When an older family member begins to suffer from dementia or a related
condition, many people put off
The Talk as long as possible. But there are some ways to approach your loved one
regarding the loss of driving privileges.
First of all, it's important that you all recognize the danger. If
a driver becomes lost, the driver becomes distracted from the road and
both pedestrian and motorist traffic. Other drivers may forget basic "rules
of the road" like stopping at a red light or yielding when turning
left. There are some more obvious hazards as well, such as reduced reaction
time or some other diminished physical capacity.
Many older drivers recognize the fact that they should not be driving and
are quite relieved when they are told not to drive anymore. Such a finding
may come from a court or a doctor, but it is probably best that it come
from one of their loved ones.
Whether they are relieved or not, being grounded is a very big adjustment,
especially if the person has a hard time accepting change and embracing
new things. The first few weeks and months are generally the hardest time
period. Be prepared to be gentle yet firm; you can always relax the restrictions
and oversight later. You may want to consider taking the car keys, disabling
the vehicle by draining the gasoline or removing the battery, or moving
the car to another location.
In a subsequent post, we'll examine the legal implications of driving
with a medical condition in Tulare County.