Talking to Your Senior Parents About Giving up Driving
on August 1st, 2020 in Acworth Ga, Dunwoody, GA, Grayson Ga., Lifestyle | No Comments
Starting a candid conversation with your elderly loved ones about difficult topics can be challenging. Real estate planning and finances, assisted living and long-term care, it’s usually unpleasant to discuss these topics with them. However, many adults have admitted that the hardest conversation to have with their senior parents is to tell them to stop driving. Most of the time, driving symbolizes a person’s independence, so to tell your parents that you need to take their car keys away can give an impression of disabling them. As senior living experts in Dunwoody, GA, we understand your concern, and we would like to suggest a few ways to tackle this issue.
Is It Time to Bring up the Conversation?
- Increase in tickets and accidents
- Recent dents and scrapes on their cars
- Your parents’ reluctance to drive
- Difficulty in turning head and/or looking over their shoulder to check for blind spots
- Slow reaction time to traffic
Take a drive with your senior parents to a local grocery store and take note of unsafe behaviors or use this assessment checklist. Reach out to their physician and doctors to ask for their opinions. By gathering the facts, you’ll be able to show your loved ones that you truly care about them and that your concerns are valid.
Tips on Talking to Your Parents About Giving up Driving
Start the Conversation Early
It’s important not to spring such decision on your parents out of the blue. When possible, lightly touch on the subject and ask for their thoughts and feelings on the topic. Be considerate of their opinions on how to handle the situation when it is time for driving retirement. As soon as you recognize the mildest issues, convince them to only drive in short distances and to refrain from driving when it’s dark or raining outside. Overall, the more time you get your parents used to this topic in advance, the easier it would be for them to ease into giving up driving.
Respectfully Bring up the Conversation
Respect and tact play an essential role in approach the matter. Let your loved ones know ahead of time when you would like to have the conversation. Acknowledge that it must be very difficult for them to fathom the idea of having their car keys taken away. If possible, you should try to be factual and not let your emotions get in the way. Clearly communicate the warning signs that you have been noticing and the risks involved, including injuries, an increase in insurance rates, and even lawsuit. In addition, try to measure their levels of emotion and temporarily pause or re-schedule the talk if there are signs of distress and overt anger.
Discuss the Alternatives
There are several means of transportation that your parents can make use of. Together with your elderly loved ones, you can research train and bus routes that are close to their house. Reach out to non-profit organizations or local churches that offer volunteer transporting services. You can also introduce your parents to rideshare services and give them instructions. In addition, coordinate with your siblings and come up with a specific schedule for each one on when to take your parents to church, the supermarket, doctor appointments, etc.
Be willing to accept that it will take time for your parents to accept and adapt to the change. During the transition process, let them know that you are there for them and that you are open to discuss the topic again whenever they need it. Encourage them to stay socially engaged and offer to drive them places when possible for you. It’s also important to remind yourself that even though it’s difficult, you’re doing what’s best for your parents because you love them.
Dogwood Forest – Your Top Senior Living Facility in Dunwoody, GA
Though convincing your elderly parents to stop driving is a challenging task, it needs to be done to ensure your parents’ safety. At Dogwood Forest, we always make the residents’ well-being our top priority. From our clinically-proven-positive environment to our wellness and life enrichment programs, we have what it takes to provide your senior loved ones with the best care and a friendly, active community.