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At What Age Are You Too Old To Drive?

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A behind the wheel perspective of a senior grabbing the steering wheel of a car while they drive in the city

As we age, our fine motor skills can come under scrutiny as they diminish — this is especially important to recognize when operating a vehicle. If you or a loved one is experiencing any loss of physical or mental driving capabilities, it may be useful to look into independent living and the accompanying solutions it provides to help get to desired destinations.

The Villages at the River Club provides different transportation services based on the specific needs of our residents. We offer many different amenities that can help you or a loved one comfortably perform daily living activities. Contact us if you have any questions or concerns about the benefits of our independent living community.

How is Driving Ability Affected by Aging?

The process of aging in and of itself is not the reason that driving can become dangerous as you get older — more so, it is about the necessary physical and mental abilities to drive safely diminishing as you age. This means that the safety of the driver and those affected by their driving will depend on the direct ability of the driver rather than arbitrarily basing safety on age. Some people will retain the physical and mental abilities to drive safely for a long time, while others can experience a loss of ability earlier on in life.

Safely operating a vehicle will require you to have developed proper physical and cognitive capabilities, driving skills, and good driving behavior. If you notice any issues with your or a loved one’s driving capabilities, you may want to explore alternative modes of transportation. Some warning signs of unsafe driving are:

  • Delayed response or reaction to unexpected situations
  • Becoming easily distracted while driving
  • Decrease in confidence while behind the wheel
  • Having difficulty changing into or maintaining the correct lane of traffic
  • Hitting curbs often
  • Getting into minor accidents (like bumping into your garage.
  • Having frequent close calls
  • Driving too fast or too slow for road conditions

As you age, you may find your strength, coordination, and flexibility reducing — this can culminate in factors such as decreased vision, impaired hearing, slower motor reflexes, and worsening health conditions affecting your ability to operate a vehicle safely. For example:

  • Neck pain and stiffness can make it difficult to shoulder check
  • Leg pain can make it hard to operate pedals in a vehicle
  • Loss of arm strength can make it hard to operate a steering wheel effectively
  • Your reaction times can slow down considerably with age
  • Your ability to divide your attention between multiple activities can start to diminish with age

If you notice any changes in your or a loved one’s driving ability, it is important to consider if it is worth the risk to continue driving. There are many ways to retain independence without having to get behind the wheel — independent living facilities offer a lifestyle customized to your or a loved one’s specifications while still having access to amenities when extra help is needed.

A view from behind of a senior couple sitting on a bus using the transportation service provided by their independent living community

What is Independent Living?

Independent living communities are designed to offer healthy seniors a place to live that lets them retain the freedom to be self-reliant while still having access to some additional amenities. Services like housekeeping, dining, and transportation are provided to residents of independent living communities to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle while still allowing them to remain independent in other aspects of their lives.

Independent living communities differentiate themselves from other senior living facilities through the fact that they do not focus on providing regular medical care or help with activities of daily living like bathing or dressing. The focus of our community and similar residencies is to provide a social environment for self-reliant individuals who do not need extra medical attention or assistance with their daily living activities.

What Are The Advantages of Independent Living?

If you’re not comfortable driving anymore, independent living can help eliminate the need to drive partially or completely. The Villages at the River Club offers services like:

  • A scheduled transportation service
  • Dining services for lunch, bistro, and dinner
  • An on-site hair salon

All the services and activities you need are just steps away from your apartment, so you don’t have to drive. If you need to go somewhere, a car service can drop you off and pick you up.

Stay Independent at The Villages at The River Club

If independent living sounds like the solution to your our a loved one’s current issues with transportation, please contact the Villages at the River Club for more information about our community. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff can get you the information you need and walk you through the process of becoming a resident. Tours are available for any prospective residents, and we encourage you to come experience our wonderful community first hand.

Written by Lisa Klasen

“It gives me pleasure to help our residents live a life of independence, love, and joy here in our community.”

Lisa has lived in Clarksville for over 10 years and is originally from the Nashville area. She went to college at Central Michigan University, where she graduated with a liberal arts degree (psychology major).

Lisa has an eclectic work background and started her career in the human resources/training/development arena for several service-oriented companies such as Hyatt Hotels and The Forum Group (Senior Living Communities). Later in her career, she switched to real estate sales for local custom home builders for about 15 years in Indiana and Tennessee. Recently, Lisa has worked as a sales and marketing director for a local independent living community, a skilled nursing facility, and an assisted living/memory care facility.

She lives with her 4 “boys”: 2 dogs and 2 cats. She still holds her real estate license and also does professional photography during her time away from The Villages. She hopes to use her photography skills to market our beautiful building and wonderful family of residents and staff here. She looks forward to getting to know everyone!

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