Finally figuring out what’s happening with your elderly loved one, you might be surprised what she might choose to focus on first. When it comes to dementia, for example, your loved one might wonder if you’re going to take her car keys away immediately.
Talk to Her Doctor First
Once your elderly loved one has a diagnosis, it’s time to look at how your loved one is being affected right now. Your loved one’s doctor can do some assessments that determine whether driving is alright for a time or if your loved one needs to transition out of the driver’s seat right away. There are a lot of factors that influence this decision.
Develop a Checklist of Signs of Trouble
While you’re with your loved one’s doctor, ask about the signs you should watch for that indicate that your loved one’s circumstances are changing. Some of the signs might be that your loved one forgets familiar locations, starts driving unpredictably, and getting generally upset or confused when driving. Put them in a checklist format and go over it with your loved one periodically.
Talk to Your Loved One Openly and Honestly
Start an open, frank conversation with your loved one about what is happening right now with her health and what she can expect in the near future. Your loved one has far bigger problems than simply whether she can drive tomorrow or not. But she’s also likely to focus on smaller issues, like driving, rather than thinking too hard about the really difficult topics.
Find Alternatives to Driving for Your Loved One
The sooner you can line up alternatives to driving for your elderly loved one, the better. And face it, she might have a bad day here and there and need or want someone else to drive for her. If you’re not consistently available, consider hiring elderly care providers who can take over the transportation duties for you. Another option is to set up a schedule with other family members who are able to pitch in.
Knowing when it’s time for your loved one to quit driving after a diagnosis of dementia is a highly individual decision. Put the systems in place that help you and your loved one come to that decision when it’s time.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Elderly Care Services in Leicester, MA, please contact the caring staff at Medex Healthcare today. Call 508-826-1641.