How to talk to older people about their driving
Talking to an older person about his or her driving can be difficult. You might think it’s time they stopped driving for safety reasons or would like them to at least have some refresher lessons or tests to ensure they’re fit to drive. If you’re concerned about the driving of an older close relative or friend, it’s in their best interest to address the issue. Safety must come first, but you need to make sure you approach the topic in a delicate manner. Here are a few tips on how to talk to older people about their driving.
Do your research
Be prepared to offer solutions, particularly if you’re going to suggest that they stop driving. Research local transport services and alternative ways for them to get around without driving. Find out a bit more about their local area and the public transport options. Offer your support as well and make them aware that you’re available to take them to places if necessary.
Refer to their skills, not their age
If you believe it’s time to give up driving for your older relative then focus on their driving rather than their age alone. Try to be understanding and not accusing. It’s not fair to simply suggest they’re too old to drive. This is an important milestone in many elderly people’s lives, and they probably won’t feel good about it. Stick to the issue and ask them how they feel about their driving skills.
Help them stay independent
Whether or not it’s time to give up driving it’s still important for older people to have their independence as much as possible. If you feel like they’re still able to drive, help them choose the right car. You can look at used cars or even bad credit car finance if they can’t afford a newer vehicle. Encourage them to have any driving lessons if necessary. Alternatively, if they are at a point where it’s getting dangerous for them to drive, teach them about the local public transport options, so they can still get out and about on their own.
Focus on safety
Safety should always be the first priority so explain this when you approach the older person about their driving. If they’re still able to be on the road, there are plenty of specific safety tips for older drivers. Always focus on safety and explain that it’s not only their safety that’s affected but also the safety of others.
Stay positive throughout the conversation and be as encouraging as possible. They might have relied on driving for many years so the prospect of giving up could be daunting and depressing. Offer your full support in finding an alternative solution that they’re comfortable with and explain the advantages of using public transport or walking. There are many proven benefits to a positive outlook so remember to stay calm and look for the bright side, even if they’re initially upset. The most important thing to do is find a solution together.