A day may arrive when your elderly loved one is no longer able to safely operate a car. Unfortunately, many older drivers begin to lose their skills as they age. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is an increase in accident risk beginning at age 70.
Taking the keys away from an elderly parent is almost never an easy thing to do. Still, it may be necessary. Elderly people need to know that a loss of driving privileges is not the end of their freedom. They may even have access to free home healthcare services to preserve and promote their independence.
Be Ready for a Difficult Conversation
In much of modern American culture, driving is closely linked to individual autonomy. Losing your ability to drive yourself can be difficult to deal with — on both an emotional and practical level. Beyond losing a degree of personal freedom, losing access to a driver’s license also makes people confront the natural aging process in a way that is especially blunt and challenging.
When dealing with your parent, you need to keep in mind how hard losing the keys can be for them. Unless they are willing to broach the topic on their own, you could be in for a difficult conversation. Be prepared for this. You should always be sensitive to their needs and their concerns. Your parent may be upset or they may push back on you when trying to take the keys away.
Try Your Best to Offer Real Solutions
If you are going to have the conversation about taking away your elderly parent’s driving privileges, you should come with solutions. Does your parent still drive to the grocery store? How are they going to get there going forward? Do they regularly visit friends or family using their car? What access to transportation can you offer? The practical issues that come with loss of driving privileges are typically far easier to fix than the emotional ones. Come to the conversation ready to help solve some of these problems. This will promote a smooth transition.
Remember that Safety Comes First
Ultimately, the safety of your elderly parent and everyone else on the road is more important than hurt feelings. That is not to say that you should not take your elderly parent’s objections seriously — this issue should always be handled with care — but you may need to take away their keys over their objections. In the worst cases, you may even need to get your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) involved.
Do You Want to Learn More Your About Home Healthcare Options?
We can help. At United Energy Workers Healthcare and Four Corners Health Care, our team is dedicated to providing no cost professional home care to DOL EEOICPA and RECA beneficiaries. We firmly believe that patients always come first.
To learn more about our services or the home healthcare options that could be available to your elderly loved one, please do not hesitate to contact us today. We have locations across the United States.