How to Keep an Elderly Parent Who Has Dementia from Driving

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Some seniors refuse to give up their car keys, regardless of their current health or cognitive limitations. However, driving can be extremely dangerous for seniors, especially those living with dementia. Your family will need to find respectful yet effective ways to prevent your aging loved one from driving. Before you take his or her keys away, consider using some of the tips mentioned below.

Move the Car

Your loved one cannot drive a car without access to it. You can take the car away and store it at your house or the home of a close family friend. When your loved one asks where the vehicle is, you can say it is at the repair shop. When the car is out of sight for a good reason, your loved one may be more willing to stop driving and focus on other things, giving you extra time to determine what you will do with the vehicle to prevent your loved one from getting behind the wheel again. 

Even when families have the best intentions, caring for a senior loved one with dementia can be challenging. Fortunately, Home Care Assistance is here to help. We are a leading provider of dementia care. Mesa families can take advantage of our flexible and customizable care plans, and our caregivers always stay up to date on the latest developments in senior care.

Sell the Vehicle

Instead of taking your loved one’s car away, consider selling the vehicle. You can explain the benefits of having extra money from the sale, including more funds to cover the costs of social activities, new medications, family trips, and more. The objective is to detail how beneficial selling the car is for your loved one’s personal finances instead of dwelling on the reasons he or she needs to stop driving.

Develop a Transportation Schedule

If you and your siblings are there to transport your loved one around town, it may be easier for him or her to stop driving. Develop a schedule you all can commit to, and make sure to add emergency backup plans. When it’s time for your parent to go to the doctor, a social event, or on another errand, make sure someone is always there to provide transportation. You can also look into safe transportation resources, which remove the need to drive alone. 

For some families, caring for a senior loved one can be overwhelming at times. Luckily, they can rely on professional respite care. Mesa, AZ, Home Care Assistance is a trusted name in respite and hourly care. Our caregivers are available around the clock to assist seniors with bathing, transportation, medication reminders, exercise, and much more, allowing families the time they need to focus on other important responsibilities or just take a break.

Ask a Doctor to Step In

Having an intervention could be effective as long as you’re respectful and have facts to back up your request. To make the intervention go smoother, enlist the help of your loved one’s primary care physician. The doctor can explain how driving puts your parent’s health in jeopardy. If your loved one wants to alleviate symptoms associated with dementia and slow its progression, he or she needs to be open to doing things that boost health, such as giving up driving. Although you have your parent’s best interests in mind, he or she may be more open to advice when it comes from a medical advisor or non-relative.

It’s hard for our loved ones to give up the things that are closely tied to independence, and it’s difficult for an adult child to face the challenge of telling a parent that he or she can no longer drive. Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Mesa Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. If you need professional care for your senior loved one, Home Care Assistance is just a phone call away. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (480) 699-4899.