Talking to your senior about whether she should be driving or not is a big deal. Each of you might have your reasons for wanting to avoid this talk, but that doesn’t mean you should give into that urge. What you need is a solid plan so that you can have this talk the right way.
When You Have the Talk Is Important
Timing this conversation appropriately is more important than a lot of caregivers realize. It involves making sure that your senior is receptive to what you have to say and that she’s not already overwhelmed with something else. It’s also really helpful if you’re addressing this topic before something happens with your senior’s health or with her ability to drive that makes driving impossible. You never want her to feel as if the decision was taken away from her unless there’s no other option.
How You Have the Talk Also Matters
Your attitude matters just as much as your senior’s does when you’re talking about her continuing to drive. If you’re antagonistic about this or your tone is condescending, that’s not going to go over well at all. You want to approach this from a positive perspective, and you need to be able to be honestly polite and warm while talking. That’s really going to matter.
You Really Do Need a Plan
It’s tempting to believe that you can just open the conversation and run with whatever you and your senior come up with on the fly. But that’s not going to get you what you want in the end. You need to have a plan going in so that you know what you’re offering to your senior and what is going to best meet her needs. Opening the conversation and being able to tell her that you’ve found elder care providers who can handle transportation for her is going to be hugely helpful. It shows that you’re there with solutions, not just problems.
Document Your Plan so You Can Adjust as Necessary
Write down the bare bones of your plan before you and your senior talk. During the conversation, that plan may change a little bit based on what she has to say and what she feels her needs are. It’s okay to modify the plan based on your elderly family member’s input, especially if that input leads to a safer and more complete plan overall.
These are not easy conversations. You can do a lot to try to make them a little easier, but they’re not going to magically become frictionless.
If you or a loved one are in need of Elder Care Services in Macungie PA or the surrounding areas, contact the caring professionals at Extended Family Care of Allentown. Call today at (610) 200-6097.
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