Taking the keys away from your parent may feel odd. It may even feel uncomfortable and wrong, but if your parent is posing a threat to themselves and other drivers on the road it is time to not only have this talk but take action.
It is hard to anticipate how your parent will handle this conversation and the subsequent decisions that need to be made. Some aging adults realize it themselves, while others are extremely stubborn and in denial.
Need help having this conversation or taking action? Here are our four tips you can use to make this process less stressful for both you and your parents.
Do your research. Before you tell your parent he or she needs to stop driving it is important to do research and have a plan for how your parent will get around town. There are many alternatives to driving such as bus stops, taxis, ubers, and other public transportation. If your loved one feels uncomfortable using these systems of transportation, you need to arrange a plan with your family and friends to drive your parent to doctor appointments, the grocery store and other essential meetings.
Get the timing right. This may be one of the hardest parts - addressing the problem. When you tell your parent that you think he or she should stop driving it is extremely vital that you choose your words wisely. Driving is something that many people do on a daily basis and gives one a sense of independence. You do not want to hurt your parent’s pride or be insensitive. You should plan out what to say before you say it, and consult a family member or friend for advice if necessary.
Involve the doctor. If your loved one is in denial or if he or she wants an expert’s opinion, bring your parent in to talk to his or her primary physician. For many people, hearing it from someone they trust and who is educated on the subject matter will help. This will give your parent the insight or reassurance that he or she really may need to stop driving.
Prepare for difficulty. This is difficult news to hear. Do not expect your parent to give up his or her keys within a week. It is a good thing to give your parent time to think about what is at stake. Remind your parent that they have loved ones around them that want to care for and protect them; your parent will need this support system.
Do not hesitate because you are afraid of your parent’s reaction. This could be a matter of life and death. Talk to your parent as soon as possible and keep these helpful tips in mind.