Senior Alternatives

Care Management and Home Care Services
When it’s No Longer Safe for Your Parents to Drive

September 27, 2015

One of the most difficult conversations you may have with an aging parent is confronting their diminishing ability to drive. It can be unsettling for an adult child to realize that your loved ones’ reflexes aren’t as good as they used to be; but unfortunately, having that tough conversation is vital to their safety and the safety of the other drivers on the road.

Here are a few warning signs that your parent or loved one’s driving skills may need to be evaluated:

Missing common road signs.
An increase in dents and scratches to the car.
Close calls, near misses, and miscalculations with distance.
Forgetting where they are going or becoming confused with how other people are driving.
An increase in driving violation tickets.
Once you realize that you may need to approach your parents about their driving abilities, it’s important to educate yourself about alternative transportation options (private aids, community transportation programs, taxis, neighbors) that will result in your parent needing to drive less. Having options available only increase the likelihood of your parents accepting giving up driving.

Losing the ability to drive can be the first shock to someone losing their independence and can really hit home. Please keep this in mind when you approach the subject of your parent driving less, and emphasize that there are many options for them to sustain an independent lifestyle.

It is often a good idea to discuss possible ways of communication with a Care Management agency for tips on how to approach this sensitive subject. Although it may be painful to talk about, remember that you are protecting them and others from accidental injury on the road.

Here are some helpful tools on different transportation options throughout the Bay Area:

Alameda County: http://www.accessalameda.org/

Contra Costa County: http://www.ccta.net/

San Francisco: http://transit.511.org/

It is often a good idea to discuss possible ways of communication with a Care Management agency for tips on how to approach this sensitive subject. Although it may be painful to talk about, remember that you are protecting them and others from accidental injury on the road.

Related Articles

Why do the Elderly Experience UTI’s Differently?

Why do the Elderly Experience UTI’s Differently?

Urinary Tract Infections affect seniors in a completely different manner than other adults. Here we review the reasons why this condition creates temporary confusion and how to stay ahead with preventative steps.