Find Transportation Help For Seniors Diagnosed With Dementia
In a study conducted by the Conference Board of Canada reported on by the Toronto Star in October 2016, some startling numbers emerged on the transportation gap facing many seniors in the country and in the GTA. Left with few alternatives like adequate public transit, especially in underserved and suburban communities, a high percentage of seniors continue to drive, even long after it’s unsafe to do so. The report found that 68% of older adults between 65 and 74 drove as their primary means of transportation, while nearly a third relied on their cars over the age of 85. A full 17% of seniors diagnosed with Alzheimer’s continue to drive; not only is it dangerous to both the driver and community, it can lead to a sudden and difficult struggle when they are forced to give up their driver’s license.
As many Alzheimer’s experts can attest, being prepared is the best coping strategy for the life changes that affect people suffering from dementia, as sudden changes, especially those that lead to decreased independence, can be hard to accept. When your older parent or loved one is diagnosed, it’s important to have a conversation about how you, as a family, will cope, and prepare them for things like giving up their driver’s license and increasingly relying on home health care for support.
However, as the report in the Star outlined, the real issue is a lack of alternatives; once you’ve discussed when your loved one will give up their driver’s license, you have to determine how they are going to get around. Toronto-based home senior care agency Mavencare offers transportation services, in addition to home, nursing, palliative, and dementia care, which includes not only driving seniors to their appointments and errands but also helping them once they arrive at their destination and ensure they arrive home safely. Isolation is a major mental health concern amongst people with dementia or limited mobility, and it’s important that they be able to continue to run errands, go shopping, and make it to medical appointments for as long as they can. If you have an older parent with Alzheimer’s who still drives, find out how a caregiver can help with all their needs, including transportation, at Mavencare.com/Toronto.
The Mayo Clinic suggests that it’s time for those with dementia to give up driving when they begin to:
- Experience difficulty finding their way, especially when it’s to a familiar destination
- Experience road rage or confusion
- Miss stop signs and traffic lights
- Struggle to stay in their lane
- Feel uncomfortable or unsafe themselves when they get behind the wheel
- And mix up the brake and gas pedals.
If you have observed your loved one display any of these behaviors while they are behind the wheel of a car, it’s time to consider finding an alternative transportation method, such as transportation support from a home care agency like Mavencare. Driving can be dangerous when a person begins to experience the symptoms of a neurodegenerative disease; get them off the road without isolating them with the help of a transportation service for seniors.