Driving gives a sense of freedom unparallel to other forms of transportation. Vehicles can drive individuals to and fro at the drop of a hat. For seniors, this is especially cherished as they lose control over other aspects of their life. 

However, their health and age may make driving more dangerous for them and others on the road. Though they may be determined to keep driving, those around them hold a responsibility to let them know when they need to stop. For this conversation to be productive, make sure to read the tips lined out in the rest of this article. 

Conversation Tips

  • Find the Right Person
Maybe the senior in your life listens to their spouse before anyone else. Or perhaps they consider their children’s words before those of a doctor. Whatever the case, find the right person to talk to the senior, so they know this concern comes from a place of love and care. 

  • Ease into the Conversation
Similar to the first suggestion, avoid making the person feel as if they are being attacked or ganged up on. You don’t want to spring this conversation on them at the wrong moment or force a conversation. Ideally, you’ll bring up this notion through the stages of the senior’s life, so the both of you can form a plan for when the senior should stop driving. Whether you’ve waited to talk or this has been an ongoing conversation, try to find times when the senior is relaxed and in a good mood. If they seem tired or cranky, steer clear of the conversation until clearer skies. 

  • Expand their Awareness
Instead of outright telling them their driving quality has deteriorated, ask them how they feel about the quality of their driving. They may open up and let you know of the concerns they’ve had. If not, make light suggestions of what you’ve noticed of other drivers. For example, point out how aggressive and fast others drive and how hard it is to keep up. If they agree and acknowledge the difficulty, this can be another opening to start the conversation. If all else fails, provide them with facts and numbers of driving accidents, specifically those involving seniors. 

  • Other Transportation Options
Seniors don’t have to feel like their freedom is being ripped away. There are plenty of other transportation options which may interest them. Provide them with options such as the city bus, car driving apps, bicycles, walking, or even you as a possible transportation source.

  • Show Support
Above all else, remember to show them the love and support they need during this time. Understand they may be angry at you for the suggestion, but in reality, they are just angry at their age for slowing them down. Talking to seniors about when they need to stop driving will benefit them in the long run but may initially sadden them. Be there for them and offer help where needed, so they don’t feel like their freedom is limited. 

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