Should Your Dad Drive Now That He's on a New Prescription?

Your dad’s doctor prescribed a new medication. Before he gets behind the wheel, you need to sit down with him and go over the possible side effects. While his doctor may not have mentioned it, some medications can affect how alert he is when he’s behind the wheel.

In-Home Care Spring Hill TN - Should Your Dad Drive Now That He's on a New Prescription?
In-Home Care Spring Hill TN – Should Your Dad Drive Now That He’s on a New Prescription?

Specific side effects to look for include drowsiness, dizziness, blurred vision, slowed reaction times, nausea, and reduced focus or attention. With some medications, the side effects only last for the first hour. Others last for hours or all day. Until your dad knows how a new prescription will affect him, it’s risky to let him drive.

Medications Known to Affect Driving

Some of the medications that can make it hard to be alert and focused while driving include medications taken for depression or anxiety. Benzodiazepines like Xanax or Ativan are examples. Over-the-counter cold remedies and some prescription ones can cause drowsiness.

Medications for high blood pressure may lead to dizziness. Some medications that are taken for pain management or to relax muscles are also problematic. If your dad is using products that contain CBD oil, it’s also important that he doesn’t drive as they can make a person feel sleepy or lethargic.

Ask his doctor if it’s possible for him to take his medications once a day before bed. If he can sleep through the majority of the symptoms, it may make it easier for him to get up and be able to drive once he’s showered and dressed the next morning.

Observe His Driving Skills

He may find that for the first hour, he feels out of it. After that, he feels back to normal. If that’s the case, you could start going out and letting him drive short distances. If you think he’s been alert and aware while driving, he may just need to hold off driving for the first few hours.

Once he’s on a new prescription, he needs to be observed before he gets behind the wheel. He needs to be honest. If he doesn’t feel like himself, he can’t drive. Someone else can drive him to an appointment, store, or other location.

Keep checking his driving from time to time. Let him drive and watch for his reaction times, braking distance, and if he’s properly adjusting his mirrors. Make sure he uses directional signals and turns his headlights and high beams on and off appropriately.

Giving Up His Keys Doesn’t Mean He Loses His Freedom

Make sure your dad knows that he won’t lose his freedom when he stops driving. With in-home care aides handling the driving, he can go out regularly but someone else drives. He can still go shopping. He can go to social events at the senior center or library. He enjoys his freedom but is safe with an in-home care aide driving him around.

If you or an aging loved-one are considering In-Home Care Services in Spring Hill TN, please contact the caring staff at Touching Hearts at Home. Serving Middle Tennessee (Nashville, Brentwood, Belle Meade, Franklin, Spring Hill, Columbia, Pulaski, and more!) Call today: 629-203-7925.

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