How to Tell an Aging Loved One it’s Time to Retire their Driver’s License

By Annette Bratcher, 4:49 pm on

Driving is often a way to connect to the outside world and to remain independent for older adults, which is why telling an aging parent or spouse that they should no longer drive can be difficult. It’s important to express to your loved one that their safety is your main concern and that independence can be lived out in other ways. So how do you know when it’s time to have “the talk” and how should you approach the sensitive topic?

Signs their Driving Skills are on the Decline

  • Small scratches and dents on the car
  • Slowed reaction time at stop signs
  • Haphazard parking jobs
  • Confusion between the gas and brake pedal
  • Difficulty seeing street signs, motorcyclists and pedestrians
  • Getting lost often, which could also be a symptom of dementia

How to Approach the Conversation

After you have observed first-hand the decline in their driving ability, try to have an open and honest conversation with your aging loved one. Talk about what you have witnessed and ask them how they would feel if they accidentally hurt an innocent passenger or pedestrian. Come prepared with a list of people that can help with driving: family members, neighbors or an hourly caregiver from Home Care Assistance, and also be prepared for some resistance from your aging loved one.

What to do if they Resist Giving up the Keys

If your elderly loved one is not willing to give you the keys and you believe driving could pose harm to their safety or the safety of others, you may want to consider moving the keys to a safe place unknown to your loved one. Other options include putting a steering wheel lock on the vehicle or calling your local Denton County DMV to request that they take another driving test.

This is also a great time to consider getting at-home help for your aging loved one. Our compassionate and highly-trained caregivers are able to assist with daily tasks like cooking and cleaning along with taking care of transportation needs. For more information on how Home Care Assistance can help alleviate some of the worries that comes along with revoking an aging loved one’s license please call 972-468-6010 today.