Having the transportation talk with older parents


November 8, 2010

One of the most difficult subjects that adult children may have to broach with elderly parents is the talk about transportation and when an older adult should stop driving or change their habits, according to USA Today.

Talking about the subject before it becomes a problem can make the conversation as pleasant as possible, without any hurt feelings or loss of independence. Many seniors are able to drive well into their 80s, but they should appreciate their limitations.

There are some definitive signs that an older driver may want to consider alternative transportation, or at least stop driving at night or in the elements. These include frequent close calls or dents and scrapes on the car.

Jake Nelson, the director of traffic safety advocacy for AAA, suggests that many older adults can continue to drive while they age.

"Most often, giving up the keys is usually not the answer," he told the news provider. "It's most often regulating when and where to drive. Most people can drive safely through the end of their lives."

While discussing plans for transportation, it may also be wise to talk about other precautions that parents should take while living independently. A senior alert system is a device that can be used to instantly send a personal emergency response message to family or friends in the case of a fall or medical condition.