One of the concerns older adults often have after having a stroke is losing their independence. One factor of independence is the ability to drive, which can be a problem after a stroke because of damage to the brain. When a person has a stroke, whether they lose their license depends on the state their in. In fact, in most cases a doctor cannot report a stroke to officials because of confidentiality laws. They can make an exception if they believe allowing the person to drive might endanger public safety, such as a bus driver returning to work after a stroke. However, the decision to return to driving is usually left up to the individual and their family members.
After a stroke, the doctor will likely perform some tests to see if the older adult is still capable of driving. An occupational therapist may also be able to provide some insight into their ability to drive. If you are still concerned about your aging family member’s ability to drive following a stroke, watch for signs that they may be unsafe. Some warning signs include:
- Driving at the wrong speed for the conditions, either too fast or too slow.
- Getting lost easily, especially in areas they are familiar with.
- Not paying attention to traffic signals or signs.
- Passengers need to give them instructions.
- Having or nearly having an accident.
- Misjudges distances.
- Gets frustrated or confused easily.
If you’re still not sure, or if the senior resists your suggestion that they not drive, consider having them get a Driving Evaluation from a professional organization.
Keeping Independence Without Driving
If the older adult is not able to drive, that doesn’t mean they have to give up all their independence. There are lots of other options for getting around. Check into public transportation and local driving services for seniors.
Another way to help older adults keep their independence after having a stroke is to hire a senior care provider. A senior care provider can assist them with many of the things that can be difficult to manage after a stroke, including driving them to the places they need to go. Sometimes, having a senior care provider can be the difference between an older adult being able to remain in their home or having to live with a relative or in a facility. Senior care providers can help by keeping the house clean, cooking, doing laundry, and reminding the person to take their medication.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering senior care in Washington Township, NJ, please contact the caring staff at TLC Home Care Services today. Call (856) 234-8700 for more information.
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