Medication and Senior Drivers

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Knowing the Effects of Medication on Senior Drivers in Columbus, OH

It seems the older we get, the fuller our medicine cabinets get with prescription and over-the-counter medications and, more frequently, herbal remedies and supplements. These medications—taken alone or with others—have the potential to adversely impact the ability of an elderly driver to drive safely.

In order to avoid citations, arrest, and doing harm to oneself and others, elderly drivers should pay particular attention to the following suggestions from Columbus elder care professionals:

  • Follow all instructions on the medication’s label.
  • Consult with the doctor and pharmacist about the effects of prescribed medications on driving.
  • Find out whether any prescription medications will interact negatively with preferred over-the-counter medications, herbal remedies, and supplements.
  • Understand which prescription side effects are magnified by consuming even a small amount of alcohol.
  • Make sure all doctors and pharmacists regularly seen or used are aware of all medications and supplements being taken.
  • Never mix medications without consulting a doctor and pharmacist.
  • If the label says “Do not use while operating heavy machinery” let someone else drive. Whenever in doubt, choose not to drive.

Sometimes, following such suggestions is easier said than done for the elderly.  The print on labels can be difficult to read if vision is impaired and multiple instructions for multiple medications can prove confusing. That is why having a loved one or caregiver in Columbus assist with medical appointments and prescription pick-up is so important.

Keep in mind that the aging process is already diminishing physical and cognitive abilities crucial to safe driving. Adding prescription and over-the-counter medications, as well as herbal remedies and supplements, to the mix can further diminish these abilities. Taking the wheel while impaired is not only a risk to life, limb, and property, it is also a crime that can result in fines, the suspension of a driver’s license, or imprisonment or other forms of correctional supervision

If your senior loved one is no longer able to drive safely, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our friendly and experienced caregivers can provide transportation, pick up prescriptions and offer medication reminders, and help with a number of other routine tasks. To learn more about our care services, including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s care in Columbus, give us a call at (614) 481-8888 and schedule a free in-home consultation.


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