One of the best ways that you can help your aging family member to continue driving is to modify the vehicle she uses in order to accommodate some of her difficulties.
Hand controls are after-market solutions that enable your senior to operate the gas and brake pedals by hand. They’re usually mounted on or very close to the steering wheel so that your senior doesn’t have to let go of the wheel to use the controls. These can take some extra attention for your senior, especially at first. Practice makes perfect with these new types of controls.
Moving the seat too close to the steering wheel can create safety issues, but your senior may suddenly find it difficult to reach the pedals easily. This is when options like pedal extensions come in handy. They allow your aging family member to keep the seat adjusted to a safe distance from the wheel while being able to operate the gas and brake safely.
Losing height or simply losing visibility might mean that your elderly family member needs a little extra lift in the driver’s seat. Cushions designed specifically for this purpose give her just the right lift while still being safe for her to sit on. If she has mobility issues, she can even find one that twists, enabling her to enter and exit the car much more easily.
If steering has become too difficult for your senior to do on her own, spinner knobs and other types of steering adaptors can help. These mount to the steering wheel and require far less energy and movement to cause the car to turn. Like other types of hand controls, this may require some extra practice for your senior.
Wheelchairs can be difficult to use with a vehicle, especially if your aging adult often drives alone. Cars and SUVs can be modified so that your senior is able to continue to sit in her wheelchair and still access driving functions. This is often a more expensive modification that can take some time for an after-market company to make.
It’s also a good idea to have another option available in reserve for your aging adult. Hiring elder care providers and keeping a list of other family members available can both work as backups to your senior driving for herself.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering elder care in Palo Alto, CA, please contact the caring staff at Bay Area Home Care. Call today 650-938-4031.