Taking the Keys: What To Do If Mom or Dad Won't Give Them Up

At some time you will feel concern or even fear that Mom or Dad should no longer drive an automobile. You have now reached a decision that the person for whom you are providing care must no longer drive.

Conditions, considerations and even correction of problems may negatively affect your parent's ability to drive safely. Driving ability is not determined by age but, instead, mainly by physical, health and mental status and treatment.

Know that for the affected Mom or Dad the action will probably be traumatic, even a cause for depression. You will be removing the person's independence, his or her ability to drive to church, supermarket, the park for some sunshine or to visit friends. You will be removing a citizen's right to drive as authorized by the license. But, it may be necessary.

The most effective method is to have a candid talk with Mom or Dad, seeking to gain her or his voluntary agreement. State your reasons for such recommendations, such as side effects of medication, impaired vision, threatening or limiting physical or health conditions or other.

Prepare and have ready any documentation you've gathered. Your request or urging should be based on care and concern for driving safety plus include researched solutions regarding transportation, such as by family members, Dial-A-Ride, public transit, specialized transit minibuses and volunteer chauffeurs.

If the elder does surrender the keys, his or her driver's license can be exchanged for an identification card at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), a document vital for use in cashing checks and for identification purposes.

But, often Mom or Dad won't agree, at least not without a serious argument.

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