In our modern society driving is inherently necessary for many individuals. Of course, it is possible to use public transportation if you live in some areas, but when you become a senior citizen mobility and safety can be issues that come into play.
So, it is difficult to advise an elder to start riding a bike or taking the bus.
However, all of this results in a classic Catch-22. The fact is that your ability to drive safely will often wane as you start to reach an advanced age.
In light of the above, seniors who are perfectly lucid and aware of the fact that they have diminished motor skills have a very valid argument with regard to why they really can’t stop driving. But in addition to this you have those who don’t understand why they should stop driving because their decision-making capabilities are not what they once were.
Once again, here is a Catch-22 because people in this position should absolutely put aside the keys.
There is no one easy answer that is going to provide a solution across the board. But there is one thing that family members can do to assist senior citizens who may be stuck between a rock and a hard place.
If you recognize the fact that someone that you love may be having a hard time driving safely, it’s up to you to offer an alternative. When family members come together to offer transportation and run errands, the senior in question will have his or her needs met without feeling the pressure to take to the roadways.
There are also shuttle services for seniors available in many communities. This alternative may be preferable if you and your senior loved one live in different areas.
This is a serious matter, and it is something to discuss pragmatically as a family if you have mutual concerns about the driving ability of an aging loved one.
Follow this link to read our Elder Law Report “Putting on the Brakes: How to Help Older Drivers Make Safe Driving Decisions.”