Often when a senior starts to have trouble with driving, the solution seems simple. Telling your senior that she can only drive if you’re with her might sound reasonable at first, but is it realistically a solution? Probably not as much as you think it is.
You May not Be Able to Do Much
You may feel like this is a workable alternative because if you’re there, you might be able to stop something bad from happening. But the reality is that your senior is still the one in control of the car. You’re still relying on her ability to control the vehicle and make the right decisions behind the wheel. There’s not a lot that you’re going to be able to control or actually do if something goes wrong.
She May Perceive Your Company Badly
Something else to remember is that when you’re in the passenger seat, you may be offering advice or asking your senior to do specific things. That can be perceived far differently than you might intend. You want your senior to be safe, but she could perceive that you’re only there to nag her or to pick on her for her driving ability. All of that can make the whole situation much more difficult to manage.
This Can Feel Limiting for Her
By making it a requirement that your senior can only drive if you’re there with her in the car, your senior may start to feel limited and controlled. That can be a recipe for disaster, especially if she’s determined to maintain her independence as much as possible. You need to remember that this isn’t about keeping her in one place or restricting her, it’s more about keeping her safe.
Your Senior Needs Alternatives
What your elderly family member really needs in this situation is alternatives to driving at all. One of the easiest solutions to put into places is to bring in homecare providers. Homecare aides can do the driving for your senior, but they can also help with a variety of other tasks and situations, too. There may be a lot beyond just transportation that is creating a challenge for your elderly family member right now. Homecare services can help you to meet those challenges.
It’s important for you to know and to understand what driving is like for your elderly family member, especially if she’s not as safe as she could be right now. But restricting her driving so that you’re the only thing keeping her safe may not be realistic.