When is the correct time for seniors to retire from driving? While there’s no set age, adults who present a danger to themselves or others on the road should irrefutably give up their car keys. It’s not always easy to persuade elderly drivers to stop driving, and many will resist giving up this area of independence. With your loved one’s safety at stake, don’t give up. Here you’ll learn the warning signs that indicate unsafe driving, and how to encourage your loved one to stay out of the driver’s seat.
1. Discuss Limitations
Certain physical or mental limitations can make it difficult to continue driving. Discuss these limitations with your loved one and explain what dangers they present. For example, eyesight and hearing problems, conflicting medications, and memory issues are all common conditions in old age that can make it difficult to operate a vehicle.
2. Start Slow
If your loved one is still able to drive safely in certain situations, you may want to consider slowly making the transition from driving to other forms of transportation. For example, some seniors are able to drive safely during the day, but should refrain from driving at night.
3. Give a Helping Hand
Many seniors drive out of necessity, whether it’s a trip to the supermarket for food or a visit to their physician for a scheduled appointment. Make driving less essential by offering a helping hand. Give your loved one a ride or offer to pick up groceries and other items they may need.
4. Offer Alternatives
Transportation for seniors is available in most cities, but many adults are not aware of these programs. Do research to see what senior transportation services are provided in your area. Many public transportation options even offer discounts to senior citizens.
5. Get a Second Opinion
Sometimes all a person needs to stop a dangerous habit is a second opinion by a trusted medical professional. Obtain written or oral commentary from a doctor, optometrist, or other neutral medical professional.
6. Use Technology
Depending on why your loved one chooses to leave the house, technology may be the answer. For elderly drivers that love to shop, introduce online shopping. Groceries, clothes, shoes, household goods, and other items can be purchased online and delivered directly to their door.
7. Sign Up
Many elderly drivers are not even aware that their driving skills have slipped. To make the problem more transparent, consider signing up your loved for an older driver refresher course, available through programs like AARP, AAA and local driving schools.
8. Contact the DMV
If your loved one refuses to quit driving and presents a danger while on the road, you may need to seek assistance elsewhere. Contact your local Department of Motor Vehicles to see if they can help
For most elderly drivers, giving up driving is like giving up a big piece of their independence. Fortunately, there are many senior transportation services available to make easing away from driving less distressing for seniors.