You know there are safety problems when your dad drives, yet he refuses to give up driving. It seems like he is just being stubborn and not seeing reality for what it is. It’s obvious he should give up driving but he continues to show poor judgment and continues to drive.
People with Alzheimer’s try to find ways to stay in control of their daily lives. They have started feeling confused and know that they often get lost. It starts to defeat their self-esteem and they can feel they are losing their independence.
If you confront your Dad about mistakes he is making, it may produce more angry denial and reactions. No matter what resistance he puts up, his family members must find a way to limit and eventually eliminate driving opportunities of this elderly adult. It’s for your dad’s safety and the safety of all those people who would come in contact with him while he is driving. The disease impairs visual perception, as well as distance perception.
They also experience difficulty concentrating. At a busy intersection with lots of things to think about and quick decisions to make, the problem solving required will just be too much for him. He can easily become overwhelmed.
Keep in mind that driving is a very difficult thing for most people to give up. It is a symbol of independence. Chances are he has been driving for a very long time now. It is not something he will easily surrender. You will need some help in order to get your dad to quit driving.
Where can you get some help?
- Get other family members involved and supporting you in convincing your dad to stop driving.
- Speak to your dad’s physician, mental health professional, trusted friend, attorney, insurance agent, or any other authority figures you can think of. He may be more likely to follow their instructions.
- Speak about the problem with your insurance representative and see what insights he can give you.
- As a last resort you could remove his keys or dismantle the starter of his car.
- If Dad becomes too difficult for you to handle, you may want to consider getting some help from a home care provider to help you get some days off and time away from Dad.
- Trying to understand his anger and loss of control may help you to avoid driving confrontations.
- As difficult as this situation gets, remember that the main goal of doing it is to avoid a serious and unfortunate accident from occurring. As hard as it may be, you are doing the right thing.
If you have a loved one who could benefit from the help of home care services in Concord, CA contact the caregivers at Hillendale Home Care. We help seniors and their families with many levels of home care service. Call (925) 948-8280 for more information.