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Thanksgiving; Family, Food...and Mom's Driving!

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Three tips to help gauge mom's safe driving skills while home for the holidays

ROCHESTER, Mich. - EntSun -- (Detroit, MI)  Going home for the holidays remains a time of togetherness and thankfulness, but it's also an opportunity to observe your aging parents to determine if their physical and cognitive skills are still sufficient for safe driving.  Following are three tips to help you gauge your loved one's safe driving abilities during your next trip home:

Has your parent fallen in the past year?

Recent research has established a definite correlation between falls and older driver crash involvement.  According to an article published by the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, older adults that have fallen two or more times in the previous year are twice as likely to be involved in an at-fault car crash.

Are your parents physically active?

A 2014 study by The Hartford Center for Mature Market Excellence and the MIT Age Lab looked at drivers who exercised for 15-20 minutes daily.  The study participants reported greater ease in turning their heads to look in blind spots when changing lanes or backing up, compared with a similar group that did not exercise.  The exercise group could also rotate their bodies easily to scan the road when making right-hand turns compared with non-exercisers.

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How is your loved one's memory holding up?

When we discuss age-related diminished driving skills in older adults, we tend to focus on the physical attributes of safe driving (vision, reflexes, strength, flexibility, hearing, etc.), and may overlook the crucial role memory plays in keeping older drivers safe.

Older drivers that get lost may become confused and distracted by their unnerving circumstances.  As they find themselves unaware of their surroundings, they are likely to develop a strong case of tunnel vision.  The older driver may unknowingly morph into a state of confusion, frustration and fear.  They lose their ability to focus on the physical act of driving and instead, concentrate on getting themselves back to familiar surroundings.

When the older driver's ability to focus on driving becomes overwhelmed by their desire to re-orient themselves, tragedy may strike.


Use your trip home this holiday season as a time to re-unite with family and friends, but also to make sure your parents' physical and cognitive skills are still conducive to safe driving.  Contact www.accordantcaresenioradvising.com for help with older driver safety intervention.

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This article was authored by Matt Gurwell, founder of Keeping Us Safe, LLC, a national organization

that provides common-sense solutions to older drivers and their concerned families.

To learn more about Keeping Us Safe, visit

Keeping Us Safe at
https://www.keepingussafe.org (https://www.keepingussafe.org/)

AccordantCare Senior Advising
(248) 929-5700

Source: Keeping Us Safe, LLC
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