When To Take The Car Away

When To Take The Car Away?

Have you ever felt a concern for your senior’s ability to drive safely as they get older? Many caregivers and families of the senior population daily face this issue.

Sometimes we talk about taking away the keys, but lets face it what we really mean is actually taking the car away. Chances are if your senior is like mine, they have another set of keys and will find a way to drive again, when no one is looking. Here is some practical advice and tips that may help in making this decision together.

Tips for making the change:

  • Always do things by keeping your senior’s dignity and quality of life in mind.
  • Let your senior know why you feel this is necessary and be firm. It might help to have a friend, relative, or church pastor etc. takes away the keys.
  • If your senior gets defiant, ask them if they would rather have the judge take them away, along with the court fees to go with it.
  • Reasons for not driving- Number one is vision, as we age our vision fails us and we cannot take the risk of not seeing that unexpected stop sign or a child running between cars. Number two is typically for health reasons other than vision i.e. chance of stroke, seizures, narcolepsy, mental confusion etc… For more examples, see website listings and books.
  • Plan alternative transportation before you have this discussion. Buses, taxes, shuttles, light rail or perhaps another relative. Keep in mind each ones schedules as well.
  • It is always good to have this conversation long before it ever needs to happen with your senior about not driving anymore.
  • Ask them when they think that would be, and how do they see it happening when the time comes. Encourage them to think about it seriously and not blow it off.
  • Start gradually by pointing out to your senior each time you see something about their driving that sends a message, it is getting closer to them not being able to drive.
    – When they do not realize that, they are cutting someone off, while changing lanes let them know your concerns.
    – When they are having trouble seeing roads signs, suggest they are seeing well enough to drive.
    – When they are not stopping smoothly anymore and they end up halfway in and intersection before they stop point it out clearly to them what is wrong with their driving.
    – Especially when they forget where they are at and get lost getting to an appointment or going home. This can be very vexing for them as well as yourself.
  • Sometimes its easier when their license expires or when the car registration expires to take the car away. This does not mean you won’t use the car to drive them instead.

Source: Staff Member at www.RetirementConnection.com
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