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Is it time to take away the car keys?

Is it time to take away the car keys?

September 24, 2021

Since women tend to live longer than men, there’s an ongoing joke in senior living communities that the only thing more attractive than an eligible man in the community is an eligible man who can still drive at night.

We chuckle as we pass a cautious older driver who is going below the speed limit, or at the senior who forgets to turn off their blinker, but seniors who are losing their ability to safely drive is no laughing matter and can be a danger to themselves or others on the road.   Slowed reflexes, diminished eyesight, potential side-effects from medications and impaired judgement can be a lethal mix for an aging driver or others drivers, bicyclists or pedestrians that they may strike in their effort to retain their mobility and independence.

It is not easy to convince a senior that the time has come to turn over the keys to the car. I've heard of cases where older adults who have had to have their keys taken away have actually taken a taxi to a new car dealer and bought a new car to replace the one that family has taken the keys away fir safety's sake.   

To help you start the conversation and determine parameters to decide what conditions need to be met for agreement that it’s not safe to be driving themselves, we’ve added a Senior Driving Transitions Assessment to our "Elder Planning" tab on our website. 

Complete a five minute online assessment and receive a driving transition report and the ability to prepare a “Family Agreement on Driving”. 

If you have concerns over a loved one’s ability to safely operate an automobile due to declining faculties, you owe it to them and the public to start the conversation.  Let us help you help them.