Navigating the delicate topic of driving safety and the decision to retire from driving is a significant concern for both aging adults and their caregivers. The effects of aging can impact driving abilities, raising important questions about when it's appropriate to relinquish the driver's seat. In this discussion led by Diane Carbo, we'll explore the fears and challenges that aging drivers face, strategies to address driving concerns, and effective ways to initiate open conversations about this important transition.
Diane Carbo: Driving safety when to stop driving and taking away the keys. What are the fears of the aging driver?
Diane Carbo: Today we are going to address the issues of driving safety and retiring from driving. The process of aging can affect our driving. Getting older does not mean that we need to give up the keys. However, changes in eyesight, physical condition and slower response times may cause safety concerns. More and more older drivers are on the road these days.
Diane Carbo: So it’s important to understand that aging doesn’t automatically mean that you must become a, become an unsafe driver. Many of us continue to be good, safe drivers as we age, but there are changes that can affect driving skills as we age. So I’m going to go into detail about the changes on the aging body and how it can negatively impact a senior driver.
Diane Carbo: For your safety and that of others, we need to take responsibility and not take the privilege of driving for granted. With that responsibility. We need to be honest with ourselves as well as others and pay special attention to the limitations of senior driver. They have to face.
Diane Carbo: Please give us strategies to use for the driving discussion.
Diane Carbo: There are many fears, an aging driver faces. They don’t want to give up driving because it causes them so much anger. The fear of the scene, the theory of the senior driver has a very real, they hear isolation. They fear increased dependent on dependence on others. They feel limiting activities, having fewer social opportunities.
Diane Carbo: They fear a loss of independence and they may feel a sense of feeling trapped.
Diane Carbo: Please give us strategies to start the driving discussion.
Diane Carbo: It is important that caregivers and friends monitor their driving over time as diseases worsen, it can affect a driving ability and can result in disaster. Is it important to note that anybody. More than a slight cognitive impairment should be advised not to drive his caregivers. It is important that we not address this topic because we fear anger or upsetting response from the aging senior, or because we find it too painful or difficult to discuss with them because they may be in denial.
Diane Carbo: This something serious could happen. It is your responsibility to protect a life or the lives of others. Aging adults realize that there will come a time when they will have to give up the keys, or they believe that they will know when the time is right. And when to stop driving time passes, denial sets in.
Diane Carbo: And before you know it, the aging senior isn’t on a collision course for disaster. if you are an aging child of a, if you are an adult child of an aging parent, you too may have been in denial because having this conversation is just to give a call. The other question that goes along with addressing, retiring from driving is a nagging question of how will the aging adult remain mobile in a car dependent society.
Diane Carbo: This is a major concern for those who live in the suburbs. And it is even more of a concern to those that live in more rural areas. So if you are an adult child of an aging parent, one way to assess their driving skills, it’s just to get into the car. And go with them and go for a spin, observe their driving skills.
Diane Carbo: Don’t start to get conversation while they’re driving. Please be aware that a single occurrence of poor driving usually is not enough reason for a person to stop driving. It does however triggers and need increased monitoring. Warning signs of problems include decreasing confidence while driving, drawing hunks from others.
Diane Carbo: Incorrect, single signaling incorrect signaling failure to notice traffic signs near misses and delayed responses to unexpected.
Diane Carbo: Situations near misses and delayed responses to unexpected situation.
Diane Carbo: Please give us suggestions to open the lines of communication.
Diane Carbo: Some things that you need to do to open the lines of communication are to ask these kinds of questions, open questions. Have you thought about a time when there may have you thought about there may come a time when you may no longer be able to drive? Or ask, what do you think you need to look for? That would indicate it’s time to retire from driving?
Diane Carbo: Another question is ask if they are open to being evaluated, taking a driver refresher course for seniors or using brain fitness programs to sharpen their driving skills. If the time comes and you are no longer able to be a safe driver, would you prefer to hear that information? Let me redo that if the time comes and you are no longer a safe driver, who would you prefer to hear that information from?
Diane Carbo: Another question you can ask is if the time comes to totally stop driving, is it important that you understand, I want you to make. I want you to maintain your independence as long as possible. Will you agree to work on that plan with a family that helps us reach that goal? Another suggestion is, do you know that some medications prescribed can affect your driving skills?
Diane Carbo: So it’s important that we keep up with your medication in any changes. So we were aware of any adverse side effects.
Diane Carbo: Did you know that taking a driver refresher course can save you not only money. Did you know that taking a driver refresher course to save you money on your car insurance?
Diane Carbo: Keeping the lines of communication open regarding the subject is really important because this is a very tough issue to address. If you live in an urban area, accessible and affordable transportation may not be an issue. The majority of aging adults are not supported through this process and experience emotional, social and monetary loss.
Diane Carbo: These losses can include a feeling of a loss of social status and spontaneity. There is an increase in planning and waiting time. Often a non-driving individual feels that he or she must always plan around the schedules of others. So look for openings in your everyday conversations that may lead to a conversation about their driving skills, you know, ask questions like, Hey, have you had any medications changes or when was the last time you had your hearing checked?
Diane Carbo: When was the last time you had your vision checked? Hey, have you looked into a driving safety course for seniors? Maybe we could talk about that and look into it together. Take time to discuss that a medical checkup to assess the hearing and visit to an eye doctor can make a difference in their driving.
Diane Carbo: Perhaps a change in glasses or hearing aids. They help compensate for any difficult, any difficulties they may presently have in regards to their driving. When discussing anything with the aging adults, always approach with, Hey, I noticed, I feel, I see fear. I found these are all ways to start a conversation without sounding accusatory or demanding.
