In the eyes of a senior, taking away the car keys is more than a simple change in transportation. Those keys are a symbol of independence, freedom and strength, making many drivers reluctant to give them up. But, as seniors age, their eyesight, height and reaction time makes it more and more dangerous for them to get behind the wheel.
If you’re worried about a loved one driving, protecting them and the public by getting them off the road is a must. A gradual transition, rather than a harsh cut-off, can ease the psychological effects, and Sunny Days Pittsburgh senior care services can provide your loved ones with the transportation services they need to get from place to place. Before approaching your mom or dad with a demand that they hand over the keys, consider the ways in which you can smooth this transition.
Explore issues that may affect driving
Before confronting your senior about their driving habits, consider there may be a larger issue at play and explore what issues may be affecting their driving abilities. The Pennsylvania Department of Motor Vehicles offers suggestions for how to spot problems and how to broach the subject. If you suspect their driving problems may be related to eyesight, make appointments with both a physician and an eye doctor to see if a stronger eyeglasses prescription can remedy the situation.
Medication side effects or drug interactions may also be the root of your loved one’s driving problem, so be sure to consult a doctor about this possibility, as well. If the issue is related to physical mobility, cars can be modified to suit specific needs and abilities, and doctors can recommend assistive driving devices. Services from Sunny Days In-Home Care for seniors include transportation services for doctor appointments and other daily errands. Just call our office when you need assistance!
Prepare for a long conversation
Before approaching your senior loved one, think through your approach and how to address your concerns. Plan the conversation for a time when you and the driver are both relaxed, and be realistic about how soon you’d like to resolve the issue. If the driver isn’t immediately convinced, giving them time to consider the conversation can open them up to more productive discussions at a later date.
In the meantime, consider approaching doctors, family or friends for assistance in persuading your senior. If these approaches are not effective, filing a report with the local driving authority might be necessary, as a last resort. It may seem cruel or unfair, but properly caring for seniors demands this action.
Be prepared for alternatives with senior care services in Pittsburgh
Many drivers resist giving up their keys in large part because life without a car can become incredibly isolating, so consider ways to help ease this difficult transition. Beyond regular visits and frequent contact, locating community resources within their hometown is one way to connect seniors with peers.
If your senior still enjoys getting out of the house for meals, visits or entertainment, explore all the subsidized transportation options throughout your community. Hiring a senior care provider for assistance in meal preparation and personal care can also provide lonely and isolated seniors with regular companionship. Contact Sunny Days In-Home Care to find out more about in-home care for seniors and in-home care for seniors with dementia. Call us at (724) 260-5186 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.