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Elderly Care and Driving Privileges in Overland Park

A growing trend in elderly care Overland Park is restricting driving privileges for aging seniors. The number of elderly drivers is large and continues to grow. There are almost 33 million licensed drivers in the United States who are over age 65 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Nearly 5,500 adult drivers age 65 and older die each year in vehicle crashes.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), elderly drivers are more likely to become involved in fatal accidents than other age groups. This has more to do with an elderly driver experiencing medical problems than it does with declining driving skills. Diminishing reflexes, changes in eyesight, cognitive and memory loss issues, and side effects of prescription medicines, all may affect one’s ability to operate a motor vehicle safely.

Good news: Research also reveals that senior drivers are likely to adjust their driving style as they grow older. Example: It’s not uncommon for aging motorists to reduce or avoid driving during inclement weather, or limit night driving.

The Kansas Division of Vehicles (DOV)
The state of Kansas has specific requirements and restrictions regarding elderly care in Overland Park. Drivers age 70 and older are required to renew their licenses in person, must submit to a vision test, take a written test, and accept requests to conduct an unsafe driver investigation. Drivers age 65 and older must renew in person every four years; those under 65 must renew every six years. A road test is required only if there are indications of driver impairment.

Taking a Hard Line
The ability to keep driving can help seniors retain their independence and stay connected to the community. But sometimes the decision must be made to stop or restrict an older adult from continuing to drive. Making the decision to take away this personal freedom can be challenging and there is no easy answer for how to do it. However, a high priority of elderly care is to keep seniors safe, so the difficult decision to restrict or take away driving privileges must be addressed.

Alternatives and Options
Elderly drivers can compensate for some of the age-related changes. Many aging drivers, rather than being in denial, are aware of their physical shortcomings. They realize that strength, reach and dexterity could be declining as they age, limiting their abilities to drive safely. Using one’s common sense regarding elderly care and driving safety is a factor.

7 Tips from The Mayo Clinic for elderly care: 

  • Stay physically active
  • Schedule regular vision and hearing tests
  • Manage chronic conditions — especially those that might impact driving skills
  • Understand the driver’s limitations
  • Drive when the road — and the driver — are in good condition
  • Stash the cellphone and focus on the road
  • Update driving skills with a refresher course for older drivers

Adult children tasked with elderly care of a parent and their driving habits must bite the bullet and have that conversation. Be supportive, help your mother or father be realistic. If you want help with elderly care Overland Park we at Home Care Assistance are here for you. To speak with a Care Manager, call 913-663-5000.