Senior Safety: Some of the decisions that you make as a family caregiver are really difficult to cope with during and after you’ve made them.
One of the biggest can involve when it might be the right time to convince your senior to give up driving due to their senior safety.
Make Sure You Get a Second or Third Opinion
With a decision this big, it’s so difficult to know when to take action. You don’t have to go through that alone. Talk to your senior’s doctor about what you’re noticing. Consider having your elderly family member evaluated by a neurologist or by a driving expert, or both. Gather as much data as you possibly can before making the decision.
Imagine the “Worst-case Scenario”
What’s the worst that could happen? No, really. This isn’t a super positive exercise, but it can help a lot when you’re making a big decision like this one. If your elderly family member were to keep driving, she might get into a wreck, and she might injure herself or someone else. Sometimes car accidents are so bad that they’re fatal. None of that is happy to think about, but if her driving has deteriorated so badly that these are the worst-case scenarios for your senior, she maybe shouldn’t be driving.
Remember You’re Not Leaving Your Senior Stranded
Ideally, taking the keys isn’t the end of things and you’re not leaving your elderly family member stranded. It’s vital that she does have other options that enable her to continue to go where she wants and needs to go. Hiring elder care providers is an excellent option because they can help with all sorts of concerns as well as with driving.
Journal Out Any Residual Feelings
As much as you might want to just let your feelings go after you know you’ve made the right decision you might still second guess yourself. Journaling about what you’re feeling can help you to process those emotions in a safe way. You may find that once you express what you’re feeling and name it, that it’s a lot easier for you to know that you’ve done what you needed to do for your senior’s safety.
Your senior may still be able to drive under some conditions. If you’re able to work out a compromise with her about when she’ll drive and when she won’t, that might be a good alternative to unilaterally taking her keys away entirely. Thus securing her senior safety even more.