On the short drive home, she approached the subject of him giving up his car keys. “Who is going to take them away from me? You and what army?” he said defiantly.
We all remember the excitement of being granted a drivers license, no matter what age. The idea of giving up that right is something no one wants to think about. Losing one’s independence is certainly something we all dread It appears, broaching the subject with aging parents may be even more difficult.
A recent Hartford survey found adults 40-49 are the age group most concerned about an older family member’s driving. More than 33 percent have not shared these worries with the older driver. Telling your father or mother they are dangerous to themselves or to other drivers is not a conversation we look forward to, no matter our age. Family members may also have concerns about available transportation options in the community which will allow mom or dad to have some degree of independence.
AARP notes, “The need to relinquish a drivers license realistically has nothing to do with age. There are people in their 80s and 90s who hold licenses and drive actively and safely, while there are others in their 50s and 60s who should not be behind the wheel. The most driving-accident-prone Americans are those aged 15 through 19.”
So when is the right time to have this talk? There are warning signs, including but not limited to, being easily distracted when behind the wheel, hitting curbs, having difficulty merging into lanes of traffic, poor judgment making left turns and failure to adhere to traffic signs and signals.
Consider vision. Conditions such as cataracts, macular degeneration, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy can hamper driving ability and an annual eye and vision examination is important for anyone who wears glasses. Consider physical ability. Driving is a skill, which requires full use of all extremities. If mom or dad has lost dexterity, consider encouraging more exercise. If they are getting shorter with age, adjusting the seat forward or higher might be a good solution……..
Read more: http://www.thespectrum.com/story/opinion/editorials/2014/11/16/difficult-discussion-asking-aging-parent-relinquish-drivers-license/19139915/
Source: The Spectrum
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