Driving is a big topic for loved ones and their caregivers, especially if your loved one isn’t as safe behind the wheel as you’d like her to be. But how can you help her stay safe without getting into a huge fight about driving?
Talk to Her Doctor.
Your first ally in reaching this goal is definitely going to be your loved one’s doctor. Your loved one’s doctor can help you to assess every aspect of her current health, from illnesses and health conditions to medications, in order to assess whether driving is in her best interests. As a plus, many loved ones are more likely to take a recommendation from their doctors over anyone else. So if your loved one’s doctor tells her it’s time to stop driving, she might just comply.
Talk to Her Eye Doctor or Audiologist.
If your loved one sees an audiologist about her hearing or has trouble with her vision, then talking to either her eye doctor or her audiologist can pay off. These two specialists can test your loved one’s vision and hearing, which are both vital to keeping her safe behind the wheel. If your loved one’s hearing and vision don’t pass muster, this might convince your loved one.
Ask the Department of Motor Vehicles.
In some areas, the Department of Motor Vehicles may require special testing for your loved one once she reaches a specific age. The best way to determine whether this applies to your aging parent is to call the DMV and ask. While you’re inquiring, find out if the DMV can tell you or send you anything about your loved one’s driving record. Seeing a range of tickets or small accidents displayed all together may be informative for your senior if that applies to her.
In a Worst Case Scenario, Hide the Keys.
Should worst come to worst, hiding the keys might be your best option. Keep in mind, however, that this might bring about the battle you were hoping to avoid. Hiding the keys might make your loved one feel even more determined to drive, except now without your knowledge.
If you don’t give your loved one an alternative form of transportation, such as having elderly care providers available, your loved one is likely to be even more resistant to this idea. Set up a way for your loved one to have transportation whenever she wants so that she can build trust in the system.