One of the hardest things to do when taking care of a senior parent is to talk to them about unsafe driving. To seniors driving means independence, freedom, and self-reliance. Often when seniors are aging at home they can’t imagine not driving because they are so used to being able to just get in the car and go whenever they want. Giving up driving can be a difficult thing for them. Home care services are a great solution for senior parents who can’t drive any longer.
However, if your senior parent has had some health challenges it may be time for them to stop driving. Slower reaction times and factors like impaired vision can mean that your senior parent isn’t safe on the road.Home Care Linden NJ – How To Talk To Your Senior Parent About Not Driving Anymore
If your senior parent is showing any of these signs it’s time to talk to them about not driving:
- Getting lost, even when driving short, familiar routes
- Failing to obey traffic signs or signals
- Cutting off other drivers, straddling lanes, or making wide turns
- Reacting slowly to emergencies
- Falling asleep behind the wheel or appearing inattentive
- Becoming easily angered or agitated
- Using poor judgment, such as not yielding the right-of-way
- Forgetting to use mirrors or turn signals or check for blind spots
- Having trouble judging distances
For their safety and for the safety of others they should not be driving. But how can you open up an honest dialog without making them feel accused or angry?
Use these tips:
Suggest A Driving Evaluation
If your senior parent is very resistant to the idea of not driving don’t fight with them about it. Instead, offer to schedule a driving evaluation for them. Have them go through the driver’s evaluation course that everyone takes to take a driver’s license. Or hire a driving instructor to drive with them and assess their driving. Your senior parent may be more open to hearing the truth from a professional than from you.
Don’t Play The Blame Game
It’s very important to not come into the conversation blaming or shaming your senior parent. Maintain a matter-of-fact tone. This is just a problem that needs to be solved. No one is to blame. It’s just something that has to be discussed. Keep your tone neutral or positive. Focus on the facts, not accusing them of being unable to drive any longer.
Don’t Treat Them Like A Child
Sometimes family caregivers have a tendency to act like their senior parent is a child and they are the adult. Try to avoid that. Your senior parent is a grown adult and should be treated with the respect that you’d give any other adult. Discuss driving the way you’d discuss a work situation with a colleague.
Do Focus On Solutions
Stay focused on solutions. Your senior parent may be afraid that they will have to give up their independence if they can’t drive. Reassure them that there are plenty of transportation options for them, including home care. Seniors with home care have a companion to go with them to run errands or go out for lunch. And that companion can drive them too.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring Home Care Services in Linden NJ, call the caring staff at Helping Hands Home Care today at 908-418-4299.
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