December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month, and if you are a family caregiver for an elderly adult, this is an important time for you to make sure you are being safe when you are on the road. Most family caregivers spend a considerable amount of time driving, both when managing challenges and needs for their senior, and while taking care of their children, career, and other obligations. Busy schedules, holiday gatherings, and more can lead to impaired or distracted driving that can leave you less safe, and compromise the safety of everyone else on the road. During this month, evaluate your driving habits, and take the time to ensure that you are not impaired or distracted when you get behind the wheel for your care efforts.
Use these tips to ensure you are not impaired or distracted when driving for your care efforts:
- Avoid alcohol if you will be driving. Even one drink can make a difference in your ability to focus and think clearly, so if you plan on doing any driving, avoid all alcohol when out of the house. During holiday gatherings, focus on other festive drinks such as non-spiked eggnog or ginger ale.
- If you must drink, do so early in the evening and make sure you eat plenty along with the alcohol. Stay hydrated by drinking extra water as well.
- Keep your cell phone out of reach while driving. You should never answer a phone call, read or send a text, input directions into a map, or otherwise use your phone or other mobile device when you are driving. Even looking away for the few seconds it takes to look at the screen can be extraordinarily dangerous.
- Keep the music at a low volume. Not only will this help you to focus more on what’s going on around you, but it will also ensure you are able to hear other drivers and potential signals of danger.
- If you are excessively tired, do not drive. If you feel as though you could fall asleep while sitting watching TV, you could fall asleep while driving. This takes only seconds and can lead to a devastating accident.
- If you are prescribed new medications for a health issue you are dealing with, even something common like a cold or the flu, make sure you carefully read all instructions. Understanding how this medication might impact you, and behaviors such as driving, can prevent you from attempting to operate a motor vehicle while impaired. Some medications lead to dizziness, drowsiness, lengthened reaction times, and other issues that can make driving dangerous.
It is easy to experience stress and even feelings of being overwhelmed when you are a family caregiver. Taking on this type of role means managing challenges and needs for your elderly loved one, as well as managing the other aspects of your life. This can leave you with a busy schedule and feeling like you can’t handle everything. Fortunately, senior care can help. A senior home care services provider can step in to fill care needs, manage challenges, and ensure your senior has access to all of the care and support they need so you can focus your energy and attention in the most effective ways possible.
The staff at Home Care Matters is available to talk with you and your family about all of your needs. Home Care Matters is a home care agency providing quality and affordable senior care in Dacula, GA and the surrounding areas. Call (678) 828-2195 for more information.
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