Many families avoid any discussion about safe driving and don’t consider transportation alternatives for their loved ones until there is a crisis. Safe driving is about health and ability and some people need to stop driving earlier than others no matter their age.
There are things adult children can do to help their loved ones stay safe on the road before a crisis. For example, drivers can begin to adjust their driving patterns to certain times of day, to more familiar routes and to safer weather conditions. Families can urge their loved one to speak with a doctor about the effects their medications and overall health may be having on their ability to drive. Families can also engage an occupational therapy specialist to conduct an independent assessment of their loved one’s driving ability and safety behind the wheel.
No matter the situation, We Need to Talk (WNTT) online at www.aarp.org/weneedtotalk helps adult children better understand how to speak with their parents about driver safety and how to approach the topic of their one day hanging up the keys. WNTT can also help adult children become aware of certain warning signs that it might be time to hang up the keys.
AARP Outreach Volunteer
East Brunswick, NJ