Motoring corner : “When is It Time to Give Up Driving?”

When is it time for one to call it quits? It may not be an easy thin, being without “wheels”, it means going to all places, e.g. beauty parlor, or church, or to meet with your friends, and you have to have someone come and pick you up for the simplest appointment.

When is it time for one to call it quits? It may not be an easy thin, being without “wheels”, it means going to all places, e.g. beauty parlor, or church, or to meet with your friends, and you have to have someone come and pick you up for the simplest appointment. It could be on medical determinations that older patients no longer should drive.

“That’s devastating. And the rate of depression in these people could be extraordinarily high. So it’s crucial to be sensitive. “Most of all, you’ve got to try and understand how incredibly difficult it is for a parent to give up driving then find a solution that takes everything into account.

Self-Determination Is the Best Option

The optimum course is for an older person to begin planning for his own “retirement” from driving far in advance, just as he may have plotted his departure from the workforce years before.

“Self-limiting” driving is one way to approach the issue gradually, and, done effectively, it can buy years’ more independence for many aging motorists. Similarly, it’s best if senior drivers make their own decisions about when to leave the wheel completely behind.

“If you’re smart, you’ll decide when you need to give up driving  you won’t have the kids come in and wrestle the keys from you. To a surprising and reassuring extent, recent research suggests that more seniors are limiting their own driving without prompting by loved ones or others in their lives. Fewer than 1 percent of older drivers interviewed by in a research on Highway Safety (USA) in 2006 and 2007, said that they’d been advised by family, friends or a doctor to give up driving.

But all too often, there’s still the need for “the conversation”, forced by things that already are occurring when your senior gets behind the wheel. The top 10 warning signs include frequent near-accidents, dents or scrapes on the vehicle or the mailbox or the sides of the garage door, difficulty for the senior to see the sides of the road when looking straight ahead much clearly.

“You really need to work with the whole family and problem-solve how this can be done,” said Anne Dickerson, a specialist in geriatric occupational therapy at East Carolina University.

At the same time, don’t necessarily blow off any opposition. “If a senior is obstinate and still sharp of mind, they could still be OK to drive. And perhaps there are other issues that actually underlie poor driving and can be addressed first, including deterioration in the senses, contra-indicated medicine, physical pain or even addiction. 

If necessary, tell the person with the onset of dementia that the vehicle just isn’t available or doesn’t work anymore. Then actually disable the car by removing the battery cable or distributor cap.  

motoringcorner@live.co.uk

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