How to Help Your Aging Parent ‘Retire from Driving’

by dale on May 18, 2015

senior driving imageWorried about your aging loved one driving safely?  Don’t know how to broach the issue?  Fearing the conversation?  

Then consider  the “Enhanced Self-Assessment Program”, a tool that has been used by thousands of families across the US and Canada.  It helps guide families and older adults through the stressful, emotion-packed and often life-threatening issue of when it’s time to stop driving.

Driving is considered the last bastion of independence by many.  If we’re lucky, our aging loved ones decide to “retire from driving” on their own.  But, this is often NOT the case.  Instead, the older adult digs their heels in.  Family members worry about their loved one’s safety as well as their possible danger to others.  You don’t want to wait until it’s too late to take action.  You also don’t want to arbitrarily “take away the car keys.”

Then consider this unique program.  Developed by an Ohio ex-state trooper, Matt  Gurwell, and a team of gerontologists, the program is a self-assessment.  The older adult, guided one-on-one by a certified BDD (Beyond Driving with Dignity) professional is led through a process of self-awareness in their abilities and skills related to driving.

This process ensures that the older adult is treated with dignity and respect.  It is he or she, under the recommendation of the BDD professional, who decides whether it is time to “retire from the driver seat to the passenger seat.”  As the program founder Matt Gurwell says, we need to “limit driving, not living.”  Time is spent before and after the self-assessment with the family to ensure transportation alternatives are in place and to share the decision.  The goal of this program is a peaceful resolution to this difficult issue while acknowledging and respecting the older adult.

To get more information about this program for your loved one, contact Matt Gurwell, founder of Keeping Us Safe.  Click here.


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