Senior Living Insurance: Elderly Safety on the Road

Senior Living Insurance Elderly Safety on the RoadSenior Living Insurance: Elderly Safety on the Road

There have been many debates in recent years, based on stories of elderly people getting into collisions and accidents as well as studies done pertaining to reaction times, on whether or not seniors should be required to stop driving at a certain age. The problem with this is, there are many seniors who are completely able bodied, minus a few ailments; perhaps an arthritic knee, or muscle stiffness. The fact is, seniors are entering community care retirement centers and other assisted living facilities while they are still healthy enough to drive. Rather than focusing on whether or not they should, it could be helpful to instead encourage their safety and suggest adaptations for residents to make their driving experiences safer for them and others on the road.

As we discussed in a blog post last year, elderly drivers have stated that they were open to discussions about adapting to their changing capabilities or giving up driving all together with their medical providers. For those elderly individuals in CCRCs or assisted living facilities, this could be a task assigned to your staff. So if you are concerned with your senior residents’ safety on the road but they still feel confident in their driving abilities and have no restrictions on their license, what are some suggestions you can share with them?

Hand Controls. Much like the controls used for individuals who have a disability, hand controls in vehicles could be helpful for seniors as well; many of whom may have knee, foot, or leg injuries or illness that makes it uncomfortable for them to drive.

Cushions. Ailments such as chronic back or hip pain can be very distracting to a senior while driving, let alone any adult. A doctor-prescribed back cushion can make a huge difference in comfort while on the road, especially if it allows the senior to be in a more comfortable, ergonomic position.

Back-up camera. Many of today’s vehicle’s offer this feature. These cameras allow the driver to see directly behind their vehicle, even in areas that may normally be blind spots. While this should not be a supplement for seniors with poor vision, it could certainly be helpful to those seniors who suffer from any type of muscle stiffness or arthritis by eliminating the need to twist their bodies or crane their necks in order to see a full 180 view behind the vehicle.

When it comes time for a senior to give up driving, it can be a sensitive topic. However, it’s important that if your facility offers alternative transportation, that you make your residents aware of this. Knowing they have other options and can still maintain a good amount of their independence may soften the blow a bit if they are told they may no longer drive.

We created the DigniCARE insurance and risk management program specifically for the senior living industry, which encompasses innovative solutions for assisted living facilities, independent living facilities, nursing homes, and Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC). To learn more call (855) 883-6306.

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