How do you tell your parent you don't feel it is safe for them to drive anymore?

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Mom is 82, she drives under speed limit, bad hearing and refuses to wear hearing aid. She has had both hips replaced and has slow reflexes.

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Thanks so much. I will try talking to doctor again. I had given up on that idea.
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Reply to Kathy22
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I had that talk with my dad. It didn't make a bit of difference. After weeks of having this discussion over and over I thought maybe his doctor could help me. I called the doctor's office and explained the situation. After some back and forth the doctor said he would help me. I got my dad to the doctor under false pretenses (dad needed a check up or something of the sort). I went into the doctor's office with my dad. The doctor gave him a thorough exam and began talking to my dad about his life, his eating habits, etc. Then the doctor brought up driving. He asked my dad if my dad was still driving and my dad confirmed that yes, he was. The doctor told my dad he didn't think it was safe for my dad to drive anymore. The doctor was very compassionate about it. After a 10 minute conversation our visit was over and my dad never drove again.

Most elderly parents aren't going to listen to us. We're their children. But our parents are of the generation that obey doctors and place great faith in what doctors say. I had been talking to my dad for months about not driving anymore and he wouldn't budge. One word from his doctor and the issue was resolved.
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Reply to Eyerishlass
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Tell her about my mother, younger than her and a good careful driver. Once when she was tired and driving slowly, a bad driver tail-gated her aggressively to speed her up. She got flustered, tried to draw into the curb, over steered and drove head on into a lamp post. She was very lucky to escape with minor injuries, and all the clean-up work with the car and the police was a trial for me. She never drove again. Tell her that it may not be her bad driving that causes a problem, but some-one else’s bad driving that her reflexes aren’t quick enough to cope with now. It’s completely true, and it might be easier for her to hear than criticisms of her own driving.
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Kathy22 Sep 16, 2018
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Sit her down and say, "Mom, we need to talk."

Let her know that one of the worst things you can imagine is getting a phone call notifying you that she's been in an accident. Focus on how much she means to you and how you want her to be safe. Tell her that if she was injured in an accident, even if it wasn't her fault, recovery is a long slow process for people in their eighties. Point out that there are a lot of bad drivers on the road and you are concerned that she may not be quick enough with defensive driving skills to avoid an accident if she encounters one of "those other drivers". Ask her if she has any doubts about her own driving abilities. Tell her you are concerned about both her safety and her independence. Be prepared to help her understand resources that are available to help her get around (including offering to drive her to Dr. appointments, weekly shopping, etc.), so that she can begin to imagine her life without driving. Point out the advantages to not owning a car (no repairs and maintenance, no auto insurance, no registration, etc.).

If she will not have this conversation with you, share your concerns with her physician and enlist his/her help in assessing her driving abilities. Physicians regularly advise the DMV that an elderly driver is not safe to drive.
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Kathy22 Sep 16, 2018
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