Is it Time to Give Up the Keys?

Bay Alarm Medical

November 28, 2017

Driving is an important factor in a person’s independence. But what happens when that person is no longer in shape to be driving safely? How do approach your loved one? What happens if they are resistant? Our video share’s on family’s story.

Video transcript:

Bulah: When I was making a left hand turn onto [unintelligible 00:00:06] road, and I didn’t see the guy coming. I saw the cars behind him, but I didn’t see him in the third lane. He got over in the third lane, the passing by and I didn’t see him.

Amie Clark: My parents were concerned about how well she was able to react if something happened. They started noticing little things about her driving. I think they were concerned overall. She had some physical health issues. She was declining physically. Of course, driving seems to be a little bit scary if physically you’re not doing that great. She was having some vision problems. I know that that was a major concern for them.

Bulah: Because I couldn’t see. [chuckles] I was right not being able to see.

Amie: My mom approached it with her and they had been talking about it quite a lot back and forth. My mom would say, “I’m concerned about you. I’m concerned about you being safe driving.” My grandma was very independent. She lived on her own, by herself. That was how she got out, she got to go shopping and she got to interact with people. Driving really was her lifeline. The thought of giving that up and having to be dependent on other people for transportation, I think was really uncomfortable for her.

Bulah: I had the old car. She didn’t want me driving anywhere much, which really annoys me. I get — very independent. Perfect people don’t make mistakes.

Amie: She was not willing to give up her keys. Nothing had changed until she got in a car accident. She was broadsided. She was pulling out into a busy intersection and she pulled out right in front of somebody and they broadsided her. She did not see that car. She had macular degeneration and her peripheral vision was so bad that she didn’t even see the vehicle. It wasn’t until then that she herself admitted that she probably shouldn’t be driving.

Bulah: That one was enough for me. It turned my car completely around. I said, “Come get this car and sell it.” I never drove anymore. I was very dead to hurt somebody.

Amie: When you’re having this conversation with your loved one, if it’s not working for you having this conversation, talk to their doctor about it. Talk to their optometrist about it. A lot of states require driving tests at certain ages. That’s another thing to research depending on where you live. It can’t be just you, if your loved one is not responding to you asking them to get rid of the keys, pull in the group of professionals that they trust.

Bulah: There’s no way I drive anywhere. That would mean getting your car back again. I would go forward forever. [laughs]

Amie: If driving is concerned for your loved one, to me it really instead of this being a battle of the wills, this really has to be a conversation about safety, not only the safety of your loved one, but the safety of others. They’re not only putting themselves at risk, they’re putting everyone on the road at risk if they’re driving and it’s unsafe.

Bulah: I think anyone should give up their keys when they can’t see the horse from here to the wall, because it’s going and it goes fast.