Driving involves quick decision-making and reactions, which means that a person who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s will eventually have to give up their license. This can be a difficult process, as most will challenge losing the independence driving provides.
How do you know when the time is right to take your loved one’s keys? Here are some warning signs from the Alzheimer’s Association and tips about how to have that tough conversation:
Signs of unsafe driving:
- Forgetting how to get to local or familiar places
- Failing to follow traffic signs or driving at the wrong speed
- Confusing the break and gas pedals
- Becoming confused, angry or forgetting the destination while driving
- Making slow or bad decisions in traffic
If you see one or more of these signs, it’s time to have a talk with your aging loved one, because it might be time for them to hang up the keys:
- Make sure your loved knows they have your support
- Be positive and outline the number of transportation alternatives they can use
- Reinforce their medical diagnoses and have a respected doctor, lawyer or family authority figure express their agreement about not driving
- Appeal to your loved one’s desire to act responsibly
- Understand that this may be the first of many conversations about driving
You may even have to take your loved one’s keys away, disable their car or remove it completely for their own protection. For more resources and tips about how to discuss driving with your loved one, click here.