Taking Away the Car Keys: How to Know When the Time is Right

Many seniors resist turning over the car keys. Driving is often seen as the last link to independence, and the decision to stop can have ripple effects on quality of life. It is a difficult decision at best and we must be sensitive to our parents’ feelings and concerns. Evaluating their abilities, addressing their fears and determining options are important to make this transition safe and reasonable.

Fortunately, many older drivers will begin to self-limit driving on their own. You may find your parent no longer drives at night, or only travels close to home to familiar locations. These decisions should be commended. But when the risks of driving outweigh the benefits and independence, you must take action to protect all drivers on the road, including your loved one.

My latest monthly column for Gannett Newspapers, “How to know when to take away parent’s keys,” offers some advice for those faced with questions about a loved one’s ability to drive. In addition to warning signs, the article includes some resources available and other tips to ease the transition.

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