Diane Carbo: It’s really important. You avoid negative and personal attacks. Try to approach retiring from driving as a positive change. Consider discussing the cost of keeping up a car, the insurance premiums, and especially nowadays the price of gas. Try to focus on these things versus drawing attention to decreasing disability.
Diane Carbo: Try to focus on these things versus drawing attention to decreasing abilities and the ability to no longer be safe on the road. Take time to discuss that a medical checkup to assess the hearing and a visit to the eye doctor will make a difference. Perhaps a change in glasses or adhering aid may compensate for any difficulties.
Diane Carbo: Discuss the AAA senior driving self-assessment quiz. That’s online that will help you to identify areas in your driving skills that may need improvement and make recommendations to assist you to be a safe driver.
Diane Carbo: Please give us some strategies for the time to retire from driving conversation. Remember driving is a privilege stopping, driving. Or retiring from driving is emotionally devastating to the aging adults. For many, it marks the beginning of the end, many would rather choose isolation in their homes than to ask for a ride.
Diane Carbo: So you really need to try to approach limiting, driving as a positive change.
Diane Carbo: Try to approach limiting, driving as a positive change is important to stress to your aging. Loved one, that the goal is to maintain independence and drive safely for as long as possible, have solutions to the problems that arise from not having car. So it’s important that the aging adult not feel as if you’re trying to isolate them or expect them to change their social life.
Diane Carbo: Try taking the approach that your mom or dad has always cared for you and protected you from harm and would never intentionally hurt someone continuing to draw. They may hurt someone or one of their loved ones that is with them in the car, ask them to consider seeing a driving rehabilitation specialist.
Diane Carbo: It may be time to let them know that you no longer feel safe in the car. You no longer feel safe for their spouse, friends, or grandchildren to be in the car with them. Be prepared to tell them that you will not allow yourself or your children to get in the car with them anymore. You may want to start the conversation with, you know, I’ve been noticing that you appear increasingly tense when you drive.
Diane Carbo: Are there situations that are causing you stress when you drive. Can you tell me what those situations are that are causing you to feel so stressed start with, we have discussed how important driving is to you and your independence. It also is important to be safe when you drive, would you work with me to make an, would you work with me to develop a plan, to be sure that you are safe when you were driving?
Diane Carbo: Another approach is it is important that the aging driver’s seat that you are considering every possible option to keep them independent. You may want to consider starting the conversation with, Hey, let’s make an appointment to see your doctor and review your medications to make sure there are none having an effect on your driving or seeing the Dr.
Diane Carbo: May help correct anything that may continue to interfere with you driving safely. Would you be open to suggestions from others? Would you be open to suggestions from other professionals that would assist you to maintain your independence of safe driving? There are many different senior driving courses such as encouraging the aging drugs, such as.
Diane Carbo: There are many different senior driving courses, such as the AAR P 55 alive mature driving program and the eight AAA course for seniors making the aging adult aware that their media finance. Thank you for taking these courses. As the insurance company may give a discount on their insurance premiums may spark an interest in taking the course.
Diane Carbo: When the time comes to retire from driving. The goal is to prepare and plan ahead to allow the aging driver to maintain control and have a sense of freedom. It is important that they continue as if they still feel they have choices in their lives. Please share strategies, make family and friends aware of the new situation and ask for help with transportation.
Diane Carbo: Identify the places your family member travels to every week, including those infrequent stops that they make. This would include the hairdresser church, grocery shopping doctor’s appointments, social activities, banking, volunteer, work, and even picking up medications. You start to identify a driver resource pool, ask family members and friends to volunteer, to drive your family member when needed.
Diane Carbo: Call the local department of aging to see what transportation services are available for the aging seniors in your area. Contact AAA and ask about the local supplemental transportation program. Identify local food stores and pharmacies that will deliver. Identify if adult daycare or local senior centers are appropriate for your seniors for socialization.
Diane Carbo: Investigate local cab companies and Uber drivers. Make sure you try some trips with your aging loans, one plan, regular outings, so they can have something to look forward to.
Diane Carbo: Maintaining the lines of communication are important. Say things like I have noticed that you do not seem to be enjoying driving. Like, do you feel as if driving has become more of a struggle approach it with let’s review the things that we have tried to keep you driving safely. You know, your safety, you know, your safety and wellbeing.
Diane Carbo: Start again, you know, your safety and wellbeing and your freedom is really a top priority. Let’s sit down and figure out a plan that gets you where you need to go. And let’s try it for one month. Then we revisit this plan and revisit your retiring from driving. So let’s get started on making this plan work, then set a date to review that and review that one month that they will review that plan, review that for one month they will not drive and they will use the alternative plans for transportation that you.
Diane Carbo: Both put in place, then this plan will be revisited and retiring from driving will be discussed at the one month. Mark, revisit the plan, ask your driving aging driver for feedback about the challenges they faced with transportation, address the problems and look to solutions for problems to make things easier.
Diane Carbo: Remember, retiring from driving can lead to depression, isolation, physical and mental decline. Taking a proactive approach and putting systems in place will decrease potential negative effects. Keep the lines of communication open between you and your family member. Putting systems in place was sure that when the time comes, you have the confidence to take the necessary tracks necessary.
Diane Carbo: Steps putting systems in place was sure that when the time comes, you have the competence to put the necessary steps in place for the family caregivers out there. Just remember you are most important part of the caregiving equation without you at all falls apart. So please practice self-care every day because you are worth it.
In the realm of caregiving, addressing driving safety and retiring from driving is a conversation that requires sensitivity, understanding, and proactive planning. As we've learned from Diane Carbo's insights, open communication, patience, and thoughtful consideration are key to navigating this complex journey. By emphasizing safety, maintaining dignity, and implementing practical solutions, both aging adults and caregivers can work together to ensure a smooth transition while prioritizing independence, well-being, and quality of life.
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