Did Distracted Driving Awareness Month (April) have you wondering whether or not it’s time to take the car keys away from mom and dad? If so, welcome to the club. It’s a common problem that adult children wrestle with each year. On one hand, there’s mom and dad’s need for independence. On the other, there’s the worry that their aging senses will put them and others in grave danger. So keeping that in mind, we’ve put together a few eldercare tips to help our friends, family and community members at large decide what to do:
- Check the expiration date on mom or dad’s driver’s license and then turn towards your local Department of Motor Vehicles. Many have laws in place that require people 65 years of age and older to either renew their licenses in person or submit to additional testing. The additional testing will help give you peace of mind as well as make the DMV the bad guy, not you, should their licenses need to be revoked.
- If your local DMV doesn’t offer such services, turn towards your parents’ doctors instead. Ask them to evaluate mom and dad. Afterward, sit down with the doctor and your parents to discuss the results. There may be actions mom and dad can take to improve their vision, hearing and reflexes. Examples include getting laser surgery, exercising, playing brain games and purchasing high-quality hearing aids. If not, the doctors may have no choice but to recommend license revocation.
- Remember, when it comes time to take the keys away, it doesn’t mean that mom and dad’s independence must end. There are eldercare options available that can make all the difference. For instance, caregivers or agencies may help provide mom or dad with safe, reliable transportation. They may also offer in-home care services that will limit the need for traveling outside of the home.
To learn more about them and other eldercare tips for keeping parents safe but independent, please contact us. At Home Matters, we will work with elderly residents who’ve had their driver’s licenses taken away as well as those who are still safely on the road.