During 2017, over 257,000 older drivers ended up in the emergency room following a car accident. The causes of those crashes varied, but sometimes the older drivers were at fault. Delayed reaction times, pain turning the neck fully enough to check blind spots, and vision issues are all possibilities.
Your mom’s driving skills are worsening to a point you don’t trust her behind the wheel. She can’t fully check her blind spots. Vision changes can make it harder for older adults to safely drive. Medication side effects also impact driving skills. If she shouldn’t be driving, you need to help her transition from being a driver to being a passenger.
Point Out the Positives
Talk to your mom about the positive aspects she gains. First, if she likes to have a glass of wine when she’s out, she doesn’t have to worry about skipping it. She always has a designated driver now. A lighthearted approach may help her adjust to the change.
Point out how much she’ll save in gas, car payments, maintenance, emergency repairs, tires, and auto insurance. When she sees the amount of money she’s saving, she may be happier handing over her keys. If she has a $300 a month car payment and monthly auto insurance premiums of $70 a month, she’s going to have $370 in extra cash each month.
Discuss the Safety Aspect
Talk to her about the reason she needs to stop driving. She accidentally hit the accelerator instead of the brake and drove into her garage door. Ask her what would have happened if someone was stood inside the garage when that happened. How would she have felt?
Make sure you approach this calmly and don’t accuse. Simply point out the facts. You could find stories of other drivers and mention that you’re worried that this could be your mom. You love her and don’t want her or anyone else hurt in an accident.
Get Rid of Her Keys
Take her keys away and put them somewhere that she cannot get hold of them. If the car and/or car keys are unavailable, she’ll have no choice but to accept that she cannot drive anymore.
Expect her to be upset. Don’t try to dismiss her frustration. Make sure she understands why it has to be this way and how you plan to help her stay active by making sure she still leaves the house when she wants or needs to.
Provide Alternatives to Her Driving
Have you considered hiring elderly care aides to drive your mom on the days she needs rides? Caregivers can escort her to medical and dental appointments. They can take your mom out for a drive or take her shopping. Elderly care also helps her carry in items she buys while you’re out. Call to learn more.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Matawan, NJ, please contact the caring staff at Lares Home Care 888-492-3538 or 732-566-1112.