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Is it time to give up the car keys?

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Recently, the sad story of a senior's involvement in a tragic accident caused many of us to ask how to handle getting our loved ones to hand over the keys. Many seniors reduce their driving voluntarily as their abilities decline, but many unknowingly become unsafe to themselves and other drivers. Giving up the car is not easy to do. This painful action reflects not only that they are aging, but giving up a vehicle equals a loss of freedom and independence. Many have no other option available to shop, socialize or get to doctor's appointments. 

Families should have a plan! Discuss what alternate transportation options will be available. Research the nearest Votran stop if family is out of the area or working full time. Connect your loved one to friends or neighbors who still drive and are willing to assist, even if you need to help with the cost of gas. Making the plan together is vital to a successful transition.

Take time to recognize the RED FLAGS:

  • Slow response times.
  • An inability to fully turn to check blind spots.
  • Running stop signs.
  • Motorists honking frequently.
  • A hesitation or reluctance to drive.
  • Getting lost or calling for help.
  • Repeat fender benders, dings or paint scrapes on the car.

Be aware that medications and physical conditions such as reduced vision, a stroke, dementia and Alzheimer's disease can affect driving performance in dramatic or in very subtle ways. If you think the medical situation is serious, consult with your loved one's physician.

 


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