Two elderly women were out driving in a large car. Both could barely see over the dashboard.
As they were cruising along, they came to an intersection. The stoplight was red, but they just went on through. The woman in the passenger seat thought to herself, “I must be losing it. I could have sworn we just went through a red light.”
After a few more minutes, they came to another intersection, and the light was red again. They went right though it. This time, the woman in the passenger seat was almost sure that the light had been red and was really concerned that she was losing it. She was getting nervous and decided to pay very close attention to the road and the next intersection to see what was going on.
At the next intersection, the light was definitely red, and sure enough, they went right through again. She turned to the other woman and said, “Mildred! Did you know we just ran through three red lights in a row? You could have killed us!”
Mildred turned to her and said, “Oh my, am I driving?”
While most people get a chuckle out of that joke, for those of us with an elderly parent who’s still driving, it causes fearful groans of recognition. Dangerous elderly drivers are no laughing matter. Especially when it’s your loved one who has the keys.
Currently my octogenarian mother is a fine driver who hasn’t incurred any tickets or problems driving. For now anyway. But like most adult children, I realize that unless Mom volunteers to relinquish her keys I’m going to eventually have ‘the talk’ about taking Mom’s keys from her.
To revoke driving privileges is a very emotional subject for everyone concerned. After all, to stop driving is having our wings clip, our freedom taken away. For me, I can’t imagine the day when I’ll be the one handing over my keys and selling my car. So, like most adult children, I’ve felt guilty whenever I’ve thought about approaching my mother on the subject. Until now.
AARP, and The Hartford, have created a fabulous online one hour video series entitled, We Need To Talk. It covers all aspects of assessing and talking to our loved ones about the day when they should no longer have the keys to the car. The video is especially helpful because this topic is so emotional. Both for the senior who is loosing their freedom, but also the family members who feel like ‘the bad guy’ for putting safety first. Certainly my parents could be injured, but worse yet, it would unconscionable if their reluctance to forfeit the car keys caused the tragic suffering of others.
In order to watch the video series, AARP requires you to fill in a form which includes your email address and an opt-in (not required though) for future AARP correspondence. For me, it was a reasonable price to pay to have access to the professional video presentation.
I’d love to know your reaction to this video. After watching it do you feel better prepared to tackle the issue with your loved ones?
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