A recent study done by Pfizer and Generations United and reported in Forbes Magazine, had a surprising finding. Talking about driving, or stopping driving is more difficult than discussing a will or finances for children of aging parents. Surprised? You shouldn't be. Driving is the ultimate independence for an adult. Fill the tank with gas, put the key in the ignition and go where the open road takes you. That kind of independence is gone forever for the senior that gives up their driver's license. So how do you know when it is time to have that tough talk with Mom - who used to drive like the little old lady from Pasadena? Here are some tips:
1. Let them drive you somewhere. That's right, get in the passenger seat and have them drive you and observe. Here's a link to a checklist (Don't have it in your lap during the drive, but use it afterwards.)
2. Approach your parent with sensitivity but directness. "Mom, I know this is difficult, but we need to have a conversation about your driving." And, allow plenty of time for this discussion.
3. Before your conversation, figure out alternative transportation.
4. You or your parent's doctor can ask your Motor Vehicle Department to give a driving test. In most states the requestor can remain anonymous and this makes someone else the "bad guy".
5. Involve the entire family in the driving discussion. Having your siblings back you up may be enough to convince Dad to give up the keys and leave the driving to someone else.
For more information, here's a good article on caring.com.
And if you find that a 3rd party might be the way to break the ice - give us a call, we can help or refer you to someone that can.