Seniors above the age of 65 accounts for many accidents and traffic fatalities. You might have noticed the diminishing driving skills of your senior parent, but might not wish to start an argument with your parent over their driving. However, understand that it is important to discuss the same with your parent. Consider that you are fighting for the life of your parent, and you might feel more willing to have the conversation. The tips from various experts in senior assisted living and other senior rehab facilities shared below will help make the conversation smooth and effective.
You can easily feel frustrated by your senior loved one who stubbornly keeps driving. The person might be feeling independent while driving and it might be the only time when your senior parent feels independent. Your senior parent might be wanting to have an active and vibrant life that requires the ability to easily go from place to place. Your parent getting older does not mean that his or her desire to live a meaningful life has gone away. Therefore, take care to frame the conversation in words that do not highlight taking something away or make your senior parent feel more dependent on others.
Instead, you can start the conversation by expressing your concerns about the well-being of your senior parent or loved one. Always keep things light and give your parent enough time to think. You may then revisit after a few weeks. This strategy might help avoid an initial defensive reaction from your parent. Also, you should be well prepared to compassionately address the concerns of your parent before making each conversation.
If you hope to convince your senior parent to give away driving, you should be able to offer him
or her alternatives. Like any other person, a senior person also deserves joy and independence. Your senior parent being unable to drive does not mean that he or she is no longer interested in leaving the home.
While making the conversation about stopping the driving of your senior parent, talk to him or her about reasonable alternatives. Some of them are taxis, public transportation, senior transportation services, Uber or Lyft, etc. If your parent is unable to access any other options, you can also request help from any family member. Help from family members will work best when members of the family share the work rather than make a single family member do it all.