Losing the ability to drive means losing independence. Having the conversation and deciding if it is time to hang-up the keys can be emotional and stressful. Here are some helpful tips from Pathways Driving Rehabilitation Services about making a difficult conversation go as smoothly as possible.
Each situation is unique, but empathy can go a long way. As the occupational therapist, involve family and close friends in the plan. Confront resistance.
Stress the importance of preparing for the future and develop an agreement for all to share that includes practical safety steps, such as a periodic driving assessment, a GPS monitoring system for the car, and alternate transportation options.
Some people give-up driving easily, but for others this transition can be very difficult. Be prepared for the person to become angry with you, due to the memory and insight issues that are part of Alzheimer’s Disease.
But where to start?
- Initiate a dialogue to express your concerns- it could take several discussions. Stress the positive and offer alternatives.
- Address resistance while reaffirming your unconditional love and support. Appeal to the person’s sense of responsibility.
- Reinforce medical diagnoses and directives.
- Consider an evaluation by an objective third party, such as Pathways Rehab Services.