Getting The Dangerous Senior Driver To Stop
One of the most difficult areas for adult children with aging parents is the question of when the parent should stop driving. This is an area of particular interest to Carolyn, who spent 27 years representing auto accident victims. Some of those victims were hit by elderly drivers who should not have been driving.
Because driving represents individual freedom and control, it is very hard for most people to give it up. Although most elders will voluntarily give up the car keys when the time has come to do so, there will always be some who refuse. Whether they have dementia and do not actually realize that they are impaired or are terrified of losing control over their lives if they stop driving, some elders present a huge problem for their adult children.
We have had families tell us about their aging loved ones who were driving out of state while having moderate and very problematic dementia, driving while legally blind and driving, though frequently getting lost, trying to get home from the store or doctor's office. Families seem unsure of what they can do legally about this. They fear offending their aging parent.
Proven Techniques that Work with Unsafe Elderly Drivers
We have proven techniques that can get the job done of getting the dangerous senior driver to stop. First, if the family and the elder want to get psychological testing to determine the extent of an elder's memory loss and cognitive function as applied to the question of the ability to drive, we can provide that in-house. If the family we are helping is out of our geographic area, we can suggest the type of psychological testing the family will need.
We provide specific advice about the elder's legal rights as compared with the family's rights. We can guide the family to an understanding of how to best approach the subject with their loved one. We can give them a script with suggestions about what to say.
We guide the family about using the state's motor vehicle department to do re-examination, which means having the elder take the driving test again. If the elder insists on driving without a license, as some do, we work closely with their family members to devise a strategy to get the keys and the car away from the elder. We have had repeated success with the techniques we have developed.
Where to Find Additional Information
Our five step process for getting a resistant elderly driver to give up the car keys is set out in a short book Carolyn has written, called How To Handle A Dangerous Older Driver.It is one of the chapters in her larger book, The Boomer's Guide To Aging Parents .How To Handle A Dangerous Older Driver is available in print at AgingParents.com or on Amazon.com. There is a Kindle version. It is also available at AgingParents.com in downloadable pdf form and on iTunes as an audiobook.
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