When to take the car away…

Mom or Dad will not let go.

They do not want to give up everything a car offers them.  Would you?  Of course not.

Remember when you were young, got your driver’s license?  Felt the freedom in your heart?

It was a magical moment in life, a life-changing experience…

Why would anyone want to give up their freedom, independence, or autonomy?

So, when to take the car keys away?

When the time is right

It is not a matter of who’s right, but what’s right.

Does it feel good? No.

So how do we justify hurting someone we love? I still remember the tears rolling down my mother’s cheek as I asked for the keys.  All I could do was hold her tight, tell her I loved her, and I would be there to help her. I cried a little, too.

Are there were support groups to help with this overwhelming feeling of hurt, guilt, and sense of loss as we take the keys, the car, the distributor cap away from the very person who taught us to drive? Yes, there are. And here’s what they teach…

Because it’s the right thing to do…

Just as our parents protected us and sheltered us from harm, we must return the favor. Would we allow Mom or Dad to fall?  No, we encourage them to use their walkers, to hold our arm, to “watch their step”.

And we do it for everyone on the road…

And, we must remind ourselves that we will never be able to live with ourselves if someone is killed, a father dead, a mother with brain damage, a child buried before the eyes of their parents and siblings, a deep hole in someone’s heart, a piece of happiness forever gone, because we failed to do what’s right.

Will you face the wrath of your parents or siblings when you do this? Yes.

Can your doctor, DMV, sheriff’s department, Alzheimer’s Association, therapist or friends give you the guidance and advice you need? Yes, they can and will. We have all been through it.

Remember, whether your loved one gives up the keys willingly or fights you every step of the way, you are doing the right thing. 

And this IS part of your caregiving journey.

No one ever said you had to feel good about it. 

It’s a safety decision you make today…end of story.

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