Our hearing, eyesight and reflexes do change as we age, but it affects each of us differently at different ages. Speaking to a loved one, whether that’s your parents or partner, a friend or a relative, about it potentially being time for them to quit driving can be a difficult conversation. Forbes Health shared tips on how to broach the topic so that it’s as painless as possible for you and your loved one.
Signs they may need to quit driving
To start, what factors indicate it might be time to talk to them about no longer getting behind the wheel? There isn’t a laundry list of medical conditions–it’s not as black or white as that. For example, someone with glaucoma could have great eyesight thanks to prescription glasses, notes Forbes Health. Rather, it could be the effects of aging (such as slower reaction times) or the side effects of certain medications that may make it unsafe for someone to drive. The scenario shared by Forbes? A stroke may damage the part of your brain that is behind memory, so you might not remember how to drive a stick shift, for example.
Look out for other clues, as well, such as more scratched or dents in their car, or if you’ve been in the car with them driving and they forget where they’re driving to.
How to initiate this tough conversation about giving up driving
The first step is to choose the right person to initiate this conversation about their driving safety. Adult children might feel that this responsibility falls on them when it comes to one’s aging parents; however, getting help from another party, such as your parent’s doctor, may help get the message across. Their doctor, for example, is a a professional who your parent respects, and thus they may not react as strongly if it comes from them.
The next step? Have examples to share and resources ready – learn more on how to go about this in the Forbes Health article here.
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