When you first realize that your elderly family member might not be safe behind the wheel of her car, you might be tempted to make some rash decisions. It helps if you stop and think before taking action.
Make Sure You’re Viewing This from a Safety Standpoint
In some ways, it might be a lot easier for you if your senior couldn’t drive any longer. You might worry less, for instance, and you might know where she is at all times. These aren’t bad reasons, necessarily, but the most important aspect of your senior’s ability to drive is whether it’s safe for her to do so or not. You run the risk of infantilizing her if you approach this from other angles, and that’s not good for either of you.
Understand Why This Is Difficult for Your Senior
This conversation is going to be tough, most likely. There are a lot of reasons that it will be complicated, and it’s important that you’re aware of those reasons so that you can help your senior through this. Your elderly family member faces a lot of challenges, especially if her health is not as good as it once was. This is just another area of life in which she’s losing abilities, and that’s not easy to reconcile. Keep that in mind as you talk.
Set Aside Some Time for an Honest Talk
This isn’t a conversation that you can have quickly or without both of you being honest with each other. You and your elderly family member need to both have time to explore and to express how you’re feeling and what you think about what’s happening. That might mean that you even revisit the conversation more than once so that you can both get to where you need to be.
Ensure Your Senior Has Options
Your elderly family member absolutely needs options with all of this. Just because she’s not able to drive any longer, that doesn’t mean that she should be stuck at home. There are more options available than you and your senior might realize, including the possibility of hiring senior care providers to do the driving for your elderly family member.
Not driving might even be a temporary situation, depending on your senior’s health and other needs. Talk to her about all possible scenarios and help her to find the answers that serve her in the best possible way.