There are so many factors that can impact the ability to drive a car safely. Memory, eyesight, physical strength, motor reflexes, and some of these can degrade over time as people age. These fundamental aspects of driving are necessary, and when they’re not there anymore it can mean that it’s time to rethink what independence means for your loved one. All of this is not to mention the ferocious traffic in popular Bay Area communities like Santa Clara, Mountain View and – of course – Palo Alto!
Red flags for senior drivers
The key to making sure that your loved one stays safe is to recognize the warning signs of impaired driving before they become overwhelming. Here are some of the red flags that you should watch out for when it comes to your loved one.
Dings and dents in your aging loved one’s car
Running out of gas
Changes in driving habits
Poor vehicle maintenance
For most families, there’s never a “perfect time” to discuss transportation. Competency behind the wheel is something that slowly degrades over time rather than all at once, and choosing the right time to talk about it is a challenge.
Talking to your loved one well beforehand about the future possibility of their not driving independently is important. Seniors are often reluctant to relinquish their independence because they are so accustomed to doing things on their own. Set out boundaries for what changes trigger the letting go of driving, and of course be sure to have a plan in place with the right supports so that everyday life can continue uninterrupted.
Transportation Services for Seniors
There are several different kinds of transportation service provided by NuevaCare’s in-home care services.
There are so many little things that need to be done in order to keep life going! From picking up prescriptions at a Palo Alto pharmacy to shopping at Draegers in Menlo Park for groceries to dropping off and getting dry cleaning, so much of life involves the use of a car. Our experienced caregivers can drive your loved one to all of these places and assist them in getting the things done that they need to.
The loss of confidence in their ability to negotiate tough traffic situations, to go into doctor’s appointments on their own at Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto or Kaiser Medical Center in Santa Clara, and to cope with the stress of driving in unfamiliar areas can be a big problem. The in-home caregivers from NuevaCare can drive your loved one to their appointments and also assist them in getting in and out of their appointments. Our caregivers can even accompany your loved one into their appointment.
Our transportation services allow seniors to run errand, go to doctor’s appointments, visit with friends and family, or participate in community activities and events. Those social activities that are so important for a rich life don’t have to end when your loved one can no longer drive themselves there.
It’s important to understand what kinds of options are available for your loved one well before the time comes to turn in the driver’s license or to take the keys. With the right support from NuevaCare’s in home professional caregivers, your loved one can still have the chance to get everything done that they need to and have that independence they want.
To learn more about NuevaCare, simply give us a call at 650-396-3596 or start a conversation using the chat box to the right. A highly trained professional from our office will contact you immediately to discuss your specific needs and to set up an free in home assessment.
Palo Alto Factoid
The Summer of Photography will begin with an exhibition by Bay Area artist Kija Lucas, who presents an intimate portrait of her grandmother, a Palo Alto resident, in her exhibition Collections from Sundown at the Palo Alto Art Center, May 27-July 9. Using photographs of notes and collections of personal belongings, Lucas explores the ways in which Alzheimer’s disease has shaped her grandmother’s understanding of the world around her and how that understanding affects those caring for her. The Palo Alto Camera Club will host a free exhibition featuring a wide range of photographic art from their members in the Art Center’s Community Gallery from June 12-July 12. Founded in 1935, and co-sponsored by the City of Palo Alto Division of Arts and Sciences, the club is a group of amateur and professional photographers interested in working together to enhance and broaden their photographic skills and artistic vision. Source: http://www.cityofpaloalto.org/civica/press/display.asp?layout=1&Entry=1546