sure what a change in her cognitive abilities means for her driving, her doctor can let you know.
Find out What State Laws Say.
You may also want to determine what state driving laws have to say about this topic. Her doctor can also fill you in, but it doesn’t hurt to do some research, too. Also, consider putting a back-up driver in place now. Home care providers are an excellent choice, for instance, because they can help her with a variety of other tasks besides driving while also making sure she gets where she wants to go.
Driving is a big deal for people of all ages. It’s a sign of independence and the ability to freely go wherever your senior wants to go. When that freedom is in danger, it’s tough to accept that possibility with a happy response.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring professional home care in Homewood, AL, call and talk to the staff at Lipford Home Care (205) 623-5700.
They have three teenage children and are actively involved in their church and community – both teach high school Sunday school while Dennis coaches youth sports and Kelly leads a women’s Bible study. Dennis & Kelly personally manage the daily activities of the company.
It is their passion and commitment to providing quality and responsive service that has made their company the fastest growing home care agency in Birmingham.
They believe that being an independently owned and operated company gives them the flexibility to manage their business in a way that better serves their clients.
They understand you have a choice in care providers and they will do their utmost to earn your trust.