Telling a senior or elderly person they should no longer be driving is almost always met with an emotional rejection by that aging or elderly person.
From their point of view, driving is a right they’ve earned and their gateway to independence. Remember that a senior or elderly person’s dignity is often attached to their driver’s license. This is why a tactful approach with specific information, positive options, and substitutions for driving is necessary.
Grocery shopping, running errands and medical appointments are all a variety of home care services offered to seniors and the elderly.
Explaining to the senior or elderly person that these home care services will ensure their continued independence and eliminate the possibility of isolation is an important part of the conversation. There may be a need to be blunt and inform the senior or elderly person that home care services will be implemented to help them get around and keep them safe.
Even when presenting them with this news, be positive and help them understand that home care services will provide them with the continued independence and dignity they deserve.
After deciding it’s time to inform your loved one that he or she should no longer be driving it’s also when you should start arming yourself with information that will back up your positive presentation of home care services.
Services will vary depending upon where you live and can range from daily home care to a few times a week.
You will want to provide your loved one with specifics and a good place to find what you need is the local Area Agency on Aging. They can provide you with the home care services offered in your area, help you begin taking advantage of those services, and provide you with alternatives if services aren’t offered in your area.
Remember that this will be one of the most difficult conversations you will have with your aging loved one.
Be prepared for emotional responses of anger, denial, and tears of sadness. Sympathize but remain firm and stress your concern for your loved one. Remind them how much you worry, how much you love them, and how great your concern is for their safety. Offer them the different types of home care services you’ve researched and prepared. At the end, you will have kept them safe, allowed them to be independent, and provided them with the dignity that they so rightfully deserve.