Giving up Driving: How to Approach the Topic With Elderly Loved Ones

Elderly Man in Pink Shirt in Driving Seat of a car
Is it time to give up driving?

Driving in later years can be a real lifeline, providing freedom and connection to friends and family. However, there may come a time where you become concerned that a relative is no longer fit to drive. This is often an extremely difficult and emotional situation, as giving up driving represents a huge loss of independence.

When to give up

Unless the DVLA or a doctor have declared that your relative is not allowed to drive, it is ultimately their decision to stop. They must renew their driving licence every three years after turning 70, but there are no laws on what age they must stop driving.

If an elderly loved one has become a danger when driving, then it’s important that you find a way to talk about it.

How to discuss giving up with an older relative

If a relative is in denial about their level of safety on the road, this can often cause conflict. There are ways of approaching this sensitive topic that will reduce the potential for arguments. First and foremost, we recommend starting discussions as early as possible and opening the conversation with patience and understanding.

Talking about giving up driving as something that will happen in the future will give your relative time to adjust. They’ll be able to consider alternatives for getting around, without having to change their lifestyle immediately.  They might limit themselves to driving shorter distances or driving only during the day, while you talk about transport alternatives for when they do give up completely.

Providing alternative ways in which an older loved one can maintain their independence will make a huge difference and will soften the blow of giving up their driving licence. For example, family members could take turns weekly driving them to the shops, church or appointments. Another alternative is live-home care – here at Unique Senior Care, we can support our clients with transportation, so they can still attend appointments and social events.

Other tips:
  • Involve them in the decision as much as possible to limit them feeling like the decision is not theirs.
  • Ask them how they feel about driving and their abilities and limitations, sharing any concerns.
  • Focus on the importance of safety and health – this will be a more effective approach than criticising specific driving faults.
  • And finally…always be patient and sensitive to their feelings. Put yourselves in their position and think about how you would feel about being able to achieve less than before.
Our Transportation service

Here at Unique Senior Care, our services are not limited to providing assistance within our clients’ homes. We are committed to helping with whatever is needed, to continue living fulfilling lives at home. supporting all aspects of their day-to-day lives – and this includes attending appointments and social events. We can therefore provide transportation to help with this.

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