You may have heard the story about a 100 year old man who recently ran his car into 11 different people-9 of which were children. If you’re like most of us, this news story prompted a lot of thoughts about how to determine when someone is too old to continue driving. Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to something like this. Each individual ages a bit differently and someone unfit to drive at age 65 because of advanced Alzheimer’s disease will definitely be in a different profile than a very sharp 85 year old.
If you have an elderly loved one that is starting to have difficulties driving, there are choices available that can help them. One of the most basic responses to this loss of independence is living in an assisted living facility. This might seem like an extreme response; why would you take away someone’s freedom if you didn’t absolutely need to? The answer to this question lies in the fact that assisted living is one of the most misunderstood aspects of senior care. Assisted living does not hinder someone’s independence in the least, but rather enhances their daily lives.
So how does this relate back to the elderly driver problem? Well, in assisted living, transportation is generally provided for the individual. If they need to go to the store to get some supplies or they have a doctor’s appointment, the facility that they live within will generally provide a ride for them. This instantly alleviates the problem of having to take away the keys from mom or dad. They won’t need to drive because all of their rides will be provided for them.
Some senior citizens may balk at the prospect of residing within an assisted living facility. Luckily, this misconception goes away quickly. The majority of elderly adults find that they enjoy the camaraderie that is created within such a facility. It is a lot easier to meet and socialize with friends in this atmosphere. All of their needs are also provided for them. No longer is it necessary to spend hours cooking and preparing meals every day-these are all provided for you. Also, a lot of household chores are performed by the staff members within a facility. The responsibilities of living on your own disappear here and are replaced with a more relaxed and fun vibe. This is all accomplished within the safety net of 24 hour supervision by a trained staff-just in case an emergency were to arise.
If you have doubts about assisted living, it is important to get the facts before you move in. Find out if transportation is provided. Find out about access to activities. These things are offered by the most reputable homes, so make sure the homes you are looking for have them.
Matthew G. Young is a freelance writer who specializes in financial, sports, and health-related topics. To learn more about assisted living visit Paradise Gardens