Driving is an important part of some older drivers’ independence. They may not be able to get around as easily as they used to, but they still have their car and they still want to get out as frequently as they can. However, as most drivers know, driving at night is a lot more challenging than driving during the day. It can be more stressful and much more dangerous, especially if they are driving at night while their vision is already compromised by age-related conditions like macular degeneration or cataracts. This would a time when home care services should be considered.
How Night Driving May Affect a Senior’s Vision
As we age, our eyes’ lenses tend to become more yellowed and lose elasticity, making it harder for light to pass through and reach the retina, the part of the eye responsible for sending visual signals to the brain. This can delay the process of adapting to darkness, which makes driving at night a lot more challenging.
In addition to this, macular degeneration and cataracts can make it more difficult for older drivers to identify hazards or pedestrians. Macular degeneration is a condition in which the macula, the part of the retina responsible for detailed vision, begins to deteriorate. Macular degeneration can make it more difficult for drivers to distinguish between colors and identify objects, read street signs, or distinguish between pedestrians and other objects.
Cataracts, which are the clouding of the lens, can also make it more difficult to identify objects on the road or to see street signs. In fact, cataracts can actually cause a driver to misjudge the distance between their vehicle and an object on the road.
While age-related conditions like macular degeneration and cataracts may make it more difficult for older drivers to drive at night, there are ways to make driving at night safer for seniors.
How to Make Driving at Night Safer for Seniors
It’s crucial that older drivers take steps to protect themselves from the risks of night driving. Here are some tips that can make driving at night safer for seniors:
- Consider getting bifocals. Bifocals have a separate prescription for reading, which can make it easier to read street signs and navigate at night.
- Avoid using high beam headlights. High beams are too bright and can make it more difficult to identify hazards on the road.
- Make sure your senior’s car is in good shape. Make sure your headlights and taillights are working, and that their brakes are in good shape.
- Consider using a home care driving service. Night driving services can help your senior get to and from places like restaurants or the doctor at night.
Consider Hiring Home Care Services
The most important thing you can do is communicate with your loved one. Let them know that you are concerned about their driving. Find out if they are aware of their driving problems.
If you are concerned about the safety of your loved one, you should talk to a home care professional to decide what their next step should be. Our home care driving services can keep your senior safe! Give us a call today!
If you or a loved one are considering Home Care Services in Monroeville PA, please call and talk to the caring staff at Extended Family Care of Pittsburgh at (412) 693-6009. We will answer all of your questions.
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