Balancing independence and safety can be difficult, especially when it comes to a senior’s driving ability. Illinois is one of the few states that have fairly strict laws regarding seniors renewing their driver’s licenses; Persons over 80 years of age must renew annually and retake the road test. It is arguably the most stringent state as far as senior driving laws.
But some are able to pass these exams even though they may not be safe on the road. What should a family member do in that case?
If you suspect that your elderly family member may be a danger on the road, it is time to talk with him or her about giving up his keys. This conversation is especially difficult because driving can often represent freedom and independence to a senior. Carefully plan the discussion before rushing into things.
If you think that the conversation will go badly or you tried and it wasn’t received well, consider making your case to the senior’s primary care physician. Let the doctor be the person telling them to find other means of transportation. Then you have an authoritative voice behind the request and it doesn’t reflect badly on you.
However way you approach it, do what is safest for the senior and others on the road. The worst thing you can do is avoid the subject and have an accident happen. Bring it up before it’s too late.