Seniors and driving: when it’s time to give up or NOT to renew your license
For many seniors, the prospect of not driving is of great concern, but giving up your driver’s license doesn’t mean giving up your independence!
Time to hand back the license
Many of our Residents here at The Manor Village at Scottsdale have driven for most of their lives. However, many of them realized that the time had come when driving was no longer enjoyable or practical. They found it daunting to drive at night, and took back roads to avoid driving freeways as often as possible. They also found maneuvering a car in the city difficult, unable to park in smaller parking spots, and concerned in busy rush hour traffic. Often, their car would sit on the driveway for days on end, unused, but still costing them considerable amounts of money for registration, tax, insurance, maintenance, and gas.
The majority of our Residents didn’t want to give up their car and the chance to go shopping to favorite stores, pop out for lunch with a friend or two, go to church, etc. So, at The Manor Village Scottsdale, we have our own transportation services that enable Residents to enjoy all the best aspects of driving, without actually driving themselves!
Group transportation for Residents
Our team of expert drivers, known as Transportation Coordinators, take our Residents out and about daily for shopping trips, lunch outings, and special trips to events such as the theater and concerts. They especially enjoy our popular Sunday drives with Ben, to enjoy the beauty of Arizona’s natural landscape, or tour the elegant neighborhoods.
Most of all Residents say they love the enjoyment of being out on the road, in good company, and with an experienced driver at the wheel. They don’t have to worry about parking, and they certainly don’t have to worry about the cost of taxing, insuring, and maintaining our comfortable Manor Village vehicles with fuel – we take care of all that!
Individual transportation for Residents
At The Manor Village at Scottsdale, we also offer individual transportation. This ensures our Residents can travel to and from important medical or personal appointments without having to share vehicles or take public transport. Our Residents with more limited mobility much appreciate this door-to-door service.
Safety and senior driving
Many family members and adult children are relieved to discover at The Manor Village, their parents or senior relatives can still enjoy the same independence of travel without their car, as they did when they were driving. Sadly, in the US, drivers age 70 or more, experience more motor vehicle fatalities than any other driver demographic, with the exception of the under 20s. Aging parents or relatives may not notice the gradual decline in their driving abilities, and a conversation with them discussing their continued suitability to drive can be very awkward.
Warning signs that aging relatives should stop driving
A senior’s awareness of their limited driving ability often starts when they no longer wish to drive at night. As a family member or adult child, this could be a way into a discussion of how your senior relative(s) will now need to plan transportation, and perhaps have somebody else to assist them. Once senior parents and relatives get used to the idea of not driving at night, and become accustomed to looking at other transport options, the conversation about not driving during the day, i.e. not driving it all, becomes a lot easier.
Other signs that they may no longer be as safe driving as they used to be include: appearing anxious or nervous when driving avoiding major highways failure to stop at stop signs or red lights driving too fast or too slowly in speed limited areas difficulty in turning their neck taking specific medications reflexes have slowed down vision has become more impaired
You should also keep an eye out for any unexplained dents in the car, paint scrapes on the garage, or on entry and exit to their property. Equally, take time to ask the neighbors if they had noticed any unusual driving activity, or if they have any concerns.
Ask a physician
If you do have concerns, you might wish to discuss this with your relative’s physician. A physician will be able to test your senior relative’s vision, hearing and reflexes, and help in the discussion of how age-related health issues may affect their driving.
Another tactic is to remind seniors (gently) of how their driving may impact on the safety of others. Sadly, driving fatalities involving seniors do include pedestrians hit by senior drivers who were out of control.
Revoking a license
As a last resort, you can contact the MVD and request their license be revoked, but this is a very drastic step if you have not paved the way beforehand with some discussion.
For more details on our range of transportation and other services at The Manor Village at Scottsdale, call us to arrange your personalized visit.