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Warning Signs for When an Aging Adult Should Stop Driving

Do you have an aging mom or dad who still drives themselves around town? If you’ve observed some erratic driving patterns and wonder if your elderly parent should still be operating a motor vehicle, you owe it to your loved one as well as the community to get them off the road. There is no age limit to how long Americans can drive, so unless family members step in, many seniors continue to drive well past the point when they should.

Elder Care in Sebastopol CA: Signs an Aging Adult Should Stop Driving

Elder Care in Sebastopol CA: Signs an Aging Adult Should Stop Driving

All too often, aging adults reach the point where their physical limitations affect their ability to drive but they may be reluctant to hang up their keys. As they are losing so many other abilities in their life, it can be extremely hard for them to add driving to the list. It’s up to their family members, elder care providers, friends, and neighbors to assess whether or not they should still be on the road.

Why Should Seniors Stop Driving?

Elderly drivers are more likely to get into a car accident as they age. Seniors at a higher risk are usually dealing with health issues that affect their strength, stamina, reflexes, and senses. There are many physical conditions that can affect their ability to drive, such as arthritis, poor vision, poor hearing, stiff muscles, loss of flexibility, muscle spasms, diabetes, seizures, and chronic pain.

The older they get, the more distractions seniors may have while driving, and they don’t even realize it. Seniors may constantly fiddle with cell phones, hearing aids, cigarettes, and food as they drive, which is very dangerous. Mental and cognitive issues may also play into poor driving, from daydreaming and medication side effects to mild dementia. While some seniors are perfectly capable of driving well into their later years, there are many who are no longer safe on the road.

Alternate Forms of Transportation.

It’s always difficult for aging adults to give up driving as it is the ultimate form of independence. Without being able to drive themselves, aging adults have to rely on the kindness of friends and family members. However, those people are not always able to commit to taking the aging adult somewhere. Many resourceful families hire elder care providers to assist their aging relative on a daily basis, including transportation.

Elder care providers are professionals with training and experience in helping seniors who have physical or cognitive challenges and can no longer do things to remain independent. They can help with laundry, housekeeping, meal preparation, laundry, and pet care. They can help get seniors in and out of bed and dressed each morning as well. Above all, they can drive aging adults wherever they need to go—dentist and doctor appointments, the pharmacy, grocery store, community events, and much more. Family caregivers won’t have to worry about their elderly relative hurting themselves or others due to their lack of driving skills.

If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Sebastopol, CA, call At Your Service Home Care.  Call today! (707) 573-1003

Lucy Andrews DNP, RN, MS

In 1988, after working as a clinical nurse in the University Health System at UC San Francisco, Lucy Andrews started understanding home care.

She became a discharge planner and immediately fell in love with the concept of home care and the autonomous clinical practice it affords nurses. Dr. Lucy was hooked and has been a strong supporter of home care ever since.Believing people need advocates in healthcare systems, she has championed that cause across the acute care and post-acute care setting.

Dr. Lucy has worked in every aspect of home care from Medicare Certified, DME, Infusion, Hospice and finally Private Duty/Private Pay services. She also works as a home care consultant across the country and as a legal nurse consultant for the home care industry.

Having worked in all areas of home care, Dr. Lucy has a well-rounded perspective of the challenges facing patients, families and the home care industry, and as a provider she advocates for patients through the maze of health care services. Dr. Lucy celebrated over 37 years as a nurse and patient advocate.

Dr. Lucy has a Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing from Lewis University, Romeoville, Illinois.In 1994, she received her Masters of Science in Health Service Administration from St. Mary's University, Moraga, California. Dr. Lucy received her Doctor of Nursing Practice awarded in 2016, graduating with Distinction and a 4.0 GPA.

She did her doctoral work on the global dementia crisis, aging and prevention strategies for healthy living. Developed dementia and Alzheimer's disease plans for aging patients leaving the hospital setting or entering long-term care or home health and hospice environments. She also developed a specialized program for those at risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

In 1992, Dr. Lucy was designated CAHSAH Certified Home Care Administrator in the inaugural offering of this designation through the California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH).

She is the founder and CEO of Creative Solutions Home Care Consulting Services and At Your Service Nursing & Home Care, a concierge nursing & home care agency that provides the services she believes are essential for seniors to age in place.She offers a higher level of care allowing people to be in their own homes with an emphasis on independence, safety, and quality of life.

Dr. Lucy is the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) and sits on the Board of Directors for California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH).

She has served on the boards for both state and national board associations, and is currently on the following boards and committees: Board of Directors, California State Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH), 2002-present, National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC's) Private Duty Home Care Association Director, and multiple state and national home care committees.

Dr. Lucy goes to Washington, DC, several times a year to advocate for senior services and home care issues. She was past Commissioner for the Sonoma Commission on Human Rights.She is past chair of the local Senior Advocacy Services.