407-645-5933 ext. 236 marisa.west@shalomorlando.org

When to Give Up the Car Keys?

There are certain signals that might mean it is time to give up the car keys. Unfortunately, very few seniors pay attention to these signs:

  1. You are nervous behind the wheel.
  2. Your reactions are too slow due to your vision.
  3. You have trouble reading street signs.
  4. You’ve had a near mishap because you didn’t see a pedestrian, an object or another vehicle.
  5. You get lost easily.
  6. Your hearing has decreased.
  7. Your legs no longer work perfectly.

We suggest you start talking about these issues with your parents as early as possible. You may want to make a deal with them such as this is the last car we will purchase, and when the car dies, we agree that your driving days are over.

In the optimum situation, an adult child can ask the parent’s physician to discuss driving with their loved one. This generation of older adults has tremendous respect for doctors and often listen to doctors more than their own children. The doctor may suggest that a senior retake the driving test. He or she may be better able to explain the risks and provide alternatives.

There are less optimal ways to stop your parents from driving such as having a relative “borrow the car,” hide or “lose” the car keys, take the car for repair and not bring it back, disable the car or anonymously report your parent to the DNV. While these may work, I cannot ethically recommend them.

While most seniors face major adjustments when transitioning to an elder-care community, Jewish seniors face additional challenges. Not only do they lose their homes, and many of their friends, but they also lose ties to their cultural heritage. This is where the Jewish Pavilion, a 501c3 non-profit, steps in. The Pavilion serves as a resource that provides room visits, festive holiday celebrations, and more to 450 Jewish residents across 50 senior facilities. The Jewish Pavilion promotes inclusion, and thousands of seniors of all faiths are welcomed into our programs.

The Orlando Senior Help Desk (407-678-9363) helps thousands of callers navigate their way through the daunting senior maze, alleviating caregiver stress while giving advice on all types of elder issues.