Having an elderly family member who is determined to drive can be trying for the most patient-family caregiver. Giving your aging adult some guidelines around driving can be just the ticket to help him avoid getting some more costly tickets himself.
He Needs to Make His Health a Priority
This is a particularly important guideline if your aging family member has been reluctant to keep up with eye exams or doctor’s visits. Tying these health checks into his ability to continue to drive allows you to make sure he’s alright and it keeps him in the driver’s seat where he wants to be. Talk with his doctor about any concerns you have.
He Needs to Maintain His Car
Having the right car and keeping it properly maintained for his driving needs can do a lot to keep your elderly family member driving. Besides the regular maintenance that every car needs, he may also need additional safety gear, mirror extensions, or pedal extensions in order to drive safely.
He Should Drive Defensively
If your aging adult hasn’t taken a defensive driving course in a long time, now would be an excellent time to take a refresher course. Many insurance companies offer discounts for these courses, so that can be a valuable incentive, too.
He Should Stay within His Limitations
There’s no shame in your elderly family member feeling uncomfortable driving at night or in unfamiliar surroundings. The key here is that he needs to respect his limitations and stay within them. Offer alternatives, such as having elderly care providers for backup transportation, and let your elderly family member know that he doesn’t have to push himself just to prove a point.
He Needs to Hear You Out When You’re Worried
Once in a while, you might still see something that causes you concern about your aging family member’s driving. As long as he’s willing to listen to your concerns, that’s some progress. When you do share your concerns with him, be open, detailed, and kind about what has you worried.
If you and your aging family member can work out a compromise about his driving, it won’t have to be a constant battle.