At some point it becomes painfully obvious. Maybe it’s the near misses, another fender bender, traffic tickets, getting lost on errands, poor night vision, or increasing confusion. Whatever the mix of warning signs, the message is clear and deeply concerning. An aging parent is no longer safe to drive, and something has to be done about it. It’s not a question of if, but how.
There’s the rub. For aging parents, the car is more than transportation. It is an icon of independence and self-esteem that’s about to be taken away for good. To make matters worse, the car is emotionally comingled with the developmental need to preserve control. Not surprising, attempts by adult children to direct, persuade, or pressure aging parents to stop driving provokes intense passive or overt resistance. In this environment, messy conversations quickly turn hostile and recriminating. Now what?
This booklet provides new tools for assessing and quantifying unsafe driving concerns. As important, it offers framing and mobilizing resources that will help adult children insure their aging parent remains a safe driver as long as he or she can and heroically stop driving when that is no longer possible.
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