How those with elderly parents should have ‘the talk’ on safe driving

Wendy Hayes Interview Picture

SOUTHWEST, Fla. – Florida leads the nation in deadly car wrecks involving people over the age of 65.When the time comes to put the car in park permanently, how should people with elderly parents prepare to have “the talk?” 

SWFL Geriatric Care Manager, Wendy Hayes told ABