Should They Quit Driving?

Yes, this is one of most caregivers’ “favorite” topics based upon my clients and support groups.
You’ve probably heard these from a family member:
• “I’m an excellent driver. I’ve never gotten a ticket or been in a crash.”
• “I’ve driven since I was 16. I won’t stop now!”
• “I can’t give you my car keys. How will I get around?”
• “I love driving and my independence. What does that doctor know?”
• “If I can’t drive, I might as well just give up everything”.
Yes, it’s a tough part of life when an impaired or aging family member shouldn’t be driving anymore. However, they probably won’t notice, or admit, that people are honking at THEM because they drift into the next lane or turn inappropriately without signaling, and can’t turn their head enough to see in blind spots. Or, they can’t react in time, or see or hear as well as they used to. Or, the new, hardly driven vehicle has dents or scratches. Or, they got lost coming or going to the familiar store.  🤔
One of the most difficult things I had to deal with in my mom’s case was to stop her from driving. However, we asked the physician to give her the bad news. In essence, we made the doctor the “bad guy”. 
Many of you know that, before I moved into my “encore career”, I used to work in the area of DMV that manages the medical or “at risk” program:  “Some people have, or may develop, cognitive or functional impairments, that could affect their driving ability. The At-Risk Driver Program was created to help prevent injury or death by impaired drivers.”
The agency recently created a helpful video that gives an overview of the issue:

Safe Driving for a Lifetime 
Oregon has both voluntary and mandatory reporting. Many of your questions about what to look for, how to discuss and report a driver, and what the options are can be found here:

When to Stop Driving 
How to Talk About Driving Concerns
This is very important to address because of the risks of hurting themselves or others, causing property damage, or of being sued for thousands or more dollars.
Please don’t delay or avoid because “they will be mad at me.” It’s more desirable that they adjust and maintain positive aging and enjoy safe quality of life, and you can sleep better at night.

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Caring Regards,
Bill Cohen, Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Cohen Caregiving Support Consultants 💜 

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