One of the more difficult aspects of being a family caregiver to an older adult is talking to them about when it is time to stop driving. Perhaps you’ve noticed that your mom’s car has some unexplained scratches or dents on it. Or, maybe you’ve taken a ride with her and noticed she seems hesitant or drives too fast or slow. If you’re considering talking to your mom about her giving up driving, winter can be a good time to do that, and here are five reasons why.
1. Winter Roads Can Be Treacherous.
Winter weather can make road conditions less than perfect. The snow and ice make them slippery and hard to navigate. An older adult with slower reaction time may be at an even greater risk for a car accident when the road conditions are poor. Even a drive into town on quiet roads could result in your mom sliding into a ditch or being unable to stop at an intersection. Being transported by caregivers and public transportation services is a much safer option.
2. Walking to the Car Can be Dangerous.
If your mom is still driving her own car, that means she’s probably walking out to it alone. In the winter, driveways can be covered in slippery ice. Even if her house has an attached garage, at some point, she’s going to have to walk across a parking lot that could be icy. However, if they are driven by a caregiver, they have someone to help them walk safely into the building.
3. Getting Rid of the Car Saves Money.
Winter also brings the holiday season, a time when we all spend extra money on gifts, cards, and holiday meals. If your mom stops driving, she no longer has all the expenses associated with owning a car. No more paying for car insurance, car repairs, gas, or registration fees. Although public transportation may cost some money, it will still be far less than the expense of a car.
4. Getting Stranded in the Winter is Dangerous.
If your mom does get into a car accident or if her car breaks down, the cold of winter makes the situation even more dangerous. Older adults are at a higher risk for hypothermia because their bodies don’t adapt to cold weather as easily. They may also lose body heat faster or be unaware of how cold they are getting.
5. She Can Stop Getting into a Cold Car.
On cold days, your mom has to go out to the car to warm it up. That means she’s exposing herself to cold temperatures for longer than necessary. But, when she rides with caregivers or uses public transportation, she gets into a toasty warm vehicle instead.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring caregiver services in Cranford, NJ, call the caring staff at Helping Hands Home Care today at 908-418-4299. Providing Home Care Services in all of Northern and Central NJ, including Clark, Westfield, Cranford, Scotch Plains, Rahway, Linden, Summit, Edison, Elizabeth, Mountainside and the surrounding areas.
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