My mother is 84 and uses a walker due to bad knees and weakness. She insists that she can still drive safely within our small town. We have talked with her about our concerns and have encouraged her to just let us take her where she needs to go but her pride is getting in the way and she gets very upset with us. We are also concerned about her safety after she gets where she is going with being able to get her walker in and out of the car. Are we over-reacting to think that she should stop driving?
Your mother’s reaction is common – many people feel hurt or defensive when a well-intentioned loved one tries to limit their driving. The best thing you can do during these situations is to remain open, calm, and focused on being productive. AAA offers tips for family members here.
Your mother would benefit immensely from a clinical driving assessment. These are performed by an Occupational Therapy-Driver Rehabilitation Specialist (OT-DRS). The OT-DRS will assess your mother’s driving skills and weakness, and can identify potential adaptations to increase safety behind the wheel. An added benefit of these assessments is that the feedback will come from an objective third party, which may make the take-home message easier for your mother to digest. To find an OT-DRS in your area, click here.