Drivers older than 65 are statistically among the safest drivers on the road, although they are more likely to be seriously injured if they are involved in a traffic accident.
Many seniors have medical conditions that make driving difficult or unsafe or make riding in a car uncomfortable.
There are more older drivers today than there ever has been before. Fortunately, there are also more assistive technologies and vehicle modifications available than ever before, as well.
- Steering wheel covers for seniors with arthritic hands can increase comfort and improve grip.
- Steering wheel knobs or other modifications make one-handed steering possible or make the wheel easier to turn.
- Seat cushions can support the upper body, reduce back or hip pain, or improve visibility.
- Specially designed mirrors can minimize blind spots for seniors who have trouble turning their necks.
- Pedal extensions can enable seniors with short legs to better reach the brake or accelerator.
- Left-foot or hand-controlled accelerators offer alternatives for seniors with poor right leg strength or function.
- Seat belt extensions make it easier to fasten the seat belt for those with limited mobility.
- Key extenders or push-button ignition offer alternatives for seniors who can’t twist a key easily.
- Adapters exist for easier operation of turn signals, headlights, windshield wipers and other important features.
- Sliding or swiveling seats allow seniors to get in and out of the car more easily
Occupation Therapy Driving Rehab Specialists Can Help
Elin Schold Davis, the project coordinator for the American Occupational Therapy Association’s Older Driver Initiative, is motivated to keep seniors on the road and driving independently for as long as they safely can do so. She strongly cautions seniors considering purchasing any adaptive device that affects vehicle movement (such as a steering wheel knob or pedal extender) to work with an occupational therapist driving rehab specialist.
“Equipment should be appropriate for the person, appropriate for their medical condition or their challenge, and people deserve the opportunity to be trained in how to use it,” Schold Davis said. Talk to the doctor, or reach out to the American Occupational Therapy Association or the Association for Driver Rehabilitation Specialists to locate a therapist.
Senior Care Offers Transportation Assistance
When seniors choose to stop driving, senior care services can step in and help with transportation needs quite nicely. Whether the older adult needs to get to an appointment, the grocery store, movie theatre, or just out for a country drive, senior care aides can provide transportation and as much or little assistance as needed from there.
Depending on their needs and preferences, the senior care aide can help them get ready for an appointment in their own house, load a walker or wheelchair into the vehicle, and accompany them throughout the duration of their outing. Senior care aides can even assist with personal care, mobility, or other needs while they are out and about, and many seniors find that senior care aides are very helpful companions to bring along to the grocery store! They can read labels, reach items, carry bags, and offer pleasant companionship to boot! Give the senior care agency a call with questions or to set up a senior care aide for transportation support.
If you or an aging loved one is considering hiring Elderly Care in San Diego, CA, or the surrounding area, please contact the caring staff at Love 2 Live Care. Call Today 1-619-291-4663