Remember the freedom you felt as a teenager when you learned to drive? If yes, then you can appreciate how difficult it is for elderly loved ones to relinquish that sense of freedom. Imagine how hard it is for them to accept the fact that they can no longer have this liberty.
For so many who have stepped in to oversee or care for an elderly loved one, the most dreaded transition that is so often fought is from driver to passenger: how do you make mom or dad give up the car?
For some guidance on handling this common, but difficult life transition, read a recent Forbes article titled “True Story: The Prominent Dad With Dementia Who Refused to Stop Driving.”
In these cases, when your loved one is very strong minded, the article suggests consulting the help of their doctor and – although you may not want to go there – law enforcement if necessary. A doctor can contact the Department of Motor Vehicles and, if your state allows it, request a re-test before your elder’s license renewal date. Here in the Torrance area, there are social workers who specialize in assessing an older adult's ability to drive. They then make a report to the doctor, the report will substantiate the elder's inability (or even ability) to drive a motor vehicle.
Bear in mind that the consequences of not taking action are far worse than dealing with an offended elder. It is more important to protect your family member before they end up hurting themselves or others on the road.
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Reference: Forbes (January 7, 2013) “True Story: The Prominent Dad With Dementia Who Refused to Stop Driving”