How to persuade elderly parents not to drive?
My dad is 91 and has had four eye surgeries and can't walk; my mom is 77 and has tremor and won't take the wheel because if she did, it would take away dad's masculinity (plus she hasn't driven in years and she's scared; last time I rode with her it was 2 blocks and she almost ran over a bicyclist and then a pedestrian). They want to go to church when I visit; church is a 30-mile drive on freeways. They refuse to let me drive or call a neighbor or cab; I am afraid we will all be killed. I am thinking of refusing to get into the car if they don't let me drive; what should I do?
Now that is a tough question....my mom is 75 ...and still has her license....but my wife and I try and drive her too as many places as possible. If she gets to the point of your parents...I think I would have to refuse to get into the car. And then I would call DMV and see what the options are....good luck....hopefully I can avoid that with my mom.
Wow sylviasky. First kudos to you for your patience and a pat on the back for the white knuckles. Cogerson has some pretty sound advice, especially with checking with the DMV. Maybe you can fanagle getting the license restricted to city streets and day time only.
Tell your dad that it is time to let you take care of them and do the driving.
Explain that they had done enough for you all these years taking care of you and it is time for them to enjoy being taken care by you.
So them that you really care for them and want to do something for them.
Touch them with your sincerity.
Tough question. Sylvia - I agree with edhan's answer. But, if you don't feel safe with them driving (and it sounds like you really don't) then yeah, you should definitely refuse to get in the car unless they let you drive. Because it is not just their safety they are putting at risk, but yours... ultimately, no matter who the person driving is, you shouldn't allow yourself to be in the car if you don't feel safe. You owe it to yourself and your spouse (if you have one) or future spouse & kids to keep healthy and safe. Could you just insist they get into YOUR car and YOU drive them around when you visit? Your dad will be more likely to be OK handing over the reins if it's your car. If you go by airplane to get to their place, you could even consider renting a car while you're there "to give me a bit more independence" if you need to put it politely to them. Then always give them rides to where they need to go - drive them in your rented car!
The other issue is them driving in general. If there have been near misses or if your dad's eye surgery has definitely decreased his driving ability, you need to point out (in a nice way) that it's not just himself and his wife and yourself that could be at risk, but other drivers and pedestrians on the road. One woman I knew of was very resistant to stopping driving. Her ability was terrible (she did have a disease which was causing her driving to get worse and worse). Finally her daughter told her it was time for her to stop driving. She didn't agree... until the daughter said "You remember that near miss you had? The person in the other car could easily have been killed. Well, imagine that in all of the other cars around you on the road, there is your granddaughter, your son, your sister. Do you still want to drive?" The woman said at that point, she realized she needed to stop driving.
Hide the keys.....install televisions in the seats and buy their favorite movie
You know you shouldn't get in the car and I surely wouldn't with my father-in-law. It is sad when people have these pride problems but life and death is more serious. You may want to report this to the police without him knowing it is you or maybe speak to someone like a doctor or friend that might reason with him. These things we laugh at if they don't die or kill someone but that is a pretty risky joke. He needs to lose that license and it is amazing he has managed to keep it. Maybe if you have him picture a child they may lay dead because of him that may help, do you think? Since it is true.
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