Although many senior citizens value their independence, changes with age can affect a person’s ability to drive safely. Driving may become increasingly challenging over time for you or your loved ones. A person’s ability to drive may also be impacted by changes in their health, such as illnesses or injuries. Our senior care experts share about the various aging-related driving factors as well as warning indications that it might be time to give up driving.
How Can Your Ability To Drive Change With Age?
Your ability to drive may be impacted by common medical conditions and drug side effects. In the opinion of our elderly care experts, some of the changes that can affect driving are:
Stiff Muscles And Joints:
Your muscles may weaken and your joints may get tight as you age. Your ability to drive could be hampered by arthritis, which is prevalent in older persons. These changes may make it more difficult to quickly turn the steering wheel, look behind you, or properly apply the brakes. Consult your doctor if pain, stiffness, or arthritis seem to make it difficult for you to drive. If you have leg problems, you might want to consider getting hand controls for both the brake and gas.
As you age, your hearing may deteriorate, making it more difficult for you to hear horns, sirens, or even sounds from your own vehicle. These sounds serve as a warning when you might need to stop, move aside, or when your car might be having a mechanical problem. After the age of 50, you should have your hearing checked at least once every three years.
As you age, your eyesight may change. It could be more difficult to see objects, people, and movement outside of your immediate field of vision. You might have problems seeing well at night. Headlight glare or streetlight glare might be an issue. Vision issues can also be brought on by some medications, eye conditions like glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration, and other eye illnesses.
Effects Of Medications:
Driving might be dangerous if you feel drowsy, dizzy, or less aware than usual due to the effects of certain medications. Even medications that do not contain a driving warning could have adverse effects.
Slower Reflexes And Reaction Times:
Your reflexes may slow down as you age, and you might not react as swiftly as you once could. Also, it may be challenging to use the foot pedals or steer if your fingers and feet have lost feeling or are tingling.