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Talking to an Elderly Parent about Driver Safety

By Carolina Orosa, 11:04 pm on

Concern about an aging parent’s driving abilities is one of the toughest subjects that adult children must discuss with their loved ones. While senior adults know that they may one day no longer be able to drive, handing over their keys may represent a loss of independence and control. If you have noticed patterns of unsafe driving in your parent’s history, then tackling the issue promptly can ensure their safety and that of others who share the road.

To ensure the conversation goes smoothly, be sure to utilize the following strategies that have helped others talk to their loved ones, presented by Home Care Assistance of Vancouver.

  • Choose the Right Time – The best time to broach the topic of driving is when your parent is calm and relaxed. Try to ease into the conversation by acknowledging that the topic is difficult. Then, ask them if they have noticed any problems driving while on the road. In some instances, your parent may already have concerns, yet they are nervous about losing their right to drive.
  • Identify Possible Causes – In some cases, unsafe driving may be the result of a health condition or medication side effect. If your parent has had a sudden change in their driving skills, then consider scheduling a check up with their physician. For example, vision loss could hinder their ability to see the road clearly, or they may be drowsy due to a new medication. If the cause is temporary, then it may be possible for your parent to resume driving after their condition has been treated.
  • Make a List of Pros and Cons – If your parent balks at the prospect of giving up their license, ask them to make a list of their concerns. Then, discuss some of the benefits that come with choosing alternative modes of transportation such as saving on auto insurance and registration fees. Many seniors are surprised to discover that there is a positive side to taking the passenger seat.
  • Offer Alternatives – The fear of losing control over their lives is one of the most common reasons cited by seniors for continuing to drive even when they feel it is no longer safe. Help to quell this fear by coming to the conversation prepared with alternative ways they can still accomplish their daily tasks. For example, transportation can be arranged to help them get to medical appointments, and a professional Vancouver caregiver can help them to continue going on their favorite outings.

While it may take multiple conversations and a great deal of patience, you can ensure that your parent will continue to enjoy their golden years while staying safe on the road by utilizing the above strategies.

To learn more about professional assistance from a home caregiver, contact Home Care Assistance of Vancouver today. We offer flexible hourly and live-in care in Vancouver, where a highly trained and compassionate caregiver can help your loved one with a wide range of activities from transportation and light housekeeping to meal preparation and medication reminders. Call 778-279-3634 to speak with a Case Manager and request more information about our in-home care services.