Senior drivers are at greater risk of being involved in a traffic accident than any other age group. As we age, there are a lot of natural circumstances that affect our driving that aren’t necessarily Alzheimer’s related. Our reflexes get slower, we lose visual acuity, and our hearing diminishes as we age. So, the topic of driving privileges needs to be the subject of an ongoing conversation with your aging loved one, if you want to keep them safe.
In this Elder Law Minute, Wes Coulson, Southern Illinois Elder Law attorney, discusses another topic covered in The Alzheimer’s Guide: Practical Advice for Families, Caregivers and Professionals and explains the importance handling driving privileges with aging drivers.
Alzheimer’s and Handling Driving Privileges
Hi, I’m Wes Coulson and this is your Elder Law Minute. This is another in our series of videos that are most particularly directed to Alzheimer’s victims and their families. But, this is one that I think is of more general significance and that is a question of handling driving privileges for aging drivers. I’m going to mention that what I’m going to talk about can be found in much greater detail in the chapter in our Alzheimer’s Guide. So, I really invite this to your attention because it’s something that is a very common concern.
Senior drivers are at greater risk of having a wreck, of being killed in a wreck, than basically any other age group. And it’s not just because of the Alzheimer’s. It’s because of other factors: slowing down of reflexes, loss of visual acuity, hearing difficulties as we age. So, it really needs to be the subject of an ongoing conversation.
Maybe an agreement that starts with, “You’re okay to drive now, but what are benchmarks that we want to look at that you will agree are things that mean that we need to start restricting your driving maybe to certain times of day or certain places, and then gradually easing out to not driving.”
There are great self-assessment tools available. You can get a professional assessment to do that. There are tests that you can take of simulated stuff. AAA has a lot of those things available. So, this doesn’t have to be the big difficult conversation that a lot of people need, or believe that it has to be. There are some great strategies you can put in place. You really owe it to yourself to educate yourself on something that could otherwise result in tragedy. Thanks.
For more information on Alzheimer’s Guide Topics, visit these articles
- Can Someone Diagnosed With Alzheimer’s Still Execute Legal Documents?
- Essential Legal Document’s Anyone With Alzheimer’s Needs to Have in Place
- Alzheimer’s and the Powers of Attorney for Property: Why the document’s specific language matters so much
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