We all get worried about our aging loved ones, but having a conversation with a parent about safe driving is not easy. It may quickly escalate into a heated discussion about freedom, loss of independence and loss of identity. Rest assured, there are ways to cool the conversation.
Remember: The root of the conversation is safety; the safety of your parents as well as the safety of other drivers. Before bringing up the topic, start by taking a drive with your parent and look for:
- Dents and scrapes on the car or garage doors
- Trouble moving foot from gas to brake pedal
- Slow response to unexpected situations
- Trouble seeing or following traffic signals
- Difficulty concentrating or being easily distracted
- Trouble turning to check the rear and blind spots
- Misjudges gaps in traffic
- Road rage
- Frequent "close" accidents
- Getting lost, especially in familiar locations
If you notice any of these, your parent likely is not driving safely. Start the conversation by offering alternative transportation, like Paratransit. Now might also be the perfect time to talk about senior living options that provide transportation and convenience.
Consider a geriatric evaluation where a third, neutral party can equip you with information and options. And if you are worried about your parent's cognitive state of mind, they can help guide you where to turn. Eskaton care managers are nurses and social workers who provide solutions that benefit your parent and your family.
As your parent begins showing signs that suggest they may need assistance, call Live Well at Home by Eskaton at 916-459-3220 to schedule an evaluation with one of our care managers or click here to download the signs checklist today.