Driving is a huge way for your elderly family member to be as independent as possible, but an Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis can take driving away from her. There are some things that you and her doctor can do to determine if she’s still able to drive for now. And if she’s ready to stop, home care providers can take over.
She May Not Have to Stop Driving Right Away
Often aging adults and family members worry that immediately after a diagnosis, the person with Alzheimer’s disease needs to stop driving. This doesn’t always happen. Your family member may still be able to drive short distances or in familiar locations. If she feels comfortable driving to a certain location, she might really be okay.
Talk to Her about What’s Happening
The best way to get to the bottom of her limitations is to talk to your senior about how she feels about driving. Determine if there are any conditions that worry her, such as rainy weather or heavy traffic. Let her know your concerns and listen carefully to hers. Having an open and honest conversation doesn’t mean that you’re planning on keeping her out of the driver’s seat until it’s absolutely necessary.
Talk to Her Doctor, Too
From there, you may also want to talk to her doctor about driving. Her doctor can give you a more definitive idea of how long she may be able to drive. There may be some specific signs that your senior’s doctor indicates are a warning for you. This conversation and the one that you have with your aging family member can help you to develop a plan.
Determine Whether Alternate Transportation Is the Answer
It can be a really good idea to start lining up home care providers now who can take over some of the driving tasks for your senior. They may drive when the weather is a little scary for your senior or they may simply go with your senior for companionship and to help in an emergency. Home care providers can give you indications how well your senior is doing with driving, too, which can help both of you to know when it might be time for your elderly family member to give up her keys.
Once you and your senior come to an agreement about driving, keep in mind that you might have this conversation several more times. She may forget that she shouldn’t be driving or she may want to test her limits.
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