Memorial Day honors men and women who died while serving in our military. While the significance of this holiday is sobering for all Americans it is filled with immense emotion for those who have lost comrades, spouses, parents and the like. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings, picnics and participating in parades to honor our fallen soldiers. It is one of our nations largest travel days and according to the Nation Highway Transportation Safety Administration, it is the single most dangerous weekend on American roads.
Why is this holiday so dangerous?
Memorial day kicks off the beach and booze season and with that comes drinking and driving, but there is also another large reason for the dangerous roads. Seniors who may traditionally stick to a 3 mile radius of their home, hit the roads in record numbers to spend time with the men and women who served along side them in war times gone bye.
Tips for keeping seniors safe while traveling
#1 Find out if your loved one is a secret road safety risk
Let’s start thinking about the not-so-obvious signs that your loved one should not be driving. Obviously vision problems and driving don’t go hand and hand, but have you thought about the car itself? Is the car safe to drive long distances? When a car has not been driven on a regular basis, the fuel and oil be old and can damage the engine. Get fresh fuel and oil in their car and have a mechanic take a quick look at the engine.
Has your parent been more confused or forgetful? Forgetting the rules of the road is one major danger, but driving to a location that your elderly loved one may have been 100 times may not be as easy as it once was. Memory impairment can cause your loved one to get lost.
#2 Travel in packs
Two heads are better than one and there is safety in numbers as we all know. So, consider asking your elderly loved one if they have a friend they could carpool with to make the trip safer and even more enjoyable.
#3 Make it a family vacation
If you are concerned about your loved one traveling alone, ask them if you can tag along for their memorial day events. You can travel as a family and learn a lot about your loved one’s past as well as our nation’s history.
#4 Have an able-bodied escort
If your loved one does not have family or a carpool companion, Private duty home health aides are a great option. The caregiver can provide the transportation to the event or ride along side the senior on public transportation. The caregiver will give respectful distance while, at the same time, ensuring the senior has made it safely to the event, has ample food and water, and makes it home safely. If the event is a long distance from home, you will need to check with the home care agency on how far of a radius they are able to travel. Bayshore Home are provides caregivers throughout Pinellas, Pasco and Hillsborough Counties in Florida.