Page 8 - BusinessWest 2021 Senior Planning Guide
P. 8

Driving Concerns
Are You Worried About a Loved One Behind the Wheel? By the NATIONAL INSTITUTE ON AGING
Are you worried about an older family member or friend driving? Sometimes, it can be hard for an older person to realize that he or she is no longer a safe driver. You might want to observe the person’s driving skills.cIf it’s not possible to observe the older person driving, look out for these signs:
• Multiple vehicle crashes, near-misses, and/or new dents in the car;
• Two or more traffic tickets or warnings within the last two years, and/or increases in car-insurance premiums because of driving issues;
• Comments from neighbors or friends about driving; • Anxiety about driving at night;
• Health issues that might affect driving ability, including problems with vision, hearing, and/or movement;
• Complaints about the speed, sudden lane changes, or actions of other drivers; and
• Recommendations from a doctor to modify driving habits or quit driving entirely.
Having ‘the Talk’ About Driving
Talking with an older person about his or her driving is often difficult. Here are some things that might help when having the talk.
• Be prepared. Learn about local services to help
someone who can no longer drive. Identify the person’s transportation needs.
• Avoid confrontation. Use ‘I’ messages rather than ‘you’ messages. For example, say, “I am concerned about your safety when you are driving,” rather than, “you’re no longer a safe driver.”
• Stick to the issue. Discuss the driver’s skills, not his or her age.
• Focus on safety and maintaining independence. Be clear that the goal is for the older driver to continue the activities he or she currently enjoys while staying safe. Offer to help the person stay independent. For example, you might say, “I’ll help you figure out how to
get where you want to go if driving isn’t possible.” • Be positive and supportive. Recognize the
importance of a driver’s license to the older person. Understand that he or she may become defensive, angry, hurt, or withdrawn. You might say, “I understand that this may be upsetting” or “we’ll work together to find a solution.”
Is It Time to Give Up Driving?
What about your own driving? We all age differently. For this reason, there is no way to set one age when everyone should stop driving. So, how do you know if you should stop? To help decide, ask yourself:
• Do other drivers often honk at me?
• Have I had some accidents, even if they were only fender benders?
• Do I get lost, even on roads I know?
• Do cars or people walking seem to appear out of nowhere?
• Do I get distracted while driving?
• Have family, friends, or my doctor said they’re worried about my driving?
• Am I driving less these days because I’m not as sure about my driving as I used to be?
Continued on page 54
  “We all age differently. For this reason, there is no way to set one age when everyone should stop driving. So, how do you know if you should stop? “
   WestMass ElderCare
4 Valley Mill Road Holyoke, MA 01040
413.538.9020 [email protected]
    We Gotta Key for That!
Car, Truck, Boat, Motorcycle, Padlock, Cessna, Outdoor Shed... Whatever it is!
We can make it.
977 St. James Ave., Springfield, MA 732-8538 •
     8 AUGUST 2021

   6   7   8   9   10