When to Take the Car Away – CareTakers in Denial

The First Car They Drove

The First Car They Drove

A major event in caretaking is taking away the freedom and independence that driving provides to your loved one.  Neither party wants this to happen. The loved one sees this as a signal that their independence is gone. The caretaker sees this as another task that they must perform that use their limited supply of time and energy. It is a hardship to both.

So when do you take away the keys? I know of a situation where children stay in denial because they do not want to acknowledge that their mother is not the same as she was and they do not want the additional work and responsibility that they will have when they have to be a chauffeur. Their mother has a bad hand that can’t grip the steering wheel safely, unsteady legs, growing forgetfulness, legal blindness in one eye, and an inability to perform when under any stress and still one child remains adamant that she should be able to drive.

Her car’s transmission broke and it could be a perfect time to take away the keys and the caretaker child sees that. But the other child who lives 100 miles away and rarely visits is trying to help the loved one to buy a car even though she is 84 with declining abilities.

Do you wait for an accident that she causes or when she gets lost and you must call the police to look for her? Do you want to wait until someone is hurt? I will always err on the side of caution because I do not want to see anyone hurt or even killed. Like I said this is where you step up and do the right thing.

Age and Driving

AARP – 10 Signs That it’s Time to Limit or Stop Driving

When should elderly people stop driving?


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