FAQs #5

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Q5. How do I tell my mother that she needs to give up driving?

A5. Ruth Tipton:
That's always a hard one! After my mom (1) put the car into reverse instead of forward and ran into the side of a brick building (fortunately, at very slow speed and no one was hurt except the building!); (2) locked herself out of the car in a parking lot while it was running; (3) thought a restaurant driveway with parked cars was a mountain stream with rocks on one side (really!) plus a few other instances — I KNEW it was time for her to "give it up"!

She got very upset when I said to her that I felt for her safety and the safety of others, she shouldn't drive anymore. We discussed what could very well happen and that she may not be able to get insurance any more. And I told her I loved her too much to even think about losing her (and God forbid someone else!) in an automobile accident. And I was fortunate: I have a wonderful mom who realized overnight that everything I said was right — and she had to stop driving.

But when you do have this talk, be sure you know about some options for your parent(s), i.e. alternative transportation so they can still go to their bridge clubs, luncheons, meetings, volunteer jobs, golf, etc. The last thing they want is to lose their "independence" and quality of life. If your mom (or dad) won't listen to you, enlist the help of a friend of your parent's — one she or he really respects — or have their doctor , pastor, lawyer or policeman talk with them. It's a tough issue to face, but one that just be addressed when it's time in order to avoid possible dire legal and/or physical consequences.

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Leslie Roy
Pro31 Safe Senior Driver, LLC
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Livermore, CO 80536

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