In this day and age most people rely on the ability to drive, I know I certainly do, but as we get older, determining when the right time to stop might be a difficult decision to make. Here at Home Instead Senior Care Telford, Newport and Bridgnorth, we ensure that all our client are in a safe environment so we have come up with some advice for when It comes to making the final decision. There is no legal age at which you must stop driving, but after you turn 70 you have to renew your licence every three years. Noticing the signs in your loved one is very important, these could be; their reactions are increasingly slower then what they used to be, they might find traffic quite stressful, or their eyesight is decreasing gradually. With your eyesight, the law states it is illegal to drive if you can’t read a number plate from a distance of 20.5 metres, and if you need glasses or contact lenses to see this far then you must wear them at all times. Also making sure you see your optician on a regular basis will help as they will be able to spot the early signs of a condition that can affect the ability to drive, such as cataracts, glaucoma and diabetes. There are also certain conditions that the DVLA must be aware of as they can affect your driving, these include; dementia, diabetes if it is insulin related, epilepsy, Parkinson’s, and other chromic neurological conditions such as MS, but you GP will have a full list of conditions that require the driver to contact the DVLA.
Giving up your driving licence can be a difficult time emotionally and can lead to depression and isolation, so being there and showing your care is an essential part to play for your loved one. There are some steps you can take to ease the process, for example you could make a list of names and numbers of friends or relatives that can help out and when they are free, alternatively you could provide a list with the details of buses that will take them to a specific place. Even though this can be a daunting process, supporting your loved one through it is paramount.