What to Know About Senior Driver Safety

What to Know About Senior Driver Safety

When it comes to healthy aging, quite honestly, there’s a lot to do. You’re supposed to make sure to keep your body active and your brain engaged all while maintaining your social connections as well. Sure, the benefits to your overall well-being are worth the effort, but retirement is supposed to be a time with less responsibility on your plate, right? Well, it turns out that in senior living you can have your cake and eat it too, so to speak. Here’s how programs like our Vivid Life make keeping active, engaged, and connected easy and fun! 

Benefits of Healthy Aging 

Good things happen when you focus on healthy aging. In addition to feeling better overall, which in and of itself is a win, other benefits of keeping active, engaged, and connected include:  

  • Improved ability to do everyday things ​ 
  • Reduced impact of illness and chronic disease​ 
  • Enhanced mobility, flexibility, and balance
  • Improved sleep
  • Increased energy level
  • Reduced feelings of depression and stress
  • Increased feelings of happiness and self-confidence
  • Reduced risk of cognitive decline 
  • Increased mental adaptability and cognitive reserve 
  • Improved memory recall and problem-solving skills 
  • Improved concentration and attention to detail  

How Senior Living Can Help 

At home, particularly when living alone, it can be hard to stay as active, engaged, and connected as you’d like. From lack of opportunity to lack of motivation to lack of transportation to mobility challenges, and more, it’s tough, we get it! That’s why we created the Vivid Life program in our senior living communities. It’s composed of three parts: Vibrant Body, Vibrant Brain, and Vibrant Connections. Here’s what each entails:  

Vibrant Body We offer amenities such as a state-of-the-art fitness center, a pool, walking trails, gardening opportunities, and even a dog park to help you stay active. A sample of activities includes:  

  • Walking club – Daily walks at different outdoor locations using pedometers to measure steps. 
  • Yoga – At least once per week for gentle yoga, and once per week for mindful breathing. 
  • Fitness classes – At least two times per week using a variety of hand weights, resistance bands, and circuit-type exercises. 
  • Tai Chi – At least once per week with a live instructor. 
  • Non-traditional exercise – Dancing, gardening, etc. at least two times per week. 
  • Physical games and sports – Golf, putting, bowling, croquet, bocce, and ping pong available daily with organized events one to two times per week. 

Vibrant Brain We offer monthly calendars filled with classes, events, creative arts, and enrichment opportunities to help keep you engaged. A sample of activities includes: 

  • Visiting lecture series – Twice per month with topics such as cultural, historical, local interest, career-oriented, etc. 
  • Creative art series – At least one per week with a theme that runs 3-6 weeks, such as poetry writing, storytelling, painting, digital photography, etc. 
  • Learning series – At least three times per month with an emphasis on learning something new such as foreign language, sign language, technology, hobbies, etc. 
  • Games – At least one time per week and may include poker, bridge, Scrabble, etc. 
  • Mindfulness – A meditation class once per week and gratitude discussion group twice monthly. 
  • Church service – At least once a week through visits by local churches. 
  • Stress reduction – At least once per month class that offers deep breathing exercises, nature walks, music appreciation, spa-type treatments, etc. 

 Vibrant Connections We offer resident-led clubs, social events, outings and volunteer opportunities for any interest to help you stay connected. A sample of activities includes: 

  • Outings – At least twice per month and may include going to concerts, art shows, museum visits, theatre productions, etc. 
  • Intergenerational programming – At least once per month and focuses on building relationships between young adults/children and residents. 
  • New resident welcome party – At least once per month to formally introduce all new residents, and includes ice breakers, social games, etc. to encourage connection. 
  • Philanthropic program – At least once per month provide residents the opportunity to give back to the community, such as volunteering for a local food bank or pet shelter. 
  • Resident-led clubs – May include game clubs, professional clubs, common interests, etc. that meet at least monthly.  

What’s more, it’s all right outside your door (or transportation is provided offsite) and all in a supportive environment with home maintenance, housekeeping, and restaurant-style dining freeing your time to make it even easier to stay active, engaged, and connected. 

Learn more about Vitality Living’s Vivid Life programs. Or find a Vitality Living community near you today to schedule a tour. 



Driving plays an important role in maintaining independence. Most of us enjoy the freedom that comes from knowing we can hop in to our car and head out to do some shopping or meet friends for lunch. As we grow older, however, we all experience age-related changes that can make driving a little more difficult.

Many seniors say they find driving at night to be especially challenging since the glare of lights is harder on older eyes. Other adults have experienced vision or hearing loss, causing them to feel a little less safe behind the wheel. And almost all seniors find their reaction time to be slower than it once was.

Assessing a Senior Driver’s Safety

These changes can make an older adult, and those who love them, wonder how fit they are for driving. If you and your senior loved one find yourselves in this situation, we have a resource that can help.

Vitality has an objective tool to help assess a senior loved one’s driving safety. The evaluation walks step-by-step through a variety of scenarios to determine a senior driver’s safety risks and confidence level, concluding with a risk rating and list of suggestions for follow-up.

The driver evaluation can be completed online in five minutes or less. A family caregiver can also complete the evaluation on a loved one’s behalf.

Keeping an Older Driver Safe Behind the Wheel

If your older loved one is fit for driving, there are still steps you can take to help them stay that way:

  • Mature driver exercises: MIT AgeLab created an exercise program to help older drivers stay fit. From heel drops to shoulder stretches, you can download their guide at no cost to share with a senior driver in your life.
  • Visit the eye doctor regularly: Good vision is critical to safe driving. In fact, the AAA Foundation says as much as 85% of driving decisions involve the eyes. Seniors should see an eye doctor once a year for a checkup.
  • Keep it clean: Also make sure the windshield, mirrors, and headlights of an older driver’s car are kept clean. Even a slight layer of dirt can make it more difficult for older eyes. It might also help to dial up the brightness on the car’s instrument panel.
  • Pick a senior-friendly vehicle: Older adults who don’t drive many miles might keep the same car for a decade or more. While it can be cost-effective, they might be missing out on some of the latest technology that makes driving easier and safer, such as adjustable seatbelts, air bags, a back-up camera, and power seats. Take an objective look at your loved one’s vehicle and see if it is time to trade it in for a more senior-friendly car.
  • Review medications for driving safety: Our last tip is to discuss with the pharmacist the side effects of each of the prescription and over-the-counter medicines your senior loved one is taking. Some may cause drowsiness or dizziness that might make driving more risky.

If you’ve noticed a change in how you or an older loved one feels about driving, start the new year off on a safer note by discussing alternative options for transportation. Your local agency on aging might have a list of safe, affordable senior transportation services.

Vitality’s Caregiver Checklist

At Vitality, we understand the role of family caregiver can leave you with many questions. It’s why we created The Caregiver’s Checklist: Supporting an Aging Parent. In it, you will find tips on everything from recognizing the warning signs of dementia to identifying potential fall hazards.

caregiver's checklist
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