April 11, 2012 // Franchising.com // A rash of recent, fatal car crashes with senior citizens driving has brought attention to a graying population packing our roadways. By 2030, more than 70 million Americans will be 65 or older and at least 90 percent of them will be licensed to drive. That’s why Senior Helpers, one of the largest in-home senior care companies with offices in your city, wants to raise awareness during April’s National Distracted Driving Awareness Month – by giving families a Senior Helpers Safe Driving Checklist.
“When elders can no longer drive, they may start to feel trapped and out of control of their lives,” says Peter Ross, CEO and co-founder of Senior Helpers. “We encourage families to monitor their elderly loved ones with our Senior Helpers Safe Driving Checklist. If they notice problems, they can hire a caregiver to drive their loved one. The caregiver is not only the driver but also an extra set of eyes and ears at doctor’s appointments or grocery store visits. Plus, caregivers are great companions who keep seniors social and active.”
Annette of Huntsville, Alabama hired a caregiver after her 78-year-old mother tried to drive herself to the doctor and got lost in the parking lot.
“My mother is a very independent woman but she’s not as mentally sharp as she used to be. It took her getting lost for me to realize that we needed to hire someone to help drive her around,” says Annette. “It’s hard for me to take off work to take her to doctor’s appointments but I didn’t feel comfortable telling her she couldn’t drive anymore. Instead, I hired a caregiver to drive her around, five days a week, so she could still feel socially independent. Not only do I have a peace of mind, but my mother really enjoys their company.”
“Driving tests can miss the onset of diseases like Alzheimer’s that affect judgment, understanding and memory which can cause accidents on the road,” says Ross. If it’s time to take the keys away, adult children should reassure their elderly parents they can still see friends and be involved in activities even if they can’t drive. If you hire a caregiver as a driver, it can ease some of the tension when you take the keys away from Mom or Dad.”
Sources: Smart Motorist, American Automobile Association (AAA), National Safety Council, The Christian Post, CBS Boston, CBS Los Angeles
Senior Helpers connects professional caregivers with seniors who wish to live at home as opposed to a nursing or assisted living facility. The company has nearly 300 franchises in 40 states and one Canadian province offering a wide range of personal and companion care services to assist seniors living independently with a strong focus on quality of life for the client and peace of mind for their families. Senior Helpers strives to be the leading companion and personal care provider that offers dependable, consistent and affordable home care. For more information, please visit: http://www.seniorhelpers.com/