My father loves to drive, but he’s 93 with significant short-term memory loss and dementia. He’s never had an accident but he’s gone through some red lights and we worry about him. My mother always goes along with him, to be safe.
HouseWorks knows that this can be a tough time for everyone and a difficult conversation (or series of conversations) to have. Driving is often the single-most important mark of one’s independence. The thought of having to take away that privilege, even if it is for our parents’ own safety, can be very troubling and anxiety provoking.
A few examples of things to look for that may indicate the time has come are minor accidents, difficulty finding familiar destinations, traffic tickets or warnings, dents on the car or around the house, and driving at inappropriate speeds – either much too fast or too slowly.
We often refer families to the DriveWise and DriveAdvise program run by the Beth Israel Medical Center in Boston or Newton-Wellesley Hospital’s Drive Safe program. Recognized as a national model, DriveWise offers an objective safe driving evaluation for people of all ages who have experienced neurological, psychological and/or physical impairments such as dementia and memory loss.
If you want to urge your loved one to let you or someone else drive, there are many creative ways to start the conversation. For help brainstorming ideas or to learn more about incidental transportation, a service we provide that includes both medical transportation and non-emergency transportation to places like the grocery store or a hair appointment, call us today.