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Senior driving discussions

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Seniors’ health and abilities may change over the years yet their level of independence typically does not. When abilities become more limited an individual’s driving safety may be adversely affected, and as the caregiver or relative of an aging family member it may fall on you to discuss driving privileges with him/her.

This is, quite possibly, one of the most difficult discussions you may encounter but don’t approach it without some insight. There are many helpful discussion points on insurance websites like the one linked from Liberty Mutual, and related videos.

In addition to tips from these resources, the best way to approach the subject is through general discussion, not an ultimatum or argument. Respect the senior’s position and thoughts and feelings about potentially giving up the independence, freedom, and American pride provided by being a licensed driver. Find out the fears that may be a barrier to relinquishing this privilege and try to help address those concerns by turning to local resources. For example, if the senior thinks this may equate to being homebound let them know there are local senior resources for transportation that can continue to support the activities and interests he/she may have. For information about transportation alternatives consult the Guilford County Transportation and Mobility Services (TAMS).

Ultimately, the motivator for discussion is the senior's safety as well as the general public the senior will encounter on the road; it's not easy but avoidance of the conversation is not the solution. Seek out these resources today for assistance.

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