Eventually, you and your senior are going to need to talk about driving. Specifically, you’re going to have to address whether it’s time for her to stop driving or not. As her caregiver, that’s likely a topic you’re dreading bringing up. You need a plan.
Going into a conversation about driving with your senior without having as much information as possible is not a great idea. What you need to do is to figure out what it’s really like for her to drive right now. Is she having trouble? Is driving painful? Is driving unsafe for her to be doing? From there, you need to ponder how you’re going to approach this. Coming in with any kind of accusations is going to possibly be problematic. It’s much better to take the time you need to plan through what you’re going to say and do.
If you’re contemplating giving your senior any kind of ultimatums or deadlines, you might want to rethink that plan. It’s highly likely that she’s not going to take to either of those options very well. If you were in her shoes, would you appreciate that line of reasoning? The odds are that you probably wouldn’t. So, it’s time to look for other ideas.
Going into this talk with at least a few possible solutions is important. It shows your elderly family member that you’re not trying to force her into one particular situation and that you’re not interested in simply pinning her in place at home. Talk to her about whether you can drive for her or whether you’re willing to look at other solutions, like having home care providers available to do the driving for her.
Your senior may not be willing to quit driving completely and if that’s the only solution you’re willing to expect, you may end up disappointed. It’s much better for both of you if you’re willing to accept compromise from the beginning. That might look like your elderly family member agreeing to avoid driving at night or in certain types of weather. It might also mean that you agree not to nag her about driving.
You may not be able to convince your senior to stop driving with just one conversation. What matters is that you both understand that her safety is the most important factor and that you want her to be both safe and happy.