What should you do when your senior can’t drive anymore?
They are not able to drive a car but still need to go farther from their home than they can walk. They have doctor appointments, groceries to buy, friends and family to visit, etc.
When they no longer feel confident behind the wheel, it doesn’t mean their life should change. If you are not able to be there for them every day, a transportation caregiver is the logical option.
Caregivers who drive a car are a great help. They can assist your older adult throughout the day and take them out when needed.
Here are some tips for hiring a caregiver to drive your senior so you make sure you have chosen a safe and reliable person:
- Ask about their driving experience
- Check their driving record
- Ask hypothetical questions
- Set the rules
- Decide on the car which will be used
Ask About Their Driving Experience
You don’t want an inexperienced driver to take your older adult around the city. Check their driving history and see whether they have driven seniors before.
Let them show you their driver’s licence. Find out if they’ve ever had any violations.
Focus on their experience with adults over 65 years old. Ask about the main challenges they faced when driving a senior. What were the biggest problems and how did they overcome them? Present any possible issues with your senior, and find out how they would solve them.
Check Their Driving Record
After you’ve found all the information you want to know, it won’t be bad to compare it to their Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or similar agency’s record.
Browse through the website of your state’s DMV or give them a call. They can give you various information, such as violations a caregiver had. However, they don’t cover other states, so information will be limited.
Ask Hypothetical Questions
One way to asses a potential caregiver is to ask them hypothetical questions. Prepare the list of questions in advance. For example, you can ask:
- What would the caregiver do if the senior suddenly starts feeling unwell?
- What if the senior wants to skip the appointment at the doctor’s?
- What would he/she do if the senior loses strength and can’t walk to the car?
See what else is important to you and add it to the list.
Set the Rules
An older adult may try to take advantage of your absence and want to go “off road.” Make sure the caregiver knows what the dos and don’ts are.
They may try to visit casinos or night clubs. If they have dementia, they may suddenly want to go to strange places.
Also, establish some rules with the caregiver. For instance, agree that they don’t run their personal errands while driving your older adult or use a phone when behind the wheel.
Decide on the Car Which Will Be Used
See what type of vehicle will be the most suitable for a senior. Perhaps they have their car which a caregiver can use.
A caregiver may even want to use their own vehicle, so ask them questions about it. Check out whether it is safe for the road and convenient enough. It is a good idea to go with the caregiver on a test drive and see them behind the wheel.
Make sure the caregiver is an experienced driver and knows how to react in uncommon situations. Check everything from the list and have peace of mind when your older adult is on the road.
Learn more about the time when seniors should stop driving.
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