Driving Ability Checklist for Seniors
Do you feel anxious about yourself or a loved one’s driving? If you answer yes to any of the following questions, It might be time to visit your G.P. to discuss whether you need to think of alternative transport options.
Driving Ability Questions:
- Are people that you know expressing their concern about your or your loved one’s driving?
- Has your doctor expressed concerns about you driving due to any health conditions?
- Have you or your loved one been fined by the police due to poor driving behaviour, or have you had a crash recently?
- Do you or your loved one find yourself getting lost on routes that you’d typically be familiar with?
- Does your concentration wander more often now when you’re driving?
- Do other drivers on the road appear to be more frustrated with you recently, by honking their horns or yelling out to you?
- Do you or your loved one find that you’re getting more easily frustrated or angry when driving?
- Do you or your loved one find that cars or people appear out of nowhere when driving?
- Do you or your loved one ever get confused between the brake and accelerator when driving?
Recognising Changes in Your Driving Ability
It’s important to be aware of any changes to that can impact on your ability to drive. For example, are you experiencing low blood pressure? Have you recently been diagnosed with Diabetes? Or are you becoming increasingly forgetful? If you’re worried, have a chat with family members, friends, and your doctor for help and advice. Remember that safety for all is the most important factor on the roads.
Licensing Laws in Australia
Older driver licensing laws vary from state to state in Australia. Some states such as NSW require a medical review annually from the age of 75 years to maintain a valid drivers licence. In other states the aged limits and requirements may be different.
In any case, if you develop any chronic health conditions that could affect your ability to drive, it’s important to have a review. Safety is always the priority.
Help With Transportation
When the time comes that you need to relinquish your drivers licence, the loss of independence can be overwhelming. You might feel like you’ll be housebound for the rest of your life. But this doesn’t have to be the case.
If you’re struggling to get to the grocery store, to medical appointments, or to social activities that you’ve always enjoyed, you might be eligible for government subsidised help in the home. This government subsidised help is in the form of a Home Care Package (HCP), or under the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP). To determine your eligibility for such aged care support services, you’ll need to contact My Aged Care to arrange an ACAT assessment by calling 1800 200 422.
Under a Home Care Package, your care goals and care needs are directed by you. If you feel that transportation is an important part of your care, then you can request support in this area. Many home care package providers offer supported transport services to and from appointments, as well as to the shops, social events and other community activities.
Many people have other ways to get around once they’ve relinquished their licence. You might still be able to catch public transport. You might be eligible for subsidised taxi rides, or you might have some helpful family members that are willing to support you in getting around.
Finally, whatever your circumstances are, the key is that you can get help and support if you need it. And you don’t have to feel like you can’t go anywhere anymore because you no longer hold a drivers licence.