Matt Gurwell, Founder and CEO of Keeping Us Safe, gave me permission to publish excerpts of his article: “The Workbook for the Families of Older Drivers.” He provides some great information on what can be a very touchy subject. Here goes…..
“Do you wonder if the older driver in your family may be experiencing diminishing driving skills as a result of the natural aging process?
1. Has your parent become lost recently while driving on an otherwise familiar route?
2. Have you noticed Mom bumping into curbs, mailboxes, or scraping the side of the garage when she backs out?
3. Are there unexplained scuff marks on the corners of Dad’s bumpers?
4. Has Dad been involved in a minor parking lot fender-bender recently, or does he complain about being honked at all the time?
5. Do either of them seem easily confused or more forgetful when you talk with them on the telephone?
If so, don’t panic; you are certainly not alone. The most important thing to remember is that the time to start addressing your concerns over driving is now, before “concerns” turn into “tragedies.”
The issue of taking the keys away from a parent can be extremely sensitive and emotional:
• Having this discussion has been likened to trying to throw a diplomatic hand grenade at your parents and the “talk” has been known to divide entire families.
• Adult siblings, otherwise close to each other their entire lives, can end up at war with each other (and/or with their parents) on how best to address the driving issue.
There is a solution, it’s titled: “Beyond Driving with Dignity; The Workbook for the Families of Older Drivers”
1. It employs a very user-friendly, uncomplicated method
2. Is designed to be used in the comfort and confidence of the family’s home.
3. Is designed to remove the family’s emotion, opinion and speculation from the decision-making process,
4. Reduces everything to simple facts so that appropriate decisions can follow.
More specifically, the workbook helps the family and the older driver work together to better recognize any deficiencies in the following seven dimensions:
o Vision o Hearing o Memory o Reflex and reaction time
o Strength and flexibility o Medications, and o Overall health concerns
The workbook was written to help families by providing them with a ‘roadmap to success’ in their quest to overcome the challenges of an older driver’s safety. It was designed to be used by the family in the confidence and comfort of their own home, most likely seated right at the family’s kitchen table.”
“Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important.” Janet Lane