This is an ongoing question and one of the greatest fears of our senior population. It signals to them the beginning of the end, the loss of independence, the loss of some of their identity. It can also present a hardship on the family as they must make arrangements for Mom or Dad to get them where they need to go, arrange to have supplies in their house, and limits the kind of time that they now spend with Mom or Dad. Many if not most of our senior population attests that there are no issues with their driving, that they have taken and passed the DMV tests and there is NO PROBLEM with their driving and commandeering a 2000 lb. vehicle on our public roads and highways is not an issue. So how do you know when it is time to take away the keys?
Try asking a few pertinent questions both to the senior and to yourself.
1)Would you want your 88 year old mother driving your 2 year old grandchild to day-care?
2)Do you believe that they can stop a vehicle in case of an unforeseen event as quickly as they could have some years earlier?
3)Can they maintain a healthy distance between cars, yet not slow down the traffic flow as to create a backup.
4)Would you feel safe with them driving you to a Doctor’s appointment?
5)Can they turn their head so as to see behind them clearly when backing out of driveways or other places?
6)Do you think that they actually check their blind spot on changing lanes?
7)If they refuse to give up the keys, who is responsible if a tragedy does occur?
8)Would you want them driving on our highways with other faster vehicles, and would you feel safe with them driving slowly on the highway?
9)If, as they say they are OK to drive, would you want your elderly father driving your mother to an appointment or vice versa?
10)If they absolutely refuse to give up the keys, what can you do?
So if you have issues on any of these above questions, you do need to consider the possible actions that you might take in order to prevent an accident or worse a tragic situation for someone you love. You can consider the following;
1)Talk to the senior and allow him or her to arrange an alternate method of transportation, perhaps take the senior van, or arrange for transportation service to take them places and assist them with this process.