Welcome to the latest edition of Senior Snippets: the monthly advisory column with the older members of our community in mind brought to you by Bryn Evans, Director of Home Instead Sheffield and Barnsley.
Driving is a great way to remain independent, but as we age is it common that our driving abilities change. By reducing risk factors and incorporating safe driving practises, many of us can continue driving safely long into our senior years.
Home Instead has created a top tip list to help you stay safe on the road:
Remain active- Remaining active improves your strength and flexibility, this can make it easier to turn the driving wheel, look over your shoulder and make other movements whilst driving or parking easier for you.
Have regular sight and hearing tests- Your hearing is very important to remain and look after if you drive on a regular basis, impaired hearing can be a concern for older drivers as it limits the ability to hear an approaching emergency vehicle or train. Good vision is also important, common age-related vision problems can make it difficult to see clearly or drive at night. If you are concerned about your sight or hearing then ask your doctor for advice on how often you could be scheduling these tests.
Understand your limitations- Be aware of your limitations and work with them, vehicles that feature larger, easier to read dials may be more suitable if your eye sight is poor.
Plan your journeys- If you plan your routes beforehand, this will limit the risk of reading a map for directions whilst driving. Using a GPS device is very good idea, you can programme your destination before you start.
Refresh your driving skills- There are refresher courses available for older drivers. Depending on your policy, this might even earn you a discount on your care insurance.
Drive in optimal conditions- By driving in the daytime in good weather and in familiar areas improves driver safety. If the visibility is poor consider taking public transport.
As we age, our driving abilities will inevitably change. By following our safe driving practices like these shown above, you can reduce the risk factors and continue driving safely.
I welcome any suggestions for future topics from you all. All you have to do is write to me at [email protected] or by post to Haywood House, Hydra Business Park, Nether Lane, Ecclesfield, Sheffield, S35 9ZX.