How to Talk to Your Mom about Giving Up the Car Keys


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Son talking to his father about driving

As our parents age, they have to get used to less freedom and more dependence. Giving up driving may be the most difficult freedom to forsake. It’s hard to give up what they may have been used to for years, such as driving to appointments, family gatherings, or lunches with friends, without depending on someone else. Yet, what happens if your mom’s driving results in her receiving a ticket, or, worse, gets her into an accident? The consequences of putting off this tough conversation about giving up the car keys can be dangerous.

When you have reason to believe that your mother is at risk of hurting herself or others, sit down and discuss the issue without delay. If she listens to you, a caregiver with Home Instead Senior Care can provide all the assistance needed to help her stay active, including transportation.

Simple Ways to Start the Conversation with Your Senior Loved One

It can be tough to see a parent aging and ailing. It is harder to coax them to take a back seat on habits they have been used to for years. Here's how you can talk them into giving up the car keys:

  1. Plan before you talk: As the child of your parent, it is hard to approach this topic, knowing they may refute your suggestion. Look at it from their perspective and make the suggestion gently, letting them know that you are fully aware of how they feel. You might want to discuss this topic in stages. First, have a casual chat to get a feel for your mom’s concerns. Next, be a bit more empathetic, putting yourself in her shoes and saying that you understand.
  2. Take time to listen: More often than not, your parent will give you a list of objections about being unable to give up their driving privileges. They may remind you of all the activities they are a part of and how they need to attend each one. Reassure them that you understand their worries. Ensure that you will be there to help them find answers and get them where they need to be. It is a good idea to consider assistance from a senior care agency that can provide reliable transportation. Do not rush the conversation. Give them time to work out their concerns and help them find a long-term solution.
  3. Offer to be there for them: It is possible that your parent may be suffering from the side effects of prescription drugs or have weak eyesight. Offer to drive them to their appointments whenever you can.

It is hard to communicate your views and convince mom or dad to give up driving for good, unless they suffer from a medical condition such as Alzheimer’s or Dementia. Be ready to give them the help they need by checking on them often and offering to drive them when possible. A home care specialist can step in to help when you are unable to wheel them around. At Home Instead Senior Care Etobicoke, we help elders with a variety of in-home care options and support. Our professional caregivers are highly trained and ready to help your loved one enjoy this season of life to the fullest.

Call us at (416) 239-2200 to schedule a no-obligation in-home consultation. Learn more about the compassionate, quality home care we deliver each day to families in the Etobicoke area.


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