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Talking to a Senior Loved One About Driving

One of the most challenging parts of the aging process is simply knowing when to let go of driving privileges. If you believe that your senior family member is no longer capable of operating a vehicle safely, it is important for you to talk about your concerns as soon as possible. While your loved one will likely be reticent to hand car key overs, he or she may be open to some of the alternatives you suggest.

Getting the Conversation Off to a Good Start

Rather than opening the discussion by abruptly stating that your loved one should stop driving, you should start by asking how comfortable this person is with his or her current driving abilities. Letting seniors guide the discussion will often keep them from becoming defensive. Seniors who have had a number of minor accidents or near misses in the recent past may have concerns of their own that they want to address.

Talk About the Different Options for Solving this Problem

It may not be necessary for an elderly adult to give driving up. There are many things that seniors and their family members can do to ensure that aging adults are capable of driving defensively and safely. For instance, you might suggest that your loved one take a senior driver refresher course to stay abreast of road rules and common safety recommendations. Getting an eye examination and reviewing the different side effects that this person’s medications are known to cause could be helpful as well. Your efforts to take these measures will show that you are concerned about preserving your loved one’s safety, rather than directly challenging his or her independence. After these measures have been taken, however, if problems continue to subsist, it will be time to start discussing driving alternatives.

Alternative Forms of Transportation

Giving up car keys can have a significant impact on the life quality of an elderly adult. You should let your loved one know that you understand what this transition really means. You can do this by finding alternative means of transportation that are convenient and easy to use. Many Greenwich home care providers offer transportation assistance and there are also a number of senior shuttle services that can be used cheaply or for free. You can also volunteer to assist with driving duties by offering to take your loved one to important doctor, dental and social appointments as needed.

If you believe your loved one’s ability to drive may be caused by health issues that are affecting other aspects of life, it may be time to consider help from professional in-home caregivers. Home Care Assistance of Greenwich is a trusted choice for senior care, offering flexible care schedules for Greenwich hourly care, as well as live-in or 24 hour care. For more information or to schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation, call 203-842-8863 and speak with a friendly and knowledgeable Care Manager.