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Elderly in-home care- driving and medications don't mix

Driving and Meds Don’t Mix

According to CAMH, adults in Canada aged 65 and older consume 20 to 40 percent of all prescription meds and 25 percent of all over-the-counter meds. As we age, we’re also more likely to take more than one medication at a time. While medications help you manage your illnesses and symptoms, many cause side effects that impair your ability to drive.

Common Medications That Restrict Your Ability to Drive

Medications can cause a whole slew of side effects that can make it impossible for a person to drive safely, including:

  • drowsiness/sleepiness
  • unsteadiness
  • blurred vision
  • dizziness
  • slowed movement and reaction
  • trouble focusing or concentrating
  • fainting

As we get older, many of these effects can be even more pronounced because ageing affects the rate of at which our bodies absorb drugs. If you take more than one type of medication, the possibility of drug interactions is higher and can result in enhanced effects of one or more of the drugs.

Medications known to impair driving include:

  • narcotic pain relievers
  • anxiety medications
  • some antidepressants
  • anti-epileptic drugs (anti-seizure drugs)
  • sleep aids
  • products containing codeine
  • antihistamines
  • cough and cold medicine
  • muscle relaxants
  • medicines used to treat nausea

Getting Around Safely

Driving and meds don’t mix, but that doesn’t mean you need to give up your car and fuss with taxis or be at the mercy of public transit schedules. You can hire a caregiver to drive your car wherever you need to go.

By hiring an in-home caregiver to drive you, you not only get reliable transportation, but also have the added benefit of having help with errands such as shopping, someone to accompany you to appointments, and more.

A caregiver can help you or your ageing parent maintain independence, making it possible to go anywhere. This as well as other in-home care services, if needed.

To learn more about hiring a caregiver to drive you where you need to go or about any of our other in-home care services, reach us anytime at 1.855.483.CARE (2273).

Article sources

  • Medications and Driving. Canadian Automobile Association (CAA). https://www.caa.ca/seniors-2/medications-driving/
  • Medication Use in Older Adults. CAMH. https://www.camh.ca/en/health-info/guides-and-publications/medication-use-in-older-adults

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