Navigation Links
Taking Away Car Keys Can Be Tough for Older Drivers

FRIDAY, April 27 (HealthDay News) -- Driving can be a major factor in elderly people's quality of life, affecting their mental health and overall well-being, an expert says.

If an older driver's diminishing abilities behind the wheel are cause for concern, the issue needs to be dealt with compassionately to preserve the person's dignity and keep them and others safe, says Dr. Kavon Young, a geriatric specialist with the Harris County Hospital District in Texas.

"Aging is a process where so many things are lost," Young said in a hospital district news release. "Part of what seniors try to hold onto is their independence -- the independence to make decisions about their health, their future and their driving. To them, driving is more than a way to get from one place to another."

Being forced to hang up the car keys can harm a senior's self-esteem and may trigger depression, anxiety and loneliness, Young said. In some cases, a person may feel isolated and not want to keep up with their medical care.

"A lot of factors ... go into discussing driving with seniors because the goal is to maintain their dignity in the process. These are adults and should be treated as such," said Young, an assistant professor in the division of geriatric and palliative medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

If you're concerned about an elderly loved one's ability to drive safely, have an open and honest talk about driving and safety concerns, Young suggested. Most seniors will limit their driving if they don't feel safe, but some may not be aware of vision and memory deficits, and will not restrict their driving.

Young said signs that an elderly person's driving could be cause for concern include: longer drive times for short distances; not obeying traffic signs; forgetting destinations or locations; hitting curbs; and being angry or anxious when driving.

"Start the discussion early and agree that you won't make a decision based on one particular event," Young said. "Having this agreement will take the pressure off the senior. Sometimes family members or caregivers get upset and decide to stop all driving privileges, which can be traumatic for the senior."

In cases where an elderly person's driving abilities are a concern, you can suggest that they limit drives to short distances; drive only to familiar places; avoid driving at night; avoid driving during bad weather; and make use of a chauffeur list that includes family and friends.

More information

The U.S. National Institute on Aging has more about older drivers.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Harris County Hospital District, news release, April 24, 2012

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Celebrate National Childrens Dental Health Month by Taking Care of Tiny Teeth
2. People with prediabetes not taking adequate precautions to avoid diabetes
3. Binge drinking doesnt affect next-day student test-taking
4. Taking Care of Your 'Girls': A Fun and Open Forum for Young Women Hosted by Abington Memorial Hospital
5. Triple Heart Valve Replacement Saves Local Women's Life at Portneuf Medical Center: Woman Gets a Second Chance at Life After Taking Fen-Phen
6. Taking Flu Drugs While Pregnant Appears to Be Safe: Study
7. Harmony Information Systems to Host Free Webcast: Learn How Vermont and Pennsylvania Are Taking Control of Medicaid Waivers Management
8. A Womans Touch Encourages Financial Risk-Taking
9. Taking the final step from the bench to the hospital or clinic bedside
10. Robin Leedy & Associates Hires Digital Content Producer, Taking Social Media for Drugstore Brands Digital Capability to the Next Level
11. Genetic differences may influence joint pain among women taking lifesaving breast cancer drugs
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Taking Away Car Keys Can Be Tough for Older Drivers 
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... A revolution is underway. ... transport experience for the millions of people who require these medical transport services ... industry through the use of technology. Now, SmartEMS has put forth an industry-changing ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... On June 10-11, 2016, A Forever Recovery, a ... and World’s Longest Breakfast Table in Battle Creek, MI, where the rehabilitation facility is ... to some of the world’s leading providers of cereal and other breakfast foods. Its ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... Charlotte, NC (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... Brent Kasmer, a legally blind ... able to be personalized through a fitness app. The fitness app plans to fix the ... solutions currently only offer a one size fits all type program , They ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, can now turn to Dr. Jessica ... Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. Dorsey brings specialization to include Mohs ... Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was under the direction of Glenn Goldstein, ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... First Choice Emergency Room , the largest ... as the Medical Director of its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. , “We are ... Mesquite location,” said Dr. James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director of First Choice Emergency ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Roche (SIX: ... 510(k) clearance for its Elecsys BRAHMS PCT (procalcitonin) assay ... sepsis or septic shock. With this clearance, Roche is ... a fully integrated solution for sepsis risk assessment and ... with bacterial infection and PCT levels in blood can ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 , ... Thursday, July 7, 2016 , , , , LOCATION: , ... , , , , EXPERT PANELISTS:  , , , Frost ... Industry Analyst, Christi Bird; Senior Industry Analyst, Divyaa Ravishankar and Unmesh ... The global pharmaceutical industry is witnessing an exceptional era. Several ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 The vast ... an outpatient dialysis facility.  Treatments are usually 3 times ... hours per visit, including travel time, equipment preparation and ... patient, but especially grueling for patients who are elderly ... a skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers for some duration ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: