Your elderly mother lives alone and still has a driver’s license. However, the last few times you’ve ridden with her have certainly been “hair-raising” experiences. Mom almost hit a pedestrian one day, and on another occasion ran a stop light and then applied the gas pedal instead of the brake. You’ve also noticed several fresh dents and dings on her car, leading you to believe that it might be best if mom would simply stop driving.
Convincing an aging parent to give up the car keys and stop driving can be difficult, but it is doable when you use this approach.
Are Mom’s Driving Days Over?
Vision and hearing loss, cognitive impairment, certain medications and other factors can all interfere with a senior’s ability to drive. When you’re starting to suspect that it’s no longer safe for your mom to be operating a vehicle, look for these key signs:
- Driving much too fast or too slow
- Several recent fender benders, “close calls” or serious accidents
- Getting lost in familiar areas
- Clipping curbs routinely
- Running traffic lights or stop signs
- Not noticing pedestrians, bicyclists or other motorists
- Difficulty parking or backing down the driveway
- Trouble moving her foot from the gas pedal to the brake, or confusing the two
- Other people complain about her driving habits
- Lack of self-confidence while behind the wheel
If this sounds like your mom, it’s time to have “the talk” with her about turning in the car keys.
Convincing Mom to Hand Over Her Keys
Gently approach your mother about your concerns based on what you, and others, have observed. Tell her how much she’s loved, and that you’re concerned not only for her safety and wellbeing, but for those of others. Share with her some recent news articles about seniors who’ve been involved in serious auto accidents, and if mom is still hesitant about turning over her keys, ask your siblings, a clergy member or one of her close friends to try some convincing. Once mom finally agrees, it’s time to find her some safe and reliable transportation.
Transportation Options for Active Seniors
For an aging in place senior, giving up their driving privileges is a major blow to their freedom and independence. As a result, some older adults become socially isolated, stop exercising like they should, or miss important doctor’s appointments. So that none of those things happen to your mom, you’ll need to coordinate some safe and reliable transportation for her. Here are
some of the ways to do so:
Uber, Lyft and other ride-sharing services are now available in most large communities. You can download an app to mom’s Smartphone so that she can conveniently schedule a ride and then get a text with the driver’s photo in advance. And, you can even set up payments with your credit card so that mom won’t have to.
A lot of areas offer discounted senior bus services, or you can probably find carefully screened volunteers that will take mom where she needs to go. If mom belongs to a community center or senior-focused gym, check to see if they provide free transportation.
Outside of your availability, ask some of your family members to take turns running mom to her appointments, including your older kids. It would be a great opportunity for mom and her grandkids to spend quality time together.
Home Care Agency
Another option you have is to hire a caregiver through a licensed home care agency that can provide mom with the on-call transportation she needs to ensure that her quality of life remains high.
Safe & Reliable Transportation for Aging in Place Seniors
Turning over the car keys for good can be a stressful time for you and your elderly loved one. When your senior has somewhere to be, call HomeChoice Home Care Solutions. As a fully licensed and insured home care agency, our highly trained and carefully screened aides will be happy to safely transport your senior so they can continue aging comfortably in place right where they want to be. In addition to reliable transportation, our caregivers can also perform in-home duties like light housework, meals, personal hygiene, medication reminders and companionship.
And, all our family trusted home care services can be individually combined within an affordable package that won’t break your budget! To learn more now about HomeChoice Home Care Solutions, or to schedule a FREE, in-home care assessment for your senior, please visit us at: www.homechoicehomecare.com now.