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Senior Drivers - How to Facilitate Your Aging Parent Understand When it is No longer Safe to Drive

By: Maryam Getz

Elderly drivers can be a real problem to themselves and others on the road. As we age one of the hardest things to do is give up our independence. When it is time to stop driving, that can be a very difficult transition for seniors. Convincing your aging parents the time has come to quit driving is not easy. Here is how to help your parents understand it is no longer safe for them to drive with tact and compassion.

As your parents turn aged it becomes more and more difficult for them to give up things they can no longer do because it means giving up their independence. Giving up independence is something no one wants to give up willingly. When it time for a parent to discontinue driving this can be one of the most difficult things ever for them to give up.

Driving is something most everyone does. Without the ability to drive we become dependent on other people to take us where we want to go. But driving is not a right it is a privilege and that privilege comes with requirements. In order to drive we must be mentally and physically fit to drive safe.

As we age there comes a time when our vision starts to fade and our reaction time becomes slower. This is when it becomes necessary to ask mom or dad to hand in their keys. Elderly drivers at this stage in their life they can no be safe in the highway they are not only endangering themselves but all others on the road.

But it is very common for seniors to live in denial that they no longer have the ability to perform a task, like driving, adequately. You must know this before approaching your senior to talk about the situation. You must be prepared that they will see this as taking away their freedom and their empowerment.

So how do you talk about his with your aging parent?

You may be surprised to know that this conversation will not come as a total surprise to them. They will have known the time was coming, but they will still resist at first.

One of the easiest ways to handle this is to remove you from the process, slightly. That way you will not entirely be the bad guy. The advice that it is time to stop driving can come from a physician. If it is the doctor's orders, then it will be much easier for them to accept. The doctor can execute tests and based on the results of those test can share with your senior that they, like so many other senior drivers, are no longer physically fit to drive.

The aged will often respect and accept more easily something that is coming from a doctor rather than a close family member, no matter how sincere and well intended you may be. The doctor is an authority they will respect.

Your task will be to support and then reinforce the decision. You can clarify that there will also be money saved by eliminating costs for gas, car maintenance and insurance. I understand this is probably not news to you, but seniors are generally very frugal and this will help to reassure them that to stop driving even comes with money saving benefits.

It is also a good idea when having this talk to be prepared with a solution for the alternative. You should investigate in advance options for transportation and share with them how easy these will be. Depending on your community there are many forms of public and private forms of transportation available that can be helpful substitutes for elderly drivers.

See Also:

Caring For An Aging Parent – Tips For Easing The Burden
Scary. Exhausting. Life-changing. These are just a few of the thoughts that run through an adult child’s head when they start to think about caring for an aging parent.

Seniors' Needs Are Similar To Younger Adults In Many Ways But Considerably Different In Others
Seniors have the same needs everyone else has. They need food, shelter, some secure income, friends, something to keep them entertained, and good medical care. But it is also true that seniors may have other needs like handicapped accessibility at home, help with house keeping and shopping, or even skilled nursing and medical care.

Falls And The Elderly
More than one in three people age 65 years or older fall each year. The risk of falling and thus fall-related injuries rises proportionally with age. Each year, more than 1.6 million older persons go to US emergency departments for fall-related injuries.

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About the Author:

Many seniors use computers and there is a tool that can be very helpful for them. It is a www.largeprintkeyboard.net.

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