One of the most important skills you will utilize as a family caregiver is also one of your most basic life skills. Driving is something you likely do on a daily basis, and it is critical to be able to do so reliably and safely so you can fulfill your senior’s needs and also manage the other responsibilities in your life. As the winter weather rolls in, being able to maintain safety while driving in these conditions is an essential part to fulfilling all needs and taking care of your family while preserving your safety and the safety of others. It is important to remember that there are considerations during winter weather that are different from warmer weather driving, and following these considerations must be done to avoid potentially devastating at consequences.
Use these tips to help you maintain your safety and the safety of others while driving this winter:
- Make sure your vehicle is in good condition before driving it. Proper tires, all fluids, a strong battery, and effective headlights are critical safety features of a vehicle at all times, but particularly during a potentially hazardous winter weather
- Avoid driving when you are tired. It is easier to become fatigued during cold weather when your body must use up the energy to keep it warm, and winter tasks such as shoveling snow and shopping can be exhausting. Make sure you are well rested and alert before driving to diminish the risk of falling asleep behind the wheel and maximizing your response reflexes and judgment.
- Always keep your gas tank at least half full to prevent the lines from freezing, and to also greatly reduce the risk that your car will run out of gas while you are traveling and strand you in cold conditions
- Never use your vehicle’s cruise control features when there is ice, snow, inclement weather, or wet pavement
- Increase and decrease speed gradually rather than accelerating sharply or breaking quickly. Remember ice can be very difficult to perceive on the road surface, and an increase or decreasing speed too quickly can lead to your vehicle sliding
- Drive slowly, particularly in inclement weather. Going too quickly increases the risk that you will lose control, but also makes it more difficult for you to stop and respond in the event of an emergency
- Always keep your headlights on and if there is inclement weather, also turn on your brights and your hazard lights to make your location obvious to other vehicles around you
Double or even triple the amount of space you usually leave between yourself and other vehicles. This will help to make up for slippery conditions and vehicles that are not as responsive in cold weather
Starting senior care for your aging loved one is not about not wanting to care for them or not caring about the quality of the care they receive. Instead, having an in-home senior care services provider as a part of your parent’s regular routine gives you a fantastic way to enhance their quality of life, boost their mental and emotional health, and allow them to live their best life as they age in place. Senior care is about giving your parent exactly what they need to manage their challenges and still live the lifestyle that is right for them. As a family caregiver, this reduces your stress and gives you confidence your parent has everything they need both when you are with them and when you are not.
For Senior care in Turnersville, NJ, and the surrounding areas, call and talk to us at Home to Stay Healthcare Solutions (856) 321-1500.