Your senior parent might have been the person who taught you how to drive, and it may feel strange to suddenly be concerned about his or her driving ability. The prospect of bringing up your loved one’s unsafe driving might cause you to cringe, but there also comes a point where you have to say something for the safety of your parent and everyone on the road. Since driving represents independence, you should anticipate some pushback at first. However, approaching the subject with compassion and some great ideas for alternative transportation options can get your parent to accept the need for a change.
Choose the Right Person to Hold the Discussion
If your parent is still married, you might want to talk to his or her spouse to see if he or she can broach the topic first. Most seniors prefer to hear this type of news from their spouses first and their adult children second. If your loved one is single, this task will likely fall to you or your siblings. If you have siblings, choose one person to hold the discussion. This will make it feel more like a natural conversation and less like an intervention. If you feel like your loved one might not listen to you at all, you can recruit a doctor or another trusted person to bring up driving safety.
Driving may not be the only safety concern you have about your parent, so you may find extra peace of mind by hiring a professional caregiver. Families looking for top-rated senior home care providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.
Lay the Groundwork with Smaller Conversations
Unless your loved one is in serious danger, this is a topic you might be able to cover in several conversations. For example, you might ask your loved one about his or her recent vision test and use that information to bring up driving. Or you might mention how crazy the traffic was on your way over and ask your parent how he or she feels when driving during rush hour. You can use your parent’s answers to guide your future conversations.
Share Your Concerns
At times, you might need to be more direct. If your loved one has had a recent accident, bring it up, and let him or her know you worry about his or her safety. When you voice your concerns, make sure to do so with empathy. This isn’t the time to place blame, and your loved one might have some excuses already prepared. Instead, focus on your genuine fear that your parent could get hurt in an accident.
Even if your loved one has to give up driving, he or she can still enjoy a high level of independence. Allen home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.
Talk about the Options
Seniors don’t always have to completely hang up their keys. If your loved one can still pass a driving test, he or she might want to start out with limiting his or her driving. For instance, your parent may choose to only drive in familiar places and arrange for a caregiver to drive to any new locations. This can help your loved one still feel some level of independence, and he or she might be perfectly safe driving a few streets over to visit a friend. For more serious driving issues, your loved one might need to shift to using professional transportation services. If this is the case, work on helping him or her see the positive side. Once seniors discover the joy of being able to relax and enjoy the ride, they often tend to appreciate having a little help with this part of life.
Living independently is important for seniors who want to maintain a high quality of life. For some, this simply means receiving help with tasks that have become more challenging to manage over time. Even when families have the best intentions, they may not have the time to provide the care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. If your loved one needs help for a few hours a day or a few days a week, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of respite care Allen seniors can depend on. To schedule a free in-home consultation, give us a call at (972) 548-0392 today.