How to Take Car Keys from an Elderly Loved One

Assisted LivingIt’s a touchy subject no one likes to bring up, but it is something the needs to happen. When is it time to take the car keys away from your parents or grandparents?

For my Grandma, her vehicle was more than just a car. It was her independence. It was her freedom. She babysat children for years and years to save up to purchase her Oldsmobile. When we had the conversation with her about her eyesight failing and her cataracts getting worse, it wasn’t easy. A part of her knew this was coming, but she wasn’t going to give up her keys without a fight.

When is it appropriate for your loved one to give up their car keys? For some, it may be in their 70’s. For others, it may be in their 90’s. It really all depends on their well-being. Poor eyesight could be the driving factor, or it may be a bad hip, or a foot falling asleep. Whatever the reason may be, it’s time to have a talk.

Just because they don’t have their car keys, doesn’t mean they still don’t have just as much freedom. There are options within every city that will get mom and dad or grandpa and grandma around town, to the doctor, or to an evening out to dinner.

Within the Kansas City metro, transportation is relatively easy. There are Para-Transit options, Share-A-Fare options, KC Streetcar, and of course Uber. Just within Johnson County, citizens have access to The Jo bus public transportation services to much of Johnson County, downtown Kansas City, Missouri, and Kansas City, Kansas.

Remember, your loved one has been driving and thrived on this independence since before you were born, so make sure you take a softer approach to this subject. Give them all of their options and gently remind them of the dangers that can happen if they continue to drive.

If none of these ideas are getting through to them, perhaps it’s time for someone else to step in such as their physician, Optometrist/Ophthalmologist, the DMV, or even a different family member.

If you know it’s time, then breach the subject with love and understanding. Their safety and the safety of others is at stake.