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The Conversation Starter

When do you “take the keys away” from a loved one? A young man at a caregiver’s event in Nashville admitted he knows he needs to get his mother living with mid-stage Alzheimer’s disease to stop driving, but doesn’t know how to do so. Fellow attendees were quick to offer the best tips and techniques to deal with this issue. The definitive answer actually came from the attorney on the expert panel who said, “There are many lawyers in this town who would surely love to take the case against you if your mother is to cause an accident.” The young man swore that he was going to call the Department of Transportation that very afternoon.

Driving is as much an emotional issue as it is one of practicality. Driving = Independence and many seniors feel that losing their driving privileges represents the beginning of the end… I mean, how would you feel?

If you are concerned that your loved one’s driving is dangerous to themselves and others, you are probably right and you need to take immediate action. The first thing to do is to reach out to those in the know in your community. Create a transportation plan for when your loved ones do relinquish the keys. One group, SilverRide based in San Francisco, offers senior friendly transportation solutions. Consult with your loved one’s doctor and the DOT; talk with your fellow caregivers; call the local AAA organizations (both the Area Agency on Aging and the American Automobile Association).

Once you are aware that there is a potential problem, you need to develop a plan of action and act quickly– for your own sake, your loved one’s sake and the safety of the community in which you live.

Courtesy of www.caregiver.com

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