Aging adults prefer maintaining their independence by driving. While healthy seniors are perfectly able to safely drive a car, older adults with dementia should consider handing over their car keys. Here are four ways to prevent a senior with dementia from driving.
1. Keep the Keys in a Safe Place
Eliminating access to the keys may prevent a senior with dementia from driving. While you may not want to hide the keys, it may be necessary to keep your loved one and others safe. Once your parent discovers the car keys aren’t where he or she thinks they are, thoughts about driving may fade away. Depending on which type of dementia your loved one has, he or she may not even know what to do with the car keys even if they’re found. For example, some seniors with Alzheimer’s disease can identify car keys, but they may be unable to determine what they’re used for.
Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Edmonton seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to promote cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Home Care Assistance.
2. Explain the Dangers
Seniors who have dementia may still have the cognitive ability to reason and rationalize. By being explained the dangers of driving, your loved one may understand the safety consequences and consider giving up driving in the future. Try to replace your loved one’s urge to drive with other activities such as mild exercise, socialization, pet exposure, nature hikes, and cooking.
3. Relocate the Vehicle
If keeping the car keys in a safe place fails to stop your parent from driving, you may need to relocate the vehicle. When your loved one sees the vehicle, he or she may make an attempt to access the locked car, which could raise the risk for an accident or injury. You may want to relocate the car to the garage. If the relocation has no impact on your parent’s urge to drive, consider selling the car.
After handing over their car keys, seniors may need someone to drive them to important appointments and events. Aging adults who need help around the house, transportation to medical appointments and social events, and assistance with exercise can benefit from having an in-home caregiver. With the help of Home Care Assistance Edmonton, seniors can enjoy greater independence and receive regular mental and social stimulation when relying on a trusted professional who is expertly trained in various aspects of senior care.
4. Monitor Medication Side Effects
Certain medications can cause anxiety and agitation in seniors with dementia, and these side effects often contribute to increased risk-taking behaviors, impulsiveness, and uncooperativeness. If your loved one is determined to drive, make an appointment with the physician. The doctor can determine if the medications are contributing to negative behaviors related to driving insistence. If these behaviors are caused by the worsening of dementia symptoms, effective treatment options can diminish your loved one’s negative behaviors.
Caring for older adults with dementia can be a challenging task. If you’re the primary family caregiver for a senior loved one living in Edmonton, live-in care is available if your loved one’s health has become too difficult to manage without professional expertise. At Home Care Assistance, we take measures to help seniors prevent illness and injury by assisting with exercise and mobility, preparing nutritious meals, helping with bathing and other personal hygiene tasks, and much more. To talk to one of our professional Care Managers, give us a call at (780) 977-7379 today.