Functional Problems IADL’s and Senior Driving.
Why are we talking about this?
Many of your present older GCM or senior agency clients and their families experience difficulties with driving.
If you know about driving as a functional problem how will this knowledge positively impact the work that you do, as a geriatric care manager or aging professional
1. Know what to expect
2. Help families plan ahead
3. Know specific resources that can provide
4. Help you expand their repertoire of
responses to driving problems
5. Further position you as a GCM or aging professional expert
6. Help families expand their repertoire of
responses aging parental driving decline.
The GCM or aging professional can help families with issues around problems with an older driver
As I said in yesterday’s blog, older drivers are a bigger and more dangerous issue.
Many older drivers have been driving longer than their physician has been practicing. It is a rite of passage in out American culture (like a bar mitzvah)
But there is no rite of passage to take it away.
The older population has relied on being able to drive themselves through most of their lives. This is reflected in the growing rates of person’s age 65 and older who are licensed drivers.
When we take away an older person’s license it creates many problems that the GCM or aging professional needs to solve in their care plan.
There is little public transportation in many areas, especially rural areas. A significant segment of this population is aging in places where alternative modes of transportation, such as buses and walking, are not available. Many older drivers still do not know about Senior Transportation available through the older Americans Act
What the GCM or senior professional faces is there is no midlife transition model for adult children to anticipate taking parents license away
Adult children see their “Internal Parent” (parent when they were young- not present dangerous driving parent – so are afraid to take license away). The GCM’s job is to help the adult child speak to the elderly parent who lives in the here and now and help them understand why they may have problems continuing to drive.
What do older drivers get stopped for? They get tickets for
missing stop signs, and failure to yield, Younger drivers areticketed for speeding
Older drivers have more functional problems that include vision, hearing, sensation, and cognitive and motor abilities that diminish with age
The danger to society from dangerous older from drivers according, to the Center for Disease Control are serious. There is an increased crash rate per mile for older drivers. The decline in peripheral vision may affect the ability to pass approaching vehicles safely. They have a decreased range of motion in an older person’s neck may impair the ability to look behind when backing up. Finally their reaction time decreases by almost 40 percent on average from age 35 to 65.