Senior health woes cover a lot of territory. Certainly losing your ability to drive because of poor eyesight, poor hearing, poor night vision, slow reaction time and a host of other problems is not anything to look forward too. Senior health plans like Medicare Advantage or a Medicare Supplemental Insurance plan can’t fix night blindness. That’s because night blindness can’t really be fixed. So, maybe you’ll just drive in the daytime? Then, wouldn’t you know it depth perception rears its ugly head. Senior Health Moment has some signs to look for to see if it might be time to give up the keys:
•More dents and scratches on the car than before. Make a count now and check next month. Did you have more?
•Tickets or warnings
•Getting lost around town. Getting honked a lot? Probably not your looks.
USA Today has some very interesting facts about mature drivers. Fatality rates begin to climb after age 65. From ages 75-84, the rate of about three deaths per 100 million driven is equal to the death rate of teenaged drivers. For drivers 85 and older, the fatality rate skyrockets to nearly four times higher than teens. The U.S. Census Bureau projects there will be 9.6 million people 85 and older by 2030, up 73% from today. By 2030 it is predicted that 25% of fatal crashes will the responsibility of those 65 and older up from 11% in 2005. Here are some more facts from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). “Traffic Safety Fact- 5,288 people age 65 and older were killed in 2009, and 187,000 were injured in traffic crashes. These older individuals made up 16% of all traffic fatalities and 8% or all people injured in traffic crashes during the year. OK, so now I think we have pretty well established that Miss Daisy had a good idea when she found someone to drive her around. Not all of us can afford to do that for our loved ones. Liberty Mutual offers a guide for talking to the people you love about their driving.
• Take a ride with Grandma and observe her driving. •Look into alternate transportation solutions •Listen to your family members’ concerns about not driving
•Highlight you concern for their safety and the safety of others
•Suggest a driving evaluation from a professional driving teacher
•Always be respectful.