Aging Life Care Professionals® Help Families Ease the Transition as Parents Need to Stop Driving

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Discussions about taking away the car keys can be uncomfortable and painful. Aging Life Care Professionals can help facilitate next steps so that family harmony is preserved.

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Putting the brakes on driving is a real challenge, but with the help of an Aging Life Care Expert, the transition can be much smoother.

According to a 2013 Pfizer study, the hardest conversation to have with older adults is telling them to stop driving; even more so than final wishes.

The Aging Life Care Association® has offered the following list of warning signs and behaviors that can signal an older driver has become risky or unsafe. They include:

  • Confusion or getting lost in familiar places
  • Difficulty maintaining lane position
  • Failure to stop at a red light or stop sign
  • Scrapes or dents on the car, mailbox, or garage
  • Bad judgment making left-hand turns
  • Citations for driving

These are just a few warning signs that your elder loved one is no longer a safe driver. If you notice danger signs and your parent doesn’t-- it’s time to have “the talk.” While this conversation can be difficult, it is important to keep both your loved one’s and others’ safety in mind.

An Aging Life Care Professional / care manager is a very valuable asset to families facing this painful situation. He or she can help evaluate the situation, and when necessary, develop a plan for driving cessation. ALCPs can also:

  • Facilitate important family meetings to open the discussion
  • Be a sounding board and problem solver if a risky driver balks at the idea of retiring the keys
  • Explain how to utilize formal driving evaluation programs and state licensing reexamination procedures
  • Clarify options for services, transportation, and supportive housing to prevent isolation and help alleviate those nagging feelings of dependency

Putting the brakes on driving is a real challenge, but with the help of an Aging Life Care Expert, the transition can be much smoother. And at the end of the day, you can rest easy knowing that everyone is safer.

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ABOUT the Aging Life Care Association ® (ALCA): ALCA (formerly known as the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers) was formed in 1985 to advance dignified care for older adults and their families in the United States. Aging Life Care Professionals® have extensive training and experience working with older adults, people with disabilities, and families who need assistance with caregiving issues. They assist families in the search for a suitable nursing home placement or extended care if the need occurs. The practice of Aging Life Care™ and the role of care providers have captured a national spotlight, as generations of Baby Boomers age in the United States and abroad. For more information or to access a nationwide directory of Aging Life Care Professionals, please visit aginglifecare.org.

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Samantha Colaianni, Manager of Marketing and Membership

Tom Kube, Chief Executive Officer
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