It’s time for dad to give up their car keys if his driving skills have worsened over the years. Many people postpone this difficult conversation for as long as possible. But when your dad is endangering his life and the life of other drivers sharing the roadway with him, it’s time to step up and take action. To ease this conversation, we have created a list of helpful tips on how to tell dad he can’t drive.
1. Take a trip with dad: Allow your dad to drive and assess his driving abilities. Signs that your dad should hand over the keys include frequent close calls crashing into other drivers, slow reaction time, difficulty seeing signs and frequently honked by others around him.
2. Be considerate of your dad’s feelings: This conversation will bring up many memories for your dad of him driving throughout the years. By taking the car keys, you are stripping him of a large part of his independence to come and go as he pleases. Consider what he is feeling and listen to his thoughts on the matter.
3. Talk about your feelings: Be clear on why you don’t feel he should drive anymore and why it isn’t safe for him. Bring up any issues that can affect his driving such as medications, he gets confused easily because of his age, poor eyesight or a memory disorder. Talk about things that you noticed while he was driving that makes it hazardous for him to continue driving.
4. Prepare for the conversation: Be ready to address the concerns or objections that your dad may have such as the reasons he shouldn’t be allowed to drive and what are his new sources for transportation. Offer to help drive your dad around if possible or enlist the help of other family members to provide transportation for him.
5. Deal with objections: If your dad is stubborn and refuses to give up driving, you may need to enlist the help of his physician. His physician can give you papers that can be taken to the Department of Motor Vehicles that will remove his driving privileges.
As you follow these tips, continuously state that you are trying to do what is best for him. Also, that you don’t want to see him hurt by a preventable car accident. As you are learning to deal with the changes that aging can bring, be patient with yourself, patient with your loved one, seek advice and answers to questions, and remember you are not in this alone. Contact a Caring Senior Service team member today!