How To Deal With Concerns About Older Drivers
It can be very important for older people to maintain their independence and keep driving, but there may be a time when you need to consider whether this is the right course of action and whether there is any risk to your loved one or other people. Even if there is no need for them to stop driving, concerns about older drivers may mean there comes a time when your loved one needs help to keep them on the road and abiding by the law.
As your family member or friend gets older, there are many ways that you could consider to help them out when it comes to driving. These could range from assisting them to get enrolled in the nationwide Blue Badge scheme to helping them to make sure that their vehicle is safe to be on the road.
How Driving Can Be Affected by Age
Unfortunately, concerns about older drivers can be justified as a result of age-related experiences and conditions. These concerns may arise as a result of issues with their eyesight or hearing, general age-related tiredness or the effect of other medical conditions. Hearing and eyesight will often deteriorate as people get older, whilst conditions such as diabetes or dementia can often have a major impact on safe driving.
Tips for Older Drivers
Driving can obviously be invaluable for older people who want to maintain their independence, and there are steps that can be taken to remove the need to stop getting behind the wheel altogether. These include making sure that the vehicle is the right choice for the driver and consider making use of vehicle adaptations, ensuring that older people can understand and make use of satellite navigation systems and are enrolled in the Blue Badge scheme.
Blue Badges Explained
People with a disability may be able to park nearer to their destination if they are displaying a Blue Badge. This disabled permit can be used in a vehicle whether the older person is being driven or driving themselves. They are eligible for a badge if they are registered blind or receive certain benefits. There is also the opportunity to apply if they do not meet these criteria but can show that a need exists.
A disabled person or older drivers who meet the criteria can apply for the badge, or a friend, family member or carer can do it on their behalf. This can be done online, by post or by telephone, and the badge can be renewed by post or online.
Talking About Driving
It can be difficult to talk through concerns about older drivers, but it is essential to maintain safety, and there are alternatives such as taxis, public transport or even cycling. Approach the conversation sensitively but with conviction, and do not allow your concerns to be brushed away. If your relative or friend refuses to listen or talk through your concerns, you should report your worries to the DVLA. You can do this online, but this should only be done as a last resort if the older person will not engage with you or someone else about the issues involved.