April 22, 2020
You and your elderly family member might not see eye to eye about her ability to keep driving and that creates a lot of friction. Something that can help is for both of you to come to some compromises around driving.
If your elderly family member can’t see well, she’s not going to be able to drive safely, no matter what she believes. Her vision is something that you can assess, with help from her eye doctor. If corrective lenses only take her so far in her quest to stay behind the wheel, she may need to admit that it’s time to try something different. It’s possible that your senior’s vision is more impaired at certain times, like at night or during rainy weather. One compromise might include not driving during those events.
Something that might help you and your senior to each feel more comfortable can be planning her trips in advance. That can feel a little silly, especially if she’s lived in her current town for a long time, but it can help immensely. This can help with padding her travel time somewhat, too. When she makes sure that she knows what route she’s taking, she can also account for small things that might throw her plan off.
While your elderly family member is planning routes, you both might agree to place a priority on trips in which she’s planning to travel on very familiar routes. Routes that aren’t as familiar might mean that your elderly family member agrees to be more open to accepting help with transportation for that trip. This isn’t an easy set of compromises for either of you to make, but these discussions can make a huge difference.
On that note, you need to make sure that you’re making alternative methods of transportation as easy for your senior to access as possible. This might mean having senior care providers available for not only routine tasks, but also for transportation needs as those arise. Explain to your elderly family member that you’ll feel better if someone that you trust is driving the car for her so you know she’s safe.
Coming to an agreement with your senior about driving is going to be a critical part of making sure she has what she needs in terms of transportation and help.