When Should Older Adults Surrender Their Driver’s License and How to Maintain Independence Without It
For older adults, having a driver’s license allows them to attend doctor visits, run errands, and visit friends without having to rely on others or dealing with the rigors of taking the bus or subway. At the same time, the aging process can increase your risks behind the wheel. As Bronx & Westchester Medicaid & nursing home attorneys, we regularly address these types of issues with our clients and help them find solutions to the problem. The following highlights some signs it may be time to surrender your driver’s license and how you can maintain your independence without it.
Signs It Is Time to Stop Driving
Many people prove to be capable drivers well into their 80s or even 90s. However, there is no denying that the older you get, the more likely you are to suffer certain impairments which could make you dangerous behind the wheel.
Reduced vision, slower reflexes, a loss of strength, and memory lapses can all combine to make car accidents more likely to happen. Similarly, medications you are taking or medical conditions you suffer from could also increase your risks. In determining whether it is time for older adults to quit driving, Everyday Health recommends being alert for the following signs:
- You find yourself stopping at green lights or places where there are no stop signs;
- You find yourself getting confused by traffic signs and signals on the road;
- You have run a red light on accident on more than one occasion;
- You have gotten lost driving home or in other familiar areas;
- Your family or friends have expressed concern over your driving abilities;
- You have had a near-miss, a fender bender, or been responsible for a more serious car accident.
In some cases, you may be able to reduce your risks by limiting your driver to certain distances or only during daylight. In others, the safest course of action may be to surrender your driver’s license completely. Speaking with your doctor as well as family can help you make the right decision.
Maintaining Your Independence Without A Driver’s License
For most older adults, the biggest reason for not wanting to give up driving is the fear of losing their independence. Planning ahead can help you handle this change. Aging in place is a common goal among our older adult clients. This sometimes means moving from a larger home to a smaller one or living with others. When making these plans, give some thought to your transportation needs. Options include:
- Living near a bus line;
- Relying on friends or family members;
- Using Uber, Lyft, or other ridesharing services;
- Taking advantage of transportation services provided through Medicaid.
Contact Us Today for Help
Medicaid planning plays an important role in ensuring you are provided for as you get older. To discuss this and other options available which can help, reach out to Cavallo & Cavallo. To request a consultation in our office, call or contact our New York Medicaid planning attorneys online today.