Telling your loved one that it is time to take away the keys can be a very difficult thing. I found this article on senioradvice.com that gives some great advice on how to have that conversation. Here is an excerpt below, to read the full article Click Here.
As people age, they become very sensitive about the loss of abilities related to their autonomy. Driving is a big issue for many seniors, which makes things difficult when it comes time to tell a father or mother it is time to stop driving.
Raising the topic of driving with a senior parent is a very difficult task. Driving is something that carries a lot of weight in all our lives. How do we get food, run errands or do most of the things we do in a day? We drive. Imagine how stressed you would be if you could not drive anymore starting today.
For seniors, the decision to stop driving is doubly difficult. As you get into your later years, you lose things ranging from friends to physical abilities. For most people, driving stands out as a key symbol of their independence. Agreeing to forgo driving is in many ways also an agreement to give up one’s independence. It is very tough.
As an adult, you have to evaluate whether a parent should continue to drive. Remember, the issues is safety – both theirs and other people. If your parent cannot make decisions quickly enough or has difficulty seeing, then it is time to stop driving.
What about driver’s licenses? Many seniors will argue they can still drive because the DMV is still giving them a license. The DMV, however, only sees them for a short period of time and often there is no road test. There is little basis for determining whether they are adequate drivers in a real world environment, so a license doesn’t really mean that much.
Importantly, study after study has showed that the mere fact a person is older is not an indicator as to whether they can drive. Just because someone is 65 does not mean they should lose their license automatically. The only exception to this is once a person reaches the age of 80. People older than 80 get into as many accidents as teenagers and should be watched closely.
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