So, you don’t think your senior should be driving any longer. You’ve been with them when they were driving, and you think they were a danger to themselves and others (you included). This issue of no longer driving is just one of the many difficult conversations you may find yourself faced with.
I remember some of the difficult conversations I had with my parents and my husband had with his parents. They were never easy. I remember one in particular that went particularly well. As I reflected on that conversation, I did something different. I cared about my parent’s needs and desires, and I openly expressed my concern for them. The conversation was like gently opening a release value for both of us—and I enjoyed a true sense of relief.
Because your senior can’t drive doesn’t mean they have to be house bound. There are other ways to get around including public transportation; taxi services; senior transport services (which are available in many areas); having a young family member or family friend volunteer or hired to drive your senior where they need to go; and personal drivers hired for specific trips.
What might be a difficult conversation with one senior might be a breeze with another. What is certain is that there will be many challenging conversations beyond giving up their car keys—clearing the clutter, bathing more frequently, wearing clean clothes, moving, and on and on. To minimize anxiety, and avoid causing lines to be drawn in the sand as they say, the goal is to find personalized solutions that work for everyone.
Cathy Breitenbucher from the Laureate Group wrote a wonderful article about how to have conversations with your seniors about tough subjects. She provides ‘the what’ and ‘the how’ for these discussions.