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Talking to your parent about giving up their driver’s license
Giving up your Driver’s License and aging is a natural problem, and none of us can escape it. The physical and emotional changes that go with old age are not always natural or pleasant. Getting older and having health problems can cause problems for the children, caregivers, and the elderly themselves. There are several issues that we need to consider when our parents age. One major issue is asking their parents to give up driving.
This may come as a shock, as they feel they have lost their independence and have to look up to their children for help. Voicing our concerns about the consequences of driving at an old age should merit concern. With each passing day, the condition may get difficult and the outcome may not be pleasant.
Explain to them the hazards of not giving up their drivers license
Giving up their driver’s license does not mean the end of their independence, just an easier way to get around. Discuss how a wreck could affect them physically, mentally, monetarily – and worse – morally, if someone else gets hurt. On top of all the more obvious consequences, if they cause damage to someone else’s property or injury to another person, they could be sued and risk losing their hard-earned retirement savings. Dealing with this and being careful not to irritate the situation any further can cause strain on you, as the caregiver. Here are some great books to help you now.
Here are some key facts about senior drivers:
- Fifty percent of the middle-aged population and 80 percent of people in their 70s suffer from arthritis, crippling inflammation of the joints, which makes turning, flexing, and twisting painful.
- Weaker muscles, reduced flexibility, and limited range of motion restrict senior drivers’ ability to grip and turn the steering wheel, press the accelerator or brake, or reach to open doors and windows.
- More than 75 percent of drivers age 65 or older report using one or more medications, but less than one-third acknowledged awareness of the potential impact of the medications on driving performance.
- Per mile traveled, fatal crash rates increase beginning at age 75 and rise sharply after age 80. This is mainly due to the increased risk of injury and medical complications, rather than an increased tendency to get into crashes.
- Since older drivers are more fragile, their fatality rates are 17 times higher than those of 25- to 64-year-olds.
- In 2009, 33 million licensed drivers were over age 65 – a 20 percent increase from 1999. And by the year 2030, 70 million Americans in the U.S. will be over age 65 – and 85 to 90 percent of them will be licensed to drive.
- In 2014, nearly 5,709 senior drivers were killed and 221,000 were injured in traffic crashes.
- In 2009, more than 58 percent of deaths in crashes involving drivers over age 65 were older drivers themselves and 12 percent were their passengers. Twenty-eight percent of these deaths were occupants of other vehicles, bicyclists, and pedestrians.3 By comparison, in the same year, 40 percent of deaths in crashes involving at least one driver younger than age 21 were attributed to the younger drivers themselves, and 23 percent were their passengers. Thirty-six percent were occupants of other vehicles, bicyclists, and pedestrians.
Discuss the benefits of giving up their drivers license
Give them a reason to give up their driver’s license. Discuss the benefits of giving up their driver’s license mean no more car insurance to pay. They can sell their car and use the money for something more enjoyable. Also, give up the headaches of car repairs, fueling, and maintaining the car. If they still do not see things your way, take them to the DMV to update their skill and see if they can pass a physical test. This will determine if they are still capable to drive.
Tips for talking to their loved ones about giving up their driving license:
- Children have to understand that, they will not succeed in the first attempt. Keep patience and handle the situation with care, love, and understanding.
- Select an ideal time for bringing up the topic, wait for the right opportunity to talk to their parents. The topic should come up when parents are in a good mood and are willing to listen. The tone of the voice should be soft and not be demanding. Parents should in no way feel offended and should accept the proposal.
- Support your case with reasons. If they are under medications with side effects, have poor vision, or are disorientated. All these factors along with their debilitating consequences can be explained to their parents.
- Find other means of transportation before bringing up the topic. make a list of alternative transportation. This list should keep in mind the kind of health problems their parents are suffering from.
- Consult their physician, if they still refuse. The physician would then speak to the parent and ask for their license.
Have patience and be kind
For our aging loved ones, driving is an essential form of freedom. It’s important to recognize that you aren’t just asking your loved ones to give up their keys — you’re asking that they radically change their lifestyle. If they can’t drive, they may have to alter their daily routines, who they see, and the places they go to.
We should never forget that it was our parents who stood by our side with patience, and understanding. So, treat your parents with respect can make matters easy for them. So, in conclusion, this will help convince their parents about giving up their driver’s license.
Suggestions for alternatives from their driver’s license
If you give them alternatives to driving themselves, it can make things a whole lot easier. Let them know how freeing it will be to not have the responsibility of having a driver’s license. Give them some suggestions for alternate transportation solutions.
- Arrange a ride schedule with family and friends.
- Use on-demand ride services like Uber or Lyft.
- Take taxis.
- Hire a private car service for several hours each week.
- Take public transportation.
- Get rides from volunteer drivers from senior centers or religious and community service organizations.
Your loved ones losing their driver’s license isn’t the end of the world, but it will be a difficult transition. Work to make it as easy on your loved one as possible and be prepared to deal with some anger and frustration. Ensure to them that the safety of your loved one is worth it in the long run.
It can be difficult to talk to your loved ones about giving up their driver’s license, but it’s not impossible. With the right knowledge, you can do this. Don’t forget about taking care of yourself and keeping your business going while you are caregiving. I’m here to assist you on this journey, schedule your planning session with me so we can look at how to keep your life and your business running smoothly. Also, check out this article about assisted living.