There’s a lot of identity and independence wrapped up in being able to drive. That alone can keep a lot of aging adults driving for far longer than they should be. If you’re concerned about whether your senior needs to reconsider driving, these tips might help.
Safety Questions Definitely Mean Your Senior Should Consider Not Driving
If you’re concerned at all about how safe your elderly family member is behind the wheel, you definitely need to talk to her about stopping. This is a difficult conversation, granted, but it’s a necessary one. Your senior may not be any happier about this conversation than you are, so how you approach this topic matters quite a bit.
Get Very Clear about Your Concerns
Before you and your senior talk, you need to make sure you’re clear about why you think this is important. Get clear and specific about what’s worrying you. If you’re noticing that your senior’s car has more damage than usual, that can mean she’s having wrecks you’re not aware of at all. Or you might be concerned that she can’t see well and therefore might be missing important details on the road. Whatever your concerns are, make sure you can clearly articulate them.
Talk about Facts Whenever Possible
There’s a lot of emotion involved in this, of course, but you have to lean on facts whenever possible. Just wanting your senior to stop driving may not be enough. Evidence and facts do make a difference. Look at things like your senior’s car insurance rates. If they’ve gone up, that can be an indication that your senior’s driving has caught their attention. If your senior agrees, you might want to pull her DMV record. Many motor vehicle departments release a copy of driving records for a fee.
Find Some Viable Alternatives to Driving
Just no longer driving isn’t a solution for your elderly family member. If she’s not going to be driving, that doesn’t mean that she’s “grounded” forever. What she needs is a viable alternative to driving. One of the best solutions is to hire home care providers to do the driving for her. They can help her with a variety of different situations, not just transportation, and you’ll have a lot more peace of mind that she’s in good hands.
This isn’t necessarily an overnight or one talk issue. You and your senior may have to talk about this multiple times to come to an agreement you’re both able to feel comfortable about.