‘When It’s Time To Stop Driving:’ How To Have The Conversation

While this conversation is inevitable, we want to help prepare and educate you before it occurs. Taking away someone’s ability to drive a vehicle can be invasive and hard to swallow because it feels as if it’s taking away one’s independence. There are ways to identify if it is time to take the keys away and there are also positive alternatives to present to your loved one in exchange.

As age happens, factors such as decreased vision, impaired hearing, or slowed motor reflexes may become a problem. There may be a chronic condition that gradually worsens with time, or maybe just having to adjust to a sudden change, such as a stroke.

Aging tends to result in a reduction of strength, coordination, and flexibility, which can have a major impact on one’s ability to safely control a car. Here are a few things to be aware of and check-on for you or a loved one:

  1. Take charge of your health: get check-ups on eyes, ears, medication and sleep cycle
  2. Medication and it’s side effects: many high-dosage medication can interfere with one’s ability to drive and control a vehicle
  3. Slowed reflexes and range of motion: With these, it can impact your ability to react to a driving situation slower than before and increase the likelihood of a crash or injury
  4. Memory problems and past car mistakes or issues: For obvious reasons, issues with memory can confuse or leave one lost and in distress. With past car mistakes, it is just better and safer to be above reproach and proactive by stopping one’s access to a vehicle.

When offering alternatives, be respectful of their decision and give it time and space. Handing over the keys doesn’t have to be a complete reign of independence and rather, encourage the social lifestyle of carpooling and utilizing the free transportation available each day at the community they reside in.

If this step is or has been taken care of and you feel a need for further assistance with you or your loved ones, we’d love to be the next consideration. Tealridge Assisted Living and Memory Care is a safe, warm and welcoming home that becomes family and provides easy transition into a new season. Contact us here.

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