Driving is a Sensitive Senior Issue

by Lois Etienne on October 15, 2012

in Caregiver Support,Lifestyle,Senior Health and Safety

Driving is one of the most sensitive of senior issues. But there’s good news and support for older adults who want to extend their days behind the wheel.

AAA has launched a senior safety and mobility Website, www.AAASeniors.com. It includes content and resources based on extensive research, provides families of older drivers with valuable information related to senior mobility challenges and tools to help extend safe driving.

One of the things it addresses is…if we’re considering health, what should we be looking for in a car for safety? Because everyone ages differently, AAA recommends mature drivers look for vehicles with features that address their specific needs and health issues. Some of the recommendations included in the Smart Features for Mature Drivers plan include:

  • Drivers suffering from hip or leg pain, decreased leg strength or limited knee range of motion should look for vehicles with six-way adjustable power seats and seat heights that come between the driver’s mid-thigh and lower buttocks. Both of these features can make it easier for drivers to enter and exit a vehicle.
  • Drivers with arthritic hands, painful or stiff fingers or diminished fine motor skills would benefit from four-door models, thick steering wheels, keyless entry and ignition, power mirrors and seats, and larger dashboard controls with buttons.
  • Drivers with diminished vision or problems with low contrast sensitivity will find helpful vehicles with extendable sun visors, large audio and climate controls and displays with contrasting text.

So many things to think about but it’s nice to have resources for ideas. Be safe, help your loved to be safe, start the conversation. Home Instead Senior Care has a program called the 40-70 Rule that can help you begin conversations with seniors about sensitive subjects such as driving. Visit www.4070talk.com.

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