The thought of not driving anymore for seniors is depressing. The implications are significant–fewer trips outside the home, increase dependency on others, fewer social opportunities and the fear of being a burden to others. Discussions on driving are likely to be emotional for all parties involved, but they should not be put off.
Constructing a game plan:
– Be prepared to have multiple conversations.
– Start with appropriate conversation openers–talk about importance of health and safety not “you have to stop driving.”
– Use mishaps or health changes as a lead in–new medications can make a senior less alert or tired, eyesight can deteriorate.
– Observe the senior at the wheel.
– Investigate the alternatives to driving–bus, children, relatives, friends, home care.
– Discuss your concerns with a doctor.
– Should there be initial resistance, suggest having them tested for an assessment of their driving skills
– Be supportive.
– Experts say that if a high risk driver refuses to stop driving, the family may have no recourse but to get rid of the car or file down the keys.