Driving and Transportation Concerns

Q. “My spouse’s driving is getting worse, even dangerous, but they refuse to give up the car.”
A. Independence is closely tied with access to transportation. For most families that means having a car and driving privileges. Losing the ability to drive can be seen as a loss of freedom. It’s also easier for others to see a diminishment in driving abilities than for the driver.
They’ve had some “close calls”, and insists their driving is just fine. They won’t acknowledge their abilities might be diminishing. If we lose the car how will we get around and go shopping, out for entertainment, doctor appointments and social activities


Questions to ask yourself:
  • Is there something getting in the way of your spouse seeing their driving may not be as good as it used to be? Maybe even dangerous?
  • How can you be sure, and maybe improve their skills?
  • If we didn’t have a car, how could we get around? How could we stay independent? Are there alternatives we haven’t thought of, or didn’t realize were available to us?
Helpful Tips: Sit down with your spouse, children and friends. Explain your concerns and worries and look at the concerns of others, too. For example, “I’m concerned you might not be able to stop in time and run into someone, or another car.” Someone could also gently suggest going to get an independent evaluation. There are organizations and businesses that will evaluate a person’s driving skills and road safety. These organizations might also be able to make some suggestions.
You need to clearly consider the real dangers of impaired driving, both to themselves and to others. Begin a discussion exploring potential transportation options. This might include only driving during the daytime, and in nice weather. Maybe family members can help out. What other options are available in the community?

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