Disaster in the Driver’s Seat

December 9, 2013
time to take the keys

The call of the open road is more than just excitement. For older ones, it’s about retaining independence.

Uncle Jeb turns 86 this year.  He’s a lively fellow and takes his independence seriously.  He drives every day.  The fact is, his kids are starting to get very worried about his driving; there have been several incidents where he has driven off the road.

None of them want to make him angry, though, so the issue has not been pushed.

Last month he got into two scrapes; one on his rear bumper and one on the front of the car.

None of his children want to offend him, so no one has had the nerve to insist that he set down the keys for good.

This week, without discussing the matter with anyone (even his wife), Uncle Jeb purchased and drove home a brand new car.  He brought the shiny blue sedan home to surprise his wife.  As he pulled into his driveway, Uncle Jeb confused drive with reverse.  In a wink, the car plowed through the garage door and crashed back out of the rear wall.  Thankfully, Uncle Jeb wasn’t hurt.

But he didn’t tell a single person.  How he was able to hide the accident is still a mystery.  It wasn’t until his daughter Rose came by to help with paying bills that she noticed the documents from the insurance company.  ”Dad, what is this?” she asked.  Embarrassed and annoyed, he explained the story.  ”Please don’t tell your brother,” he pleaded.  ”Whatever you do, just please don’t tell him.”  There were tears in his eyes.

We’ve talked about senior driving safety before in our articles, and have shared tips on how to approach the subject of taking away the keys.  Still, it seems like the hardest thing to do, doesn’t it?  To finally take the keys away from your aging parent can be an emotional, stressful, disappointing and even depressing time for everyone involved.

If you have had to transition your loved one from being a driver to a permanent passenger, how have you coped?  We would love to hear your side of the story.  Won’t you share your experiences in the comments section below?

Writer, Gretchen Halverson

Gretchen Halverson was raised on a farm along the banks of the Ohio River. She currently resides in Maine with her 3 beautiful children. She works as a wedding photographer and a writer about senior care issues.

Matt & Ainsley Cohn

We hope this was helpful. If you have any questions or if you know of a senior that could benefit from our vast array of home care services in Baton Rouge, please call us at 225.819.8338 or email us. Most long term care insurance policies will reimburse us for our services and we have a team of over 200 bonded and insured CAREGivers covering the Baton Rouge, Louisiana area.

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