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When is it time to take the keys away?

Tuesday, February 5, 2019


In most families, the time arrives when there are concerns and conversations about a loved one’s driving skills. Age should not be the only determining factor in this matter, but whether or not the senior is a potential danger while driving.

If someone already has senior care that provides transportation, the situation is easily remedied. Caregivers can drive the older adult safely to appointments and social events.

However, when an older adult doesn’t have a helper or a community senior care vehicle, the older adult may find it much more difficult to give up his or her keys. In any case, people in their nineties can be driving safely and some people in their fifties shouldn’t be on the road. That’s because there are many factors that contribute to an ability to drive safely – physical and mental health conditions, prescription drugs, and age-related changes, for a few.

Note that if an aging adult has a serious new diagnosis, seems to be unfocused, inattentive or reckless, someone may have to help assess the situation and take immediate action, providing the appropriate senior care that will keep everyone safe.

If there’s no immediate concern, consider the following. There are numerous reasons to consider whether someone older should be driving. Declining vision as a result of cataracts, macular degeneration, or glaucoma may become a problem, although sometimes the condition only requires that the senior stops driving in the dark or at night. Another age-related condition may be hearing loss, which makes it harder, or impossible, to be alerted by drivers’ horns and emergency sirens, or even atypical noises from their own vehicles. And, another issue that is all too often seen in the newspapers is a pedal misapplication, as a result of lost coordination and reaction speed, resulting in pressure on the gas pedal instead of the brake.

Sometimes, aging adults resist any senior care assistance as long as possible. The time may come when family or trusted friends must step in, or step up, and take the keys away. Still, there are ways to do so with respect, allowing the aging adult to maintain his or her dignity.

If you need to have this conversation about senior care with your aging loved one, call Concierge Care first for suggestions. We understand and have compassion for seniors who must give up driving. Call our office today for helpful tips.

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