The struggles of approaching changes to routine functions are difficult for anyone, but with a loved one who has Alzheimer’s, the encounter can also become a sensitive area of discussion. There can be many day-to-day adjustments for people with Alzheimer’s and driving skills is just one of those sensitive areas that may need to be addressed sooner better than later.
So, for the safety of our loved ones, the difficult question becomes:
When do we restrict or take away driving privileges?
As we age, there are a lot of natural circumstances that affect our driving that aren’t necessarily Alzheimer’s related. Our eyesight diminishes, our hearing diminishes, our reflexes get slower, our judgement and timing can become impaired. We also tend to take more medications that can slow our reaction time.
In this Elder Law Minute, Wes Coulson, Illinois Elder Law attorney, discusses Alzheimer’s and Driving and the steps you can take when approaching this sensitive subject with your loved ones.
Alzheimer’s and Driving
Hi, I’m Wes Coulson and this is your Elder Law Minute. Once of the most difficult, practical challenges for a family with an Alzheimer’s member is addressing that difficult decision about:
When do we start restricting or taking away driving privileges?
One of the first things I want to do is point you in the direction of a very helpful website. It’s www.seniordriving.aaa.com. AAA, the auto club people, have a lot of very valuable information and insights into the process. One of the things I’ve really learned is that I think one of the reasons that those discussions tend to be so confrontational, in a way that they don’t need to be, is that they tend to focus only on Alzheimer’s. But, there are a lot of other circumstances that affect senior driving that are just natural. As we age our eyesight diminishes, our hearing diminishes, our reflexes get slower, our judgement, timing can get impaired. We tend to take more medications that can slow our reaction time.
There are a lot of things that you can talk about in speaking with a senior that don’t raise the issue of “it’s your Alzheimer’s.” But, are persuasive reasons to restrict their driving or maybe have them decide that they can do away with driving anymore. So again, more things to think about. Take a look at the website. Thanks so much.
For more related information on Alzheimer’s, visit these articles:
- My Life is a Struggle but I Don’t Want Help: Senior Resistance to Change and Care
- Second Childhood: Parenting Lessons for Dealing with Elders with Dementia
- Handling the Difficult Conversation about Facility Placement Video Series
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Coulson Elder Law is dedicated to providing families in the St. Louis area with their Elder Law needs. Our practice areas include Asset Preservation Planning, Veterans Benefits, Medicaid Eligibility, Alzheimer’s Planning, Special Needs Planning, Estate Planning and more. We understand the financial challenges you may face as you and your loved ones grow older. At Coulson Elder Law, our clients’ well-being is our number one priority. For immediate help, call (877)995-6876 or Contact Us and we will get in touch as soon as possible.