Stop parents from driving - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Stop parents from driving

To continue to drive, seniors and their families need to monitor their response time, vision and hearing.  © iStockphoto.com/Yulia Saponova To continue to drive, seniors and their families need to monitor their response time, vision and hearing. © iStockphoto.com/Yulia Saponova
  • About Home Health Corporation of AmericaAbout Home Health Corporation of AmericaMore>>

  • Who Are We?

    Who Are We?

    Home Health Corporation of America ("HHCA") began over 25 years ago in Broomall, Pennsylvania, and since that time the company has grown to include 21 branch offices in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and Florida.More
    Home Health Corporation of America ("HHCA") began over 25 years ago in Broomall, Pennsylvania, as a single home health agency known as Pennsylvania Home Health Services. Since that time, the company has grown to include 21 branch offices in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and Florida.More
  • Serving Our Communities

    Serving Our Communities

    We are committed to providing the best home health care to its patients by clinicians who excel in their field. In the provision of home health care, we are dedicated to maintaining the highest standards of quality. More
    Home Health Corporation of America is committed to providing the best home health care to its patients by clinicians who excel in their field. In the provision of home health care, we are dedicated to maintaining the highest standards of quality. More
  • Trusted Home Health Care Professionals – Your Peace of Mind

    Trusted Home Health Care Professionals – Your Peace of Mind

    With expertise and compassion, the highly skilled professionals at HHCA provide home health care services that allow you or your loved one to remain as independent as possible. More
    Home Health Corporation of America understands the importance of maintaining the highest levels of security and comfort in your home. With expertise and compassion, the highly skilled professionals at HHCA provide home health care services that allow you or your loved one to remain as independent as possible. More
  • Home Health Care ServicesHome Health Care ServicesMore>>

  • Cardiac Services

    Cardiac Services

    In order to provide complete clinical expertise to patients with Cardiovascular Disease, HHCA clinicians are updated with the most recent information and management techniques through continuing education. More
    In order to provide complete clinical expertise to patients with Cardiovascular Disease, Home Health Corporation of America clinicians are updated with the most recent information and management techniques through ongoing in-services and continuing education. More
  • Diabetic Services

    Diabetic Services

    With a clear understanding that diabetes is more difficult to manage than other chronic illnesses, our clinicians educate their patients and caregivers to help achieve balance in their lifestyles.More
    With a clear understanding that diabetes is more difficult to manage than other chronic illnesses, our clinicians educate their patients and caregivers on monitoring procedures, achieving balance in their lifestyles and utilizing various community resources.More
  • Pulmonary Services

    Pulmonary Services

    HHCA has assembled a team of health care professionals led by registered nurses to ensure that the needs of our Pulmonary Disease patients are met. More
    HHCA has assembled a team of health care professionals led by registered nurses to ensure that the needs of our Pulmonary Disease patients are met. Clinical personnel at HHCA enhance their field expertise by attending ongoing in-service and continuing education programs.More
By Luigi Fraschini

You can have a lot of awkward moments with your parents -- sitting with them at an R-rated movie, listening to them describe your first wife to your second wife, walking in on intimate moment. 

But one of the most awkward moments is the day you tell one of your parents they can't drive any more. 

Should Your Parents Stop Driving?

Since driving means freedom to so many of us, the inability to drive can be devastating. Many older people are still competent drivers, but the normal process of aging can hamper driving ability, as can the medications that many elderly people take.

Statistics quoted by Foremost Insurance show that drivers over 75 are at the same risk for an accident as teenage and young adult drivers -- the 16- to 24-year-old age group. Just as with teenagers, though, only a portion of the population of older drivers are dangerous behind the wheel. Many others have very safe records. They use seat belts, and they don't speed, drive recklessly or get behind the wheel after drinking. These older drivers may restrict their driving to daytime, and avoid bad weather and rush hour traffic. But many others would be much safer if they ceased driving forever.

Driving Behavior Tip-offs

If you have an elderly parent (or two), how do you know what to do? How do you decide on the best time is to take away the keys?

One good first step is to observe how they drive. A trip to the store or any other routine trip is a good opportunity to check out their driving. Initial indicators of driving skill problems may become apparent even before you get in the car. Scrapes, dents or scratches on the car or on items in the garage where the car is parked are indicators that all is not as it should be.

Other indicators that there may be trouble ahead are behaviors observed while in the car. Habits like riding the brake, getting distracted easily from the road ahead or confused about what to do at an intersection or signaling incorrectly are clear signs that driving ability is becoming impaired. While on the routine trip, watch out for instances of poor parking skills, hitting the curb or becoming confused with directions, signals or signs. Indicators that call for immediate attention are things like running red lights, getting lost in familiar places or confusing the gas and brake pedal.

Health Affects Driving Ability

Observing how a family member drives is the most important part of this process, but it's also important to keep tabs on their health. To continue to drive, seniors and their families need to monitor their response time, vision and hearing. They -- or the children involved in this driving privileges decision -- also need to talk with their doctor about the medications they take and whether those medications will affect their driving ability.

Here are some questions you might ask regarding your loved ones' health as it affects driving ability: Do they have a regular vision checkup and keep their corrective lenses prescriptions current? Do they seem to have trouble hearing, and if so, have they had their hearing checked? Do they need hearing aids but refuse, for reasons of frugality or vanity, to get them? Do they have memory problems?

Having the Driving "Talk"

Once you decide that persuading your loved one to quit driving is the right course, you'll have to have "The Talk." 

Find an opening. A discussion about a recent accident that was in the news or a discussion of stressful driving conditions may give a lead in to a discussion about driving capabilities. A spouse, an adult child or the family doctor is usually the best person to start the conversation. Most people would rather hear from a family member about concerns on their driving. The last person they want to hear it from is a police officer. You might be surprised to learn that your parent might actually be relieved about giving up the responsibility of driving …a s long as they feel they can still be mobile.   

Copyright (c) 2010 Studio One Networks. All rights reserved.

Luigi Fraschini riving Today Contributing Editor Luigi Fraschini writes frequently on automotive safety issues. He has an 84-year-old mother who still drives.

*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
Powered by WorldNow

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service