As you’re just learning to drive, car keys represent adulthood and freedom. Our parents told us those keys come with a lot of responsibility. They drill into us to drive safely, not to be reckless. We were told to always have our seatbelts on. These days, we tell our children the same; in addition to rules about texting while driving. Now as caregivers, your focus shifts to senior loved ones. When a loved one’s driving skills come into question, a delicate decision needs to be made. Whether to take away their driving privileges, or come up with an alternative.
Considerations Regarding Car Keys
This is a topic that should be discussed long before it becomes a major issue. The ability to drive safely dramatically decreases as one ages. This is generally due to vision and hearing loss, chronic illness, memory loss, and medication issues. Your loved one’s physician can help provide guidance in this decision-making. Be sure to talk with them about driving safely, especially when it comes to medication side effects.
Losing More than Just the Car Keys
just as with teens, the loss of car keys can be a loss of independence. For some elderly individuals, this can lead to depression and isolation. Consider discussing options for mitigating this loss of freedom in order to help transition your loved one. A gradual decrease in driving, or simply just driving during the day, may make more sense for those who are not entirely ready to give up driving. You may also need to reflect on your family’s schedule. It can be an extra responsibility to drive your elderly loved ones around.
Having the Discussion
The discussion to decrease driving or giving it up entirely is not easy for all involved. Appealing to their sense of family and community may help. Setting up Uber rides or other car services can be a good alternative. Access-a-ride services can make it easier for those with mobility issues to travel locally. Consider ordering your loved one’s groceries online for delivery. The safety of your loved one and your community is a priority. Start the process by talking to their physician about a decrease in driving or taking the keys away altogether before it becomes a reality and taking action is immediate. It is best to remember safety first.
Safe Harbor Healthcare Services does not provide medical, healthcare, or financial advice via articles. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for medical advice.
Safe Harbor Healthcare Services has been providing excellent home care on Staten Island since 1967. Our services help the elderly and disabled live safely and independently; while giving their families the peace of mind they need. For more information contact us by clicking here, or call (718)-979-6900.