Aging

Celebrate Older Americans Month Have The Driving Conversation

Conversations about driving

Having The Driving Conversation With Aging Parents

The 21st century has been filled with technology innovation and culture change that a decade ago was unimaginable. What is rarely discussed is the social aspect that affects families. In this century we are now facing first time conversations with family members around caregiving, driving,finances, last wishes, and sex. This article is the second in a series celebrating Older Americans Month.

Discovery

Conversations about drivingNow is the time to discover what your parents are doing to improve their driving abilities. More importantly are they aware of the steps they can take now to increase their longevity? My Tip: Use your experience to model behavior for your children. They’re watching how you handle this issue. 

Determine

  1. Health Management
  2. Vision
  3. Fitness
  4. Medical Procedures
  5. Driving Skills

Driving is a complex task and requires balance, coordination, range of motion, sensation, and physical strength. To drive safely requires an individual to determine how their health conditions affect their driving. For example unmanaged diabetes can result in complications including: neuropathy (pain, tingling, or numbness—loss of feeling—in the hands, arms, feet, and legs) and retinopathy (leading to poor vision and even blindness). 

Discuss

Begin the conversation early and include yourself as a resource. Discuss your health and concerns then reflect with your elderly loved one. Seek their advice and experience. Then invite them to share concerns, “What about?” Use a collaborative approach. What activities can you do together to improving your driving skills?

Driving Resources

Here is a list of resources to keep you on the road safely.

AAA Driver Improvement

AARP Driver Safety Program

American Diabetes Association

American Heart Association

Healthy Aging

 

Aging expert and gerontologist Judi Bonilla is an advocate for empowered aging with over 15 years of experience in senior issues. She is a serial entrepreneur and has launched several startups including: Brain Fit Now! Encore 101 HQ, and We Get Around!The adult education startups emphasize “empowerment”– blending information, education, and actionable strategies.