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How to talk to your aging parents about their driving

People's motor skills begin to deteriorate as they get older. As a result, you may worry about whether your aging parents should continue operating vehicles.

The first thing you should do is take note of your parents' ability to drive. If they seem safe and aware of their surroundings, then you may not have to speak to them. In the event you do need to have this talk, make it clear you simply care about their well-being. You do not want them sustaining injuries or hurting someone else when there are plenty of other options available for getting around town.

Meet one-on-one

This is a conversation that should take place between you and your parents. You do not want too many other family members and friends involved. At that point, your parents may feel as though you want to gang up on them. Start the conversation from a place of compassion.

Prepare for denial or anger

Many aging parents are reluctant to give up their keys because it feels as though they have lost an essential freedom. You should be ready for outbursts and anger, which is why you want to stick with facts instead of emotion. Focus on your parents' functional capacity to drive a car rather than bring up age specifically. In the event your parents do respond with anger, you do not want to return it. Maintain a calm tone, and do not resort to bringing up unrelated issues.

Allow your parents to vent their feelings

You may bring up good points, such as how your parents can hire other people to run errands. At the end of the day, they want to drive because they enjoy it. It is natural for them to feel upset or angered at the fact their age has gotten the best of them. Collaborate with your parents to find a solution everyone can be happy with.

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