Think About Home Care in Seattle WA: New Study Shows Older Drivers Listen to Their Primary Care Physicians
Older drivers who are no longer able to drive safely are often resistant to giving up the car keys. Concerned family and friends are often at a loss to know what to do about this problem, as the senior may not listen to those who are emotionally closest to him/her. The driver may feel that others may mean well, but are over-reacting. Driving incidents are often minimized, rationalized and dismissed.
Fear of loss of independence plays a huge role in senior drivers giving up their license. They often do not realize to what degree they pose a hazard to themselves and other drivers on the road. Concerned individuals would do well to recommend the driver consult with their physician to discuss driving issues.
A recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine indicates that almost half of drivers will listen to their physicians when the doctor recommends they stop driving.
The article, from the September 27, 2012 issue of the NEJM titled, “Physicians’ Warnings for Unfit Drivers and the Risk of Trauma from Road Crashes” cites a study in which over 100,000 patients were warned by their physicians (almost 7,000), to stop driving. The study ran for three years, and the results indicated that there was a 45% decrease in traffic accidents and trauma in this group as compared to the controls.
Older drivers or those who have mental or physical issues can consider enlisting a private, non-medical home care agency to take them to their appointments. Often, patients need someone with them for safety or fall risks, and if it is a doctor’s visit, a home care companion to help understand the doctor’s orders and instructions may enhance patient understanding and compliance.
Non-medical home care agencies are sometimes overlooked in finding alternatives to older driver’s transportation and senior care needs.
Home care agencies can assist in helping older or handicapped individuals get to their destinations for medical care, shopping and other activities, on their schedule. Additionally, personal home care companions can assist in other tasks, such as light housekeeping, laundry, meal preparation and many kinds of personal care. Seniors often feel more secure, knowing someone is there to assist and support them as they go about their daily activities as well.
Helping a senior consult with their physician and meet with a home care agency can help keep seniors safe and independent.
For more information about home care in the Seattle area, contact the caregivers at Andelcare. Fill out our web form or call 425-283-0408.