Seniors & Driving: How to Talk about Driving with Your Parent
Have you noticed changes in Mom and Dad lately that could affect their driving? Issues with new medications, physical restrictions or cognitive impairments can impact their driving abilities.
If you are considering talking to your parent about giving up driving, don't expect to get their keys right away. A talk of this magnitude will come in stages with the first talk providing a platform for more conversations and potential change.
Be prepared! Research local options available for your parent's transportation needs. Your parent will need assurances that they will continue have the means to be independent. Bear in mind that they have spent years driving and enjoying the freedom driving provides. To give up driving, your parent may feel isolated and resent having to rely on others. They will be more apt to agree if the transition is easy for them.
Partner with your parent. Saying things like "I'm concerned about you," rather than "your driving is terrible," will help convey a sense of trust to reach a shared goal. If your parent is resistant to the change, offer some immediate compromises such as only driving during daylight hours, no freeway driving, or limited to in-town-with the understanding that in a few months, you will revisit the conversation.
Consider an evaluation. Ride with your parent or follow your parent as they drive. Your parent might also be willing to have their driving skills evaluated by an occupational therapist specializing in driving. Your parent might listen to a professional outside source more willingly which could help to mitigate the situation.
Stay positive and reassuring. Remind them that for years, they took care of others, and it's now time to receive help. Stress the importance of safety for all drivers on the road. This process will take time, but ideally, it will be better for them to offer up their keys, rather than battle.
Visit TheyDeserveTheBest.com to receive a complimentary information packet of resources to help from Prestige Care.
Prestige Senior Living - Huntington Terrace
1410 NE Cleveland Ave.,
Gresham, OR 97030