Your senior's ability to drive is a big issue, especially if she's experiencing difficulties. There will come a time when you need to talk to her about giving up driving.
Talk to Your Senior as Soon as You Notice Trouble
Putting off this conversation does not make it any easier to have, either for you or for your elderly family member. It's best to have this talk as soon as you start to notice trouble. Whether you're noticing new damage to the car or you've become aware of tickets or accidents, sooner is way better than later.
Introduce Alternative Transportation Ideas from the Start
Because this is such a tender topic, it can help to introduce alternative transportation options right from the very beginning. Let her know that senior care providers can be there for her to handle the driving. This can defuse one of her biggest worries, which is likely to be the fear that she'll be trapped at home alone with no way to go anywhere.
Get a Second Opinion
You may know what you're seeing, but it doesn't hurt to get a second or even a third opinion. Set up an appointment to talk with your elderly family member's doctor about her ability to drive. From there, you might also want to set up a formal driving assessment. This is usually done with a driving professional who can serve as a neutral advisor about her driving abilities.
Be Honest and Focus on Safety
When you're talking with your elderly family member, be honest with her. Let her know that you're worried about her. Be sure that you also focus on overall safety. The vast majority of what you do as a caregiver is because you're concerned about your senior's safety and this is no different.
Expect Some Resistance
Very few aging adults are thrilled to hand over the keys and admit that they're done driving. Your senior may feel stubborn about driving or she may simply want to maintain control, but the bottom line is that she'll likely resist. That's normal, even if it's a bit frustrating.
This is not an easy conversation to have with your aging adult, even if she's expecting it. There are so many deeper emotions and issues connected to the idea of driving and it's difficult for your loved one to let go. Be patient and remember that this is as difficult for you as it is for her.
If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Columbus, MT, please contact the caring staff at SYNERGY HomeCare today at 406-839-2390.