Few things can be as painful as seeing a beloved parent become more and more limited. Along with the physical and mental decline come secondary issues, like problems with driving. Has the time come for you to talk to your senior Dad about giving up his car keys? Here are a few suggestions to help you with what will be a difficult conversation.
- Be considerate of his feelings. From the time we understand how a motor vehicle works, we work hard for the freedom that comes with operating one. The thought of giving up the privilege of driving will evoke strong emotions. Therefore, be careful to speak with empathy and graciousness.
- Be prepared for objections. Some older ones voluntarily stop driving. However, many will not. If, knowing your Dad's personality, you anticipate him being defensive, prepare yourself ahead of time. Think about potential objections and how to overcome them.
- Have a transportation plan in place. Consider the many things that he does now because he is able to drive. If they include getting to doctor appointments, running errands, and enjoying leisure, those things will still need to get done. So speak with family and friends ahead of time to see who can assist.
Although it won't be easy to bring up the topic, it must be done for his safety, as well as the safety of other drivers. So give it careful thought and approach Dad kindly.
As you are learning to deal with the changes that aging can bring, be patient with yourself, patient with your loved one, seek advice and answers to questions, and remember you are not in this alone. Contact a Caring Senior Service team member today!