9.28.2017

The Talk: Taking Away Your Parent's Car Keys Gracefully

Approaching an older relative to discuss their driving habits can be an uncomfortable situation. You know very well that something needs to be said, but it’s not always easy to find the right words - so we end up stepping on their toes instead. Regardless of how much you’re dreading the driving talk, it’s important to have an honest discussion at some point, and preferably before an accident happens.

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Image via: Pexels

Here is a quick guide on how to talk to your older relatives about handing over the car keys without triggering any bad feelings.

Driving and old age

First things first; just because your parents or relatives are getting older, doesn’t mean they’re not able to drive anymore. You’ll find drivers well into their eighties who are still considered roadworthy, so to speak, and you should only approach them about their driving if you suspect that they might be struggling.

Dents and scratches that keeps appearing in the vehicle can absolutely be reason enough, or if they keep getting fines.

Noticing this is also a good springboard for starting the conversation; otherwise, it might seem like you’re just assuming that they’re no longer able to drive. Have a long look at roadsafeseniors.com, by the way, for an in-depth read on the issue.

Mention it as soon as possible

A conversation about their ability to drive is only a problem if you make it one. Mention the dents and scratches on their car or refer to the various fines they keep receiving and add that you’re just wondering if they still feel like they’re doing alright on the road.

It’s important to hear their side of the story as well; maybe your aging mother is, in fact, relieved that you brought it up as she knows that she’s not really coping.

The conversation could take another turn, however, by them brushing your concern off or saying that not driving is out of the question - how else will they be able to get around? Try to listen to what they have to say rather than leading the conversation, by the way, as you’ll gain an insight into how they’re feeling about all of this as well.

Talk to their physician

If they won’t listen to your concern and you’re unable to get through without causing mayhem in the family, it’s time to find other solutions. Big changes call for professional help and, just like their doctor has a better chance of making wear one of the products from medicalert.systems, they might also be able to get through to them about their driving.

Think about other authority figures in your relative’s life that they might listen to, such as a priest, a law enforcement officer, or a vision specialist.

Even if one of them suggests a bit of re-training rather than giving up the license, you’re already making the road a better place - and you’ll keep your family member safe and sound for as long as possible as well.

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