One of the most difficult topics for your clients to address with his or her loved one is when to stop driving. If the older person is ill, frail or the family member would not want to get in the car with them behind the wheel, that is the signal it is time to take the car away. Have the physician speak with the family as an authority figure, or to prescribe a complete driving evaluation to determine driving safety. If that is not possible, encourage the family to place an anonymous call to the Department of Motor Vehicles to report an unsafe driver.
The complete driving evaluation is performed to test: vision, reaction time, problem solving and behind the wheel skills. Many hospitals and rehab clinics offer this service, and Medicare may pay for a portion of the assessment.
Be very sensitive, this is a loss of independence, and it will be hard to hear. However, for the safety of the older person and that of other drivers, it is vital to address this issue.
For more information or to discuss When to Stop Driving, call a Geriatric Care Manager in your area.