I received an email the other day asking about taking away driving privileges from a family member. This is always a difficult subject because driving is the last bit of independence for older adults. How would you feel if you couldn’t get in the car and just go? Or if you had to rely on friends or family to take you places? It’s a bit like being a prisoner in your own house. Sometimes I just like to go somewhere, anywhere for a diversion or a temporary change of scenery. Maybe it’s just to pick up a few things at the grocery store or to walk through the mall even if I don’t pick up a thing. It’s the ability to get out and be among nature or among other people or to see a movie. So, to answer the question, it’s difficult to take this privilege away, but very necessary in some cases, especially where the individual is a danger to themselves or others. If a discussion goes nowhere, which is many times the case. Then you can resort to having your physician discuss driving with your loved one and even go to the point of taking their license and sending it to the department of motor vehicles. Other creative options are purchasing a “club” and locking the steering wheel or disabling the car in some other manner. These are not ideal, but many times prevent the inevitable accident or injury.

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About Pamela Wilson

PAMELA D. WILSON, MS, BS/BA, NCG, CSA helps caregivers and aging adults solve caregiving problems and manage caregiving needs through online programs, live support groups, and an extensive caregiving library that includes articles, podcasts, videos, and webinars.

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