#5 - Does an Adult Child Have an Interest in an Elderly Parent’s Driving Ability?
The ability to drive a car means independence to seniors. It may feel that driving is a right. When an individual’s skills are compromised, driving is viewed as a privilege. You will find that this is your reference point when discussing driving with your parents.
While home for the holidays, take a moment to see if your parents’ car has physical damage. Ask what happened. Is it an isolated event or is a pattern of minor mishaps setting in? If in a passing conversation your parent mentions getting lost on a familiar route, or a neighbor pulls you aside to report that your dad no longer stops at the stop sign down the road, take note.
These trouble signs concern everyone for the safety of parents and for the safety of other drivers. It can be worrisome when an elderly parent is the primary driver for a friend or other. If the warning signs are there and another individual has expressed concern about the parent’s driving, the adult child may feel a lot of pressure to intervene. There is no easy way to deal with this issue, however, it must be addressed. If an accident occurs, the result could cause your family to be sued for negligence.
There are driving skill assessments available for seniors, which a family doctor can insist on. Adult children should also confirm that their parents have substantial auto liability insurance i.e., $250,000 or more.
Refer to AARPs “When to talk about turning over the car keys” at : https://www.aarp.org/auto/driver-safety/when-to-stop-driving-in-older-age/