Older adults: Are medicines harming your driving? - Mindful Monday

Older adults: Are medicines harming your driving? - Mindful Monday

Older adults: Are medicines harming your driving? - Mindful Monday

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Welcome to Mindful Monday! Today Shannon Braun, director of ERS' Center for Memory Support and Inclusion, discusses a topic that's on the minds of many older adults and their loved ones: Are they driving safely? This is the first in a two-part series about how older adults can drive more safely.

Important tips about medications and driving

This week we look at the topic of how some medications can harm our driving abilities. The suggestions below come from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (We learned of these through the Ohio Department of Transportation's Stay Fit to Drive program and the Ohio Department of Public Safety.)


Here are the tips:

  • If you are taking a new medication or a new dose of your regular medication, take the first dose in a safe environment to determine if you have a reaction and the extent of any side effects. Don’t drive until the body has adjusted to the medication.
  • Ask your doctor or pharmacist if any of your medications cause side effects such as drowsiness, forgetfulness or euphoria (pleasant excitement).
  • Ask if your doctor recommends testing your reaction times or a driving evaluation before and after you start taking the medication. This testing can determine how much the medication harms your driving ability and at what level you are still a safe driver. Ask your physician about changing doses and timing of medications.
  • Once a year, review your prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs, supplements, and herbals with your physician or pharmacist.
  • Ask your doctor or pharmacist if alcohol increases the strength of your medications and if this reaction can seriously affect your ability to be a safe driver.
  • Monitor yourself. Learn how your body reacts to medications and supplements by keeping track of how you feel after you take the medication and how long any reaction lasts.

For more Mindful Monday Videos, click here.

Lots of other helpful information about dementia support groups, activities for people with dementia and their loved ones -- plus other resources -- can be found at theERScenter.org.

Also, You can forward this to others who would benefit from this information by clicking the symbols representing social media and email to the upper left.

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Mike Rutledge

Mike Rutledge

Mike Rutledge has been Integrated Marketing Manager for Episcopal Retirement Services (ERS) since early 2022. He writes articles, blogs and other information to inform people about things happening at ERS’ retirement communities of Marjorie P. Lee an... Read More >

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