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Gainesville Florida Estate Planning & Elder Law Blog

Monday, December 7, 2015

Aging Parents and Driving

We In the United States value our freedom to be self-sufficient far more than other cultures. That includes being able to travel on our own. But when someone gets older, they start to lose their ability to be self-sufficient, especially when it comes to driving. People will be ready to give up a lot of things but for many driving is that last piece of independence, so when and how to have that discussion with older family members about driving is a tremendous challenge.

As the caregiver or child of an aging adult, it is often easier for us to put off that conversation but it may not be the right thing to do.

So here are some signs to tell you when it is time to have that conversation. Some of the first things to notice are if they are getting lost in familiar places, having difficulty maintaining lane positioning when driving, failing to stop at red lights, scrapes or dents on car, bad judgment on the road and receiving traffic violations. At this point, it is clear that driving is putting your loved one in danger.

Sometimes it is best to have a conversation about driving safety before it becomes a problem, so they are aware and not caught off guard when a more serious conversation follows. When your loved one is forced off the road, the one thing to make sure is that you make the transition as easy as possible. This includes driving those places yourself, helping them with local bus routes and answering any questions they might have.

These kinds of conversations are never easy to have but in the end it is important to maintain the safety of your loved ones, even if it means keeping them off the roads.


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