Are you concerned about an aging adult driving?

Often times, for aging adults one of the hardest things to deal with is the feeling of losing their independence. The ability to drive and transport themselves is often something they want to hold on to for as long as possible, even when it is not always safe.

If you are concerned about the ability for an aging loved one in your life to drive, you should address your concerns promptly and honestly. Delaying the inevitable conversation could result in an accident that could otherwise be avoided.

How to talk to them

Plan ahead. Be prepared for the conversation to be met with opposition and frustration. Driving is a privilege that many older adults are not willing to give up, even when they know they should.

Be ready to listen. You should also keep an open mind and be willing to listen to the objections and concerns that your aging loved one has. You need to be able to offer solutions to their questions as well as words of encouragement during the transition.

Chances are, your loved one is not going to voluntarily surrender their ticket to mobility and independence. And by law, you can not force them to stop driving unless they have dementia or other serious ailment. Ultimately, it is their choice whether or not to stop driving.

Try a plan where they just drive less

Develop a regular schedule to stop by your loved one’s home with supplies such as groceries household items, medicines and just for a visit. Offering in-home companionship and running errands for your loved one will reduce the likelihood they will need to leave the home.

Keep driving times for your aging loved ones as safe as possible by reducing the amount they drive in bad weather or at night time. If it is snowing and they have a doctor’s visit or some other need to get out of the house, find an alternative to them driving themselves as the safety risks are heighten during bad weather. If there is risk of icy roads or power outages, be sure to not allow them to begin a drive or road trip.

How to stop them from driving

If your loved one is still legally able to drive, but you are convinced it is hazardous and unsafe, it may be time to force the issue.

To better help your loved one understand the situation, call a family meeting and get as many people as possible on board. Seeing the concern from multiple family members may help your aging loved one better understand the seriousness of the situation.

Consult a doctor or expert that your loved one feels comfortable with and trusts. Hearing the opinion and recommendation from a professional may make the transition easier.

The most important thing to remember when beginning the discussion regarding driving is to remain objective. Consider the impact and sense of a loss of independence the decision will have on your loved one. It is not going to be easy and opening up a fair and honest discussion rather than strictly enforcing a mandate will help the transition go as smooth as possible.

Does your aging loved one need help with transportation?

My Choice Home Care understands you have a busy schedule.  If at anytime you are unable to transport your elderly friend or family member please contact us about our solutions.  Fill out the contact form at bottom of this page or give us a call at 1.828.200.9000

Get the facts: What to expect when caring for your aging loved one

Aging is just a factor of life. We all grow old. And as we begin to age, day to day task become increasingly more difficult to do alone. There comes a point in every person’s life to where they are no longer able to solely care for themselves.

When that point comes, a lot of aging adults rely on family members to become their caregivers.  From travel, to cooking meals, to daily chores around the house, the assistance needs of elderly adults may vary, but are an inevitable part of life.

For family members, adjusting to the transition of being a member of a family to being a caregiver can be a difficult and confusing time. Hopefully, these 3 things will help prepare you and your family during the transition process.

3 things to expect when caring for a loved one

 1) Prepare yourself emotionally. 

For most of your life, those older than you have cared for you. They have taken care of you and you have looked up to them and admired them as leaders in your life. There comes a point in your life when that is going to change and you are going to take on that role for them.

Before you take on the task of caring for a loved one, you need to adequately prepare yourself for the emotional toll of seeing your loved ones become more and more dependent on care and assistance and less like the image of them that you are familiar with.

2) Set boundaries before you ever begin. 

A lot of time caregivers take on the role over time. It starts out as bringing a warm meal over during the week. Then running errands like picking up groceries or going to the pharmacy, and before you know it, your loved one needs your help for more and more tasks.

Although it may be extremely difficult to set up boundaries with someone you love, it is necessary. It is not feasible for you to do whatever is asked of you, whenever it is asked for your loved one. In many instances, caring for someone can quickly become a full-time job, so before you ever start, have a talk with your loved one and set up a list of things and times you are able to help.

3) Don’t forget to take care of yourself. 

When someone else needs you for their food, grooming, social interaction and other daily tasks, it is easy to forget to take care of yourself. Your instincts are going to lead you to surrender yourself completely to ensure that your aging loved one is completely taken care of, after all, you may be all they have.

But if you are not taking time to rejuvenate and ensure that you are not stretched too thin or too overwhelmed, then you are not going to be of any help to your loved one anyway. Taking care of yourself and ensuring you are in the best physical and mental shape will allow you to best care for your loved one.

If taking care of your loved one is becoming too much of a toll on your schedule and your physical and mental health, let us help.  We offer caregivers and companions anywhere from a few hours a day to 24/7.  Give us a call at 1.828.200.9000 or fill out our contact form and we will discuss the best possible solution for you and your family.