Driving can be a scary experience for your senior if her health is changing or she’s losing confidence in some of her skills.
Add in winter variables and that can make driving even more challenging. Try some of these suggestions to keep your elderly family member safe behind the wheel or in the passenger seat.
Keep the Car Maintained
Car maintenance is crucial all year long, but it’s even more essential in winter. If you’re not near your senior, you might want to find out if any mechanics local to her do “house calls” to winterize vehicles and handle maintenance. Otherwise, she may already have a mechanic that she trusts who can give the car a good going over before the weather gets too bad.
Make Weather Checks a Regular Part of Your Day
Depending on where your senior lives, the weather can have a big impact on where she goes and when she’s able to go safely. If you’re not already in the habit, start making weather checks a regular part of every day. Knowing what’s coming in terms of precipitation, fog, and other potential driving hazards are vital. This can also help your senior to determine if staying home or finding another way to go is best.
Stock the Car with Winter Essentials
A winter driving kit might include items like a spare jacket, a blanket, and even portable hand warmers. It should also contain other driving essentials like jumper cables, a jack, and an air compressor. You might also want to include some bottles of water and some non-perishable food. Inside the car, you might want to make sure that your senior has a car charger for her phone and a list of important phone numbers, just in case.
Know When it’s Time for Reinforcements
Your elderly family member might not feel comfortable driving in cold, rainy weather and that’s totally understandable. That doesn’t mean that her doctor’s appointment will wait, though. This is a perfect time for her to rely on senior care providers to do the driving for her so that she doesn’t have to deal with the anxiety.
It’s just not feasible for most people to not go anywhere when it’s cold out. Your senior will still have doctor’s appointments and errands to run, but with some attention to details, you can make sure she’s able to continue doing all of that as safely as possible.