As a caregiver you’re concerned with your elderly family member’s safety, even if that means that you’re worried that she’s not being safe with herself. Driving is often the biggest concern, and for many good reasons.
Gauge the Situation Carefully
If you’re planning to talk to your elder about her driving right after she’s been in an accident, you might want to think again. Gauging the situation appropriately means waiting for the right time to bring up such a loaded conversation. The best thing to do is to make sure your elder is safe and then find another time to bring this important topic up to her.
Be Specific, but Be Kind
When you are ready to talk to your elderly family member about her driving, bring very specific examples with you. You need to be able to speak to her about what you’ve witnessed and what it is about her driving that makes you concerned. Above all, you need to make sure that you’re approaching the topic with a kind heart and voice, otherwise you’re going to come across as accusatory.
Determine if Others See What You See
Sometimes family members don’t talk about their elder’s driving with each other because they figure it was an isolated event or they just don’t want to rock the boat. But the more examples you have, the better. So make it a point to talk to other family members about what they’ve seen and experienced while your elderly family member has been behind the wheel.
Offer up Solutions, not Just Problems
When you come to any conversation with problems and no solutions, everyone involved is likely to become frustrated. The key is to bring some solutions along with you. Perhaps limiting the times of day your senior drives is going to correct some issues. Make a list of what could fix the problems you’re seeing and share them.
Avoid Ultimatums if at all Possible
If you’re at a stage in which you’re tempted to lay down some ultimatums, you’re at a crossroads. The big thing to remember about ultimatums is that you have to be prepared to follow through with them. Don’t even bring up an “or else” option unless you’re willing to carry on with the threat.
There’s a lot that goes into starting this discussion properly with your aging adult. Tackling the topic the wrong way may very well create more problems than it resolves. If you’re still having trouble getting through to your elderly family member, consider a professional driving evaluation to get a second opinion.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Elder Care Services in Salisbury NC, please contact the caring staff at TenderHearted Home Care today. (704) 612-4132.
I have enjoyed volunteering my time as the President of the Rowan County Home School Association, assisting with the Parkinson’s Support Group, Walk to End Alzheimer’s, Pregnancy Support Center, MOPS International, Capstone Recovery Center, Kairos Outside, Celebrate Recovery, various church committees and going on a mission trip to Moldova. I am a member of the Rowan County Council on Aging, Meals on Wheels board member, REACH of Rowan County, HIPSS of Davidson County, Second Tuesday Business Group and several Christian Business Life Groups.
I am passionate about serving others and providing the most compassionate care possible, as I would want for my own family. I love relaxing with my husband, Peter, and my two dogs, Yoyo and Terra Cotta.