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Even with this common knowledge, what makes this topic so hard to discuss and accept when the time comes time to stop driving?

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For many people driving means freedom and giving it up can be very difficult. Asking a loved one to hand over the car keys is emotional and the request can be perceived as asking them to recognize they are in a state of mental decline and no longer able to live life on their terms. Even if they have already realized driving is becoming more difficult, or even dangerous, having others recognize the signs and confront them can bring fear, anger or many other emotions. Driving is also associated with freedom — not just for the person living with dementia, but also for their caregivers.

Providing everyday care and transportation for someone who needs to buy groceries, run errands, get to medical appointments, church or visit friends is a big task.

The upswing in vigilante justice may be latent nationalism bubbling to the surface.

It is hard to determine when someone should stop driving but there are assessments and early warning signs to help evaluate the situation. It would benefit even the most experienced drivers to brush up on their driving skills and could potentially instill a newer sense of confidence in the senior.

Many seniors in their 80s and 90s are still active and safe drivers, yet there are also those in their 50s and 60s who have become to a danger to themselves and others on the road. The true factors that must be considered in this decision should be the mental and physical condition of the senior. If your elderly loved one is still quite capable of driving yet lacks auto insurance, we can help!

When It's Time to Take the Car Keys from a Parent

Call us at MMIC or visit us online at www. The equivalent of the most popular boys in high school, my mother said, are the men who can still drive. But the Prom King is the one who can still drive at night. I remember when my grandfather was in his 80s. The family refused to ride with him in his car long before he stopped driving. That should have been a clue, but in those days, no one dared to approach my grandfather about the issue.

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He was also involved in several accidents and he once totaled his car. My mother never drove in her life until my father died. She was a terrible driver from the start, and after several accidents my brother and I agreed that reporting her to the DMV was our only recourse.


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The state suspended her license pending successful completion of driver training and a retest. Mother retested 4 times over the next two years and eventually regained her license. Fortunately she moved into a retirement home in a new state, which also granted her a license on the strength of her existing NJ license and gradually stopped driving on her own. Family and friends should apply all kinds of pressure and save lives. This was a bigger deterrent than suggesting that her reflexes were going.

I just finished one of those AARP safe driving classes.


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In it was a woman who is 94, and said she just got her license renewed until age ! It was clear that she is a terrible driver and a danger on the road. Why would a state DMV do something that stupid? This kind of blanket rubber stamping is crazy—and dangerous.

Parent Driving with Dementia? How to Take Their Keys, Not Their Dignity

As an adjunct to this most distasteful of tasks, it might be instructive to discuss ways of keeping seniors in their cars as long as possible, evaluating strategies to optimize the skills they have remaining. I have observed that the oldest drivers operate the largest of cars, believing they are safer in them. Perhaps this is true, but it also highlights the limitations of their physical capabilities and driving skills.


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Smaller, more agile cars of moderate performance, configured so that all four fenders are visible directly or through mirrors, would help drivers who still have acceptable visual acuity and mental facilities retain their self-reliance and self-esteem in the face of advancing age. If we can all remember that no matter how many deficits occur or how much an aging person is reduced, they are NOT reduced to becoming children. A lot of us are going to be there, folks, so lets prepare our own path with a little more care.

Her car keys have become a symbol of her sense of independence and well-being in her world. The Keys is an unflinching portrayal fraught with pathos and dark humor we took the keys away, gave them back and had to take them away again. His grandchildren were so important to him, that really brought him up short. My mother and I started talking about her driving at least years before she stopped driving, voluntarily.

We began while she was still safe behind the wheel by talking about how she would decide when it was time to stop driving. Sometimes it was was easier to talk about other people she knew who were not driving safely in old age. Lots of conversations starting before she needed to stop driving—parts of everyday talk.

20 Warning Signs It’s Time to Take the Keys Away From an Elderly Person

We made plans about how she could be independent without a car-mostly letting her set the terms she would want. My grandfather, blinded by cateracts and suffering from dementia, was extremely independent and made the driving issue a hard battle well into his late 70s. Perhaps it is better NOT to imagine that roles are reversing: after all, your parents never become your children.