When we are young and virile, we take driving for granted, but it can become very clear just how involved driving is, in terms of motor and cognitive skills, as we get older. The danger of elderly drivers is a big issue. Here are some tips for talking to your parents about their driving.
Ask yourself: is your parents’ driving putting them or others in danger? You can look for signs on their vehicle, such as dents or paint markings on the bumpers. If you aren’t totally certain, you can find a way to take a ride with them. Barring any immediate need for intervention, the ride is not the place to talk to them about their driving—just make mental notes.
You need to decide whether you should suggest they stop driving entirely or whether some restrictions should be enacted. Some restrictions can be that they only drive during the day and that they only drive in town and not on the interstates.
Once you’ve determined that you need to talk to your aging parent, there are a few things to keep in mind. Driving is much more than getting from point A to point B—it’s also about independence. This will allow you to better empathize with your parent.
You also have to prepare for what happens when they do in fact choose to limit or stop driving. They are still going to need transportation. Do your homework and find out about senior services in the area and decide how much you are going to be able to help out.