When to take the car away…


senior drivers

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.

About the Author

Do you feel frustrated with your medical care? Do doctors spend 5 minutes with you, push you out of the office, with you wondering what's going to happen? Does your insurance deny paying? You're not alone. I'm frustrated, too. This is a growing trend in healthcare. Having seen pre-insurance medicine (yes, my dad was an old country doctor), I grew up watching him spend time with his patients, giving them the best care he had to offer. I saw families trust him to help them through hospitalizations and the next crisis. As a patient advocate, my job is to see that you get the right diagnosis, the right treatment plans, and the right supplies and education to make good decisions about your health. More importantly, I will teach you the tricks of the healthcare trade. We need more healthcare consumer protection, especially for chronic illnesses like diabetes. This is what I am passionate about. I make it happen every day with thousands of patients who now know what I know about beating the healthcare system and getting the best patient care...Patient Best.

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