Family Communication: Taking Away the Keys

September 20, 2014
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For those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, there comes a time when it is no longer safe to drive. Having the conversation with your loved one about giving up their keys can be difficult. It is important to be empathetic by keeping in mind how you might feel if you were no longer able to drive yourself.

We, and many of our clients, have found that relinquishing car keys is a significant task and often brings much conflict. I recall a family that actually removed the ignition switch from the family car to only be met one day by a locksmith in their driveway replacing it because the affected parent had called for the service.

To help minimize episodes like this, offer other possible transportation options as to insure that their freedom is not completely removed. suggests alternatives such as the HomeInstead Incidental Transportation for Seniors service, supplemental transportation programs, carpooling, or public transportation. also provides a public education program designed to aid with communication between seniors and their adult children. When to stop driving is one of the six topics discussed. The program includes a free downloadable action plan to help guide the conversation. More information can be found at the following:

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