Senior Driver Concerns for Families
Senior Driver Concerns
The other day, a friend of mine confided in me that she was contemplating taking the car keys away from her mom. Her mom is in her early 80's and extremely independent. Still, as one of the elderly drivers in the world she's had one recent fender bender (with the trashcan on her street), but my friend is nevertheless concerned about her mother's reaction times and her increased (though not frequent) confusion and tendency to get lost on occasion.
So, when exactly is at the right time to broach the topic of taking away the keys? This can be an especially touchy topic, and quite devastating to older drivers such as seniors. Losing your car keys equates to a loss of independence and increased reliance on others for seniors.
However, safety first. When contemplating senior driver concerns, taking the keys away from mom or dad or another elderly love one can be difficult as well as painful, but you need to keep in mind that their safety as well as the safety of others is paramount. I suggested that my friend access booklets from AAA and AARP regarding traffic safety, and even suggested that her take a AARP defensive driving course for elderly drivers.
In many cases, elderly drivers know when it's time to give up driving. One fender bender, one incident of getting lost or confusion as to where they are is often enough for many older drivers to realize that their decision-making skills, physical reflexes, or cognitive and reasoning abilities have declined. However, there may come a time when you need to take away those keys yourself. It's one of the toughest things you may have to do, but remember, safety first.