When Mary’s 83-year-old mother accidentally drove into the fence at the end of her driveway, Mary knew it was time to talk to her about giving up her car keys. She dreaded the conversation, knowing that her mother wouldn’t take the suggestion well. Mary even feared they might argue and that her mother would refuse no matter what she said. She had no idea where to start the conversation.
Sound familiar? If you’re struggling with talking to your senior parent about giving up driving, you might be in need of some tips to help you get the conversation started and ensure it goes your way. Below are some suggestions that could make this difficult talk a little easier.
Get Outside Help If Needed
Before you even start the conversation, think about how your parent is likely to take the suggestion of no longer driving when it comes from you. Depending on your relationship with your parent, it may be better if someone else talks to them about it. According to a survey conducted by the Hartford/MIT AgeLab, seniors definitely have a preference for whom they hear about giving up driving from. According to the research, it appears that parents over the age of 70 are more likely to take the suggestion well from their adult children than are younger parents. If you think your parent won’t want to talk to you about it, consider asking their doctor for help. The research shows that older adults trust what their doctors say and are likely to take their advice.
Talk About Facts
If your parent has been involved in minor traffic accidents or gotten tickets, use that information to strengthen the conversation. However, avoid using them in an accusatory manner. Instead, use them to impart to your parent that you are concerned about their safety and the safety of others. You can also talk about specific medical conditions that affect driving, such as arthritis that makes it hard for them to move the steering wheel or turn their head to see what is coming or behind them.
Suggest Other Alternatives
Remind your parent that giving up the keys doesn’t have to mean they are stuck in the house. There are other alternatives to help them get where they need to go. One viable option is elder care. Elder care providers can drive seniors when they need to run errands or get to appointments. Elder care providers can also drive them to social engagements, worship services, and volunteer activities. In fact, an elder care provider can drive them to anywhere in town they need to go.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in South Brunswick, NJ, please contact the caring staff at Care Street Home Care of New Brunswick today. Call (732) 607-8870.
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