Talking to Your Parents about No Longer Driving

Elder Care in Chappaqua NY

Learning how to drive and getting a license is a rite of passage for most people. This is a step toward adulthood and the freedom and responsibilities that it entails. Being able to drive means that Elder-Care-in-Chappaqua-NYthey can go where they want or need to go when they want or need to go without having to always rely on the help of someone else. This often becomes even more important as a person gets older and moves through the phases of life from young adult wanting to express freedom and independence in new ways, to parent needing to care for young children of their own, to middle aged adult needing to keep up with a career and the tasks of life. For seniors, driving may be a way to hang onto some of the independence, freedom, and autonomy that they feel they are losing as they get older and begin to suffer from challenges and limitations that keep them from being able to take care of themselves completely independently.

There comes a time in nearly every senior’s life, however, when he is facing challenges and limitations of a type or severity that make it unsafe for him to continue driving. This can be a very emotionally difficult time for the senior and present a great challenge for you as his family caregiver as you have to not only confront this reality with him, but help him to work through the situation and come up with ways that he will be able to continue living the lifestyle and quality of life that he desires and deserves.


If you are at the point in your elder care journey with your aging parent that you need to talk with him about no longer driving, it is important that you focus on supporting him emotionally while also making sure that he understands your decision. Showing your love and ongoing respect for him will help to make the situation less stressful and upsetting for both of you.


Let these tips guide you in your conversation with your parent about no longer driving:

  • Be specific. No matter what your reasons for not wanting your parent to drive any longer, make sure that you are specific with him. Just saying “I do not think it is safe” is not enough to make him understand your concerns and go along with your decision. Instead, say something like “You do not see well, your hearing has gotten worse, and you cannot move your legs as well as you used to and that will make driving safely too difficult.”
  • Be firm. It is important that you present your parent no longer driving as something that is absolutely happening, not just as something that you have been thinking about or that is up for debate. Make sure that he understands that you are concerned and that you do not want him driving any longer. Present it as not something that is up for debate, and that this conversation is about how you will move forward.
  • Present options. Acknowledge that this will be a challenging change for your parent and that he is likely coping with emotional reactions that are unpleasant, but that you are there for him to help him get through it. Tell him that you will be available to help him and suggest hiring an elderly health care services provider who can offer transportation so that he can remain active and engaged throughout his aging years.


If you or an aging loved one are looking for elder care in Chappaqua, NY, call the friendly staff at The Perfect Home Care at (855) 855-5728.  Call today!


Geralyn DiGiovanni, Manager, Client Services