Older adults and those who love them need to recognize that driving skills change as we age. Taking an honest look at how older adults’ driving has changed can allow us to incorporate some protective factors for mobile seniors. Every senior has a unique driving context, but there are some common challenges experienced by all.
After the age of 70, individuals are more likely to have fatal car crashes due to decreased vision, sluggish reflexes, and impaired hearing. Even if you’ve had a perfect driving record for your entire life, the effects of aging may compromise your ability to drive safely. Recognizing this as a reality is a very important first step. After you’ve recognized some of the inevitable risk factors associated with aging and driving, it’s now time to take some preventative steps to be sure you stay safe on the road.
Schedule yearly physical, eye, and hearing appointments. It’s important to always keep your annual appointments with doctors. If there is something that requires treatment it is better to have that information sooner rather than later. If you have a chronic or acute medical condition that prevents full range of motion, a physical therapist can work with you on finding aids that could help you stay mobile.
If driving is something that is no longer an option for you, there are many other ways of getting around. Link up with a local carpool or shuttle service. Walking and bike riding are other options that can help you stay mobile and fit at the same time.