One of the most common, well-intentioned mistakes that Alzheimer’s families make is gathering the whole family around with the Alzheimer’s person to talk about taking the keys away. While the family may have their best interests at heart, their support and concern may actually come off to the Alzheimer’s person as being ganged up on or being told what to do. And non of us like that.
In this Elder Law Minute, Wes Coulson, Southern Illinois Elder Law attorney, discusses a sensitive topic covered in The Alzheimer’s Guide: Practical Advice for Families, Caregivers and Professionals on Alzheimer’s and driving, and offers advice on how the best way to have “the conversation” should happen.
Alzheimer’s and Driving: Why having “the conversation” can be a bad idea
Hi, I’m Wes Coulson and this is your Elder Law Minute. This is another in our series of videos that relate to things that we cover in our Alzheimer’s Guide. Today let’s talk about Alzheimer’s and safe driving.
You want to know one of the most common, well-intentioned mistakes that Alzheimer’s families make? It’s gathering the whole family around with the Alzheimer’s person to talk about taking the keys away. It may seem to you like it’s shared concern and you may appreciate the family’s support, but unfortunately, it’s going to come off to the Alzheimer’s person as being ganged up on or being told what to do. And none of us like that. Let me offer some better suggestions.
First of all, start the conversations, and yeah it needs to be a series of conversations early. Think about how it plays to start the conversation with: “Mom, or Dad, you’re still safe to drive now, but let’s talk about planning ahead and let’s have these discussions every few months.” It’s also going to help to educate yourself so that you can educate your loved one. Don’t just come in at, “Well, you can’t drive anymore. Well, you’re not safe.”
There’s a wonderful website seniordriving.aaa.com that I really invite your attention to, you’ll get a lot of good information there. So, if you do this right, it’s something that can be done without being a confrontation. Thanks.
For more information on Alzheimer’s Guide Topics, visit these articles:
- Alzheimer’s and the Five-Year Look-Back Period: The time to plan is NOW!
- Memory Care: The relatively new option for Alzheimer’s care
- Can Someone Diagnosed With Alzheimer’s Still Execute Legal Documents?
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