Time To Take the Keys Away
How would you react if you were sitting in the back seat, one of your parents was driving, and they became slightly confused when it came time to take an exit? Or, what if they brushed a curb while driving down the road?
Most people wouldnt consider either situation alarming, but what if your loved one got lost on the way to the grocery store or some other place they had been to dozens of times before?
It happened to 84 year-old “Mary” about two years ago. She was supposed to drive herself to a dentist appointment, but somehow ended up about ten miles away at a post office. Fortunately she remembered her home phone number and was able to call her husband for help. When he arrived, he hugged her and with tears in his eyes told her it was time to take away the keys.
As the baby boomers age, taking away the keys is a decision more and more of their children and spouses are going to have to make. Safe driving is no longer possible once a persons vision, hearing and/or reaction time have become impaired by old age; or once diseases like Alzheimers and dementia have robbed them of such cognitive abilities as memory, judgment and understanding.
In Marys case, it wasnt the first time she had taken a wrong turn. Fortunately, her husband found the strength to take away the keys, but a lot of people are reluctant to do so because they fear their loved one will see it as a loss of their freedom and dignity.
Warning Signs of Unsafe Driving