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When a person develops dementia, many aspects of his or her life start to change. They might have trouble with memory loss and need more help doing basic tasks. A big change that the family should be prepared for is when the person can no longer drive.
Driving is viewed as an essential part of a person’s independence. Since it’s so important, bringing up the subject that he or she should not drive is sensitive and can be tricky. Overall, safety and well-being is the main concern. Having this discussion will not be easy, but it is necessary and many families have had to do it.
“When approaching this conversation, don’t procrastinate. This is a difficult talk to have, but it’s for your loved one’s safety and the safety of other drivers,” says Steve Carney, Wellness Coordinator/Administrator of Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr, located in Bryn Mawr, PA. “It would be much worse to put off this conversation and then have an accident happen.”
There are certain things to look for that signal a person with dementia can’t drive safely anymore. Check to see if they are:
When having this discussion, remember to be calm, kind and understanding. This is a tough topic and needs to be handled with care.
There’s a possibility that this discussion will be tough to get through for everyone involved. If it doesn’t go in a positive direction, keep these tips in mind:
When it’s time for a loved one to stop driving, the stress of the upcoming discussion can be overwhelming. Having a plan for this conversation and knowing what points should be made will help ease this stress.
“Have an idea of what you want to say and always remember to be understanding and patient. It might not be the most comfortable conversation, but in the end it’s all in your loved one’s best interest,” says Steve.
Keep the family informed of what is happening and ready just in case your loved one needs their help. One positive thing to come from this is a possible opportunity for more quality time together. Going out to get groceries could be an afternoon outing and will get your loved one out of the house.
If you have comments or questions about our blog, we’d love to hear from you. We also encourage you to share any of your caregiving experiences in our comments section.
Loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease or other memory impairments require specialized care and support. They also deserve a lifestyle rich in dignity and fulfillment.
Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr provides residents with Engaging Days and Meaningful Moments that emphasize individual abilities, encourage socialization and promote the highest level of independence possible. We offer a complete continuum of leading-edge programs, services and amenities that address the total physical, emotional and social needs of residents in a caring setting that offers individual suites with large private baths and the comforts of home. Our community touches hearts and changes lives.
Memory loss caused by Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or another form of memory impairment doesn’t only affect the person who has it – it affects the entire family.
If you have a loved one with early- to mid-stage memory loss, you know how challenging it can be to provide the care that’s needed while trying to maintain balance in your life. As care needs increase, you may not be able to meet them physically or emotionally. It’s often difficult to be available to care for your loved one’s health and well-being around the clock.
If and when the time comes to seek additional help, place your trust in Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr. We lift the stresses and worries of being a caregiver from your shoulders, enabling you and your family to enjoy time with your loved one again.
Disclaimer: The articles and tip sheets on this website are offered by Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr and Main Line Senior Care Alliance for general informational and educational purposes and do not constitute legal or medical advice. For legal or medical advice, please contact your attorney or physician.