Five Tips for Having the Driving Talk with Your Aging Adult

Five Tips for Having the Driving Talk with Your Aging Adult

The driving talk is one that you might be dreading intensely. It can be a difficult conversation with your aging adult and it doesn’t always go how you expect it to.

Compile Your Evidence.

It might feel a little bit sneaky, but you need to gather your evidence before you have this conversation with your aging adult. Pay attention to how your senior is driving and make note of everything that made you nervous enough to even address this issue. You might even have anecdotal evidence from other family members and neighbors. Gather it all so you’re prepared.

Tread Carefully.

Prepare yourself before you actually have the talk. You need to tread carefully with this conversation. Giving up driving is incredibly difficult for aging adults and your elderly family member is not likely to be an exception to that. This is a big part of her sense of independence and of seeing herself as still being a valuable part of society.

Establish a Timeline for Changes.

This may not have to happen all at once. Your elderly family member may want a little more time to prove to you that she’s still safe to drive. You may want to set up an appointment with her doctor as well to get another opinion. This is something that you can talk about more together over the coming weeks.

Develop Some Compromises.

It’s very possible that giving up driving is something that happens not only gradually but only after a series of compromises for both your senior and you. For instance, she might agree to stop driving at night or when it’s raining or the weather is otherwise inclement. She might need to avoid high-traffic areas or highways, which can also be a strong compromise.

Offer Some Alternatives.

Be sure that you go into the conversation with some alternatives to offer. You can’t simply tell your senior that she can’t drive any longer and expect that to be okay. She still has a life and you do want her to continue to be active in that life. If you’re not able to do the driving for her, hiring home care providers can be an alternative option that works well for both of you.

This may be a conversation you have more than once, believe it or not. Very few aging adults are ready to hand over the keys the first time this subject is addressed. Remember to keep calm and to be as compassionate as possible. This is as difficult for her as it is for you, especially if she’s been driving for a long time.

If you or an aging loved-one are considering home care in Burien, WA, please contact the caring staff at Wiser Care Services. Phone: (877) 279-5530. Serving all of Pierce County and South King County.