At what point do you say enough’s enough when a loved one’s driving becomes dangerous? While we hope that our older loved ones make the decision to hand over the keys on their own, some choose to drive as long as they possibly can. You’re the one who might have to say enough’s enough to make sure that they remain safe and sound. What should you look for when they’re driving?
Are they able to find their way to the store and back home again? Are the familiar roads still familiar, or do you receive calls from them asking how to get home?
- Do they remember to take their medical alert systems with them?
Medical alert systems save lives. If someone you love is driving and they forget where they are, the EMT-trained operator can help them get back on track.
Are they able to park without hitting the curb? Can they stay within the lines? Deterioration of vision happens gradually, so it’s important that you keep an eye out for whether your loved one can still park.
When they’re distracted, are they able to still pay attention to the road? Do they pay a little bit too much attention to the radio, their passenger, or their phone, and not enough on the road? Are they reacting appropriately to the things that they see on the road, or are they somewhere ‘off in space’?
When your loved ones are driving, do they show signs of being angry while they’re doing it? Are they weaving a bit, getting angry at other drivers for mistakes that they made, and letting that anger cloud their judgment?
- Fender Benders
Is your loved one getting into a lot of fender benders or hitting their doors on other cars when getting out? Too many fender benders can be a sign that it’s time to give up the keys.
This is the most important one. Do you feel safe while your friend or loved one is driving? Would you let your children be in the same car while that person is driving, or do they make you feel too nervous about the situation? Do you feel like they’ll need to reach for their medical alert system every time they go out and drive?
Bringing up the concerns that you have about your friend or loved one’s driving habits can be difficult, but the ultimate concern is about their safety and well-being. Explain to them that you don’t want to take away their keys, but you’re trying to prevent having to press the button on their medical alert systems. No keys might be an inconvenience, but it’s definitely better than other options.