Your parents have probably been driving for decades. Yet as they get older, and their physical and mental health start to decline, it may no longer be safe for them to get behind the wheel. While the thought of losing independence with driving can be scary, there are options to allow seniors to feel like they’re still in control of the wheel.
Signs Your Senior Parents Need a Caregiver for Errands
Accidents tend to be the obvious sign that driving may no longer be an option for a senior. There are other warning signs to keep an eye on while you’re running errands. The next time you get into the passenger seat of your senior’s car, see if he or she forgets to stop at a stop sign or fails to use the turn signal. Difficulties merging or controlling speed are also red flags. If you do not take frequent trips with your senior, see if his or her car has any new scrapes or dents. If the vehicle frequently has new signs of damage, there is a strong chance they may be hitting curbs or other vehicles while driving. Additionally, you should be concerned if your senior starts routinely getting lost, particularly during drives to and from familiar locations. This may be a sign that your loved one no longer has the mental acuity necessary for driving. In this case, you may want to hire a caregiver who specializes in dementia.
Having the Conversation
Deciding that a senior can no longer drive is one thing. Actually talking to them about this conclusion is even more challenging. You may want to start with small talk. Suggest that your loved one stop driving at night or during rush hour. Discussing how other drivers tend to be more aggressive during these times may open the door to make the decision easier. You can also ask your loved one to take a senior driving course at the local DMV. Think of it as a refresher course since they have more than likely not taken a driver’s exam in years. Before you decide to completely take away the keys, talk with other family members and close friends. The group should come to a consensus prior to speaking to your loved one. The group meeting should be held without the loved one present so that everyone feels comfortable expressing their feelings.. Once it is time to speak to your loved one, be respectful and understanding. Try not to get overly emotional, even if they respond with anger or frustration. Be sure to emphasize that even though they should no longer drive, he or she still has other transportation options.
Benefits of Hiring a Caregiver
Even if your loved one can no longer drive, that does not mean you have to serve as their chauffeur. A caregiver from Home Helpers of Drexel Hill can do errands for them, escort them to doctor’s appointments, and spending time away from the home. Home Helpers provides services in and out of the home for seniors looking to maintain independence. If you need someone to help take care of your aging parents, schedule a free consultation today.