It wasn’t that long ago that we celebrated with our adult children the triumph of passing their driving test and gaining the freedom that comes with a driver’s license, giving us another thing to worry about.
Fast-forward a few years. The trepidation we felt for our kids has waned as they have proven themselves as capable, responsible drivers.
But now we’re faced with the dread of having “the talk” once more – this time with our aging parents, who are not as capable behind the wheel as they once were, and may actually be a hazard to themselves and others on the road.
How do you know when to have “the talk” with your aging parents? And how do you address the problem without insulting them or making them feel like you’re taking away their independence?
AARP provides warning signs that can help you recognize when it’s time for “the talk.” These include:
Frequent “close calls” (almost crashing)
Dents and scrapes on the car, or damage to garage doors, mailboxes or curbs
Difficulty seeing road signs, traffic signals, etc.
Confusing the gas and brake pedals, or responding slowly to unexpected situations
Difficulty judging gaps in traffic at intersections or on highway ramps
Road rage – yelling at other drivers or being the object of frustration for other drivers
Difficulty concentrating while driving
Limited mobility that interferes with operating the vehicle
Repeated traffic tickets or warnings
Experts suggest talking to your parents’ doctor to discuss your concerns. Sometimes a medical condition can be treated and, with the problem corrected, they can resume driving.
And for help in recognizing the warning signs and tips on conducting “the talk,” The Hartford and MIT AgeLab have teamed up to create the “We Need To Talk” program that can help you initiate the conversation and arrive at the best solution for everyone.
** Pictured 1914 Model T is 98% original. Owned by the father of one of Windsong’s employees.