If I were to rank the most pressing concerns family members have of their aging parents, driving would be near the very top. And of all conversations caregivers have with their parents, what’s become known as the “taking the keys away” talk is the most dreaded, even more than talking about their finances, or the need for some personal assistance.
Yes, having the driving talk is very difficult, (you can refer to a previous post I wrote "We Need To Talk" which offers some advice and recommendations for readings on how to approach these uncomfortable and sensitive talks) but trust me, actually doing something about it is even more difficult.
In another recent post, I provided information on programs and resources for Senior Driver Safety. I liked one of the programs, Beyond Driving with Dignity, so much that I became a Certified Instructor so that I could offer it to Seniority Matters users.
What differentiates this program from others is that it's a personal self-assessment that's designed to help the older driver and their family members make the best decisions regarding their driving and keeping them safe. The exercises in the program will help individuals recognize if and when it's time to stop driving. This is so much preferable than having a family member "take away the keys."
This program can ideal for those who:
Live far from their loved ones and aren't sure of his or her ability to continue driving safely.
Need some help and direction plotting the future of of their loved-ones' safe driving career.
Don't know how to addresss the driving issue or initiate the driving talk.
Don't know what resources are available to you that can help them should they not be able to drive.
Want a skilled professional to help bring or maintain calm and stability to what can be a complex family issue
Want a program that will help your loved one's ability to remain safe on the road and to continue to monitor their skills as they age.
There are two ways to complete the program.
A three hour in-home program facilitated by a certified instructor will provide you with acceptable alternatives, resources and a plan to ensure as easy a transition as possible from driving. And if the final recommendation is that your family member is a safe driver, you will be provided strategies on how to remain that way, and how to recognize changes in this status.
Alternatively you can use the "do-it-yourself" approach by using the "Beyond Driving with Dignity workbook which you can easily order. Either way, the program is administered in the privacy of your own home.
To learn more about the different approaches, their costs, and how to arrange for them, please click here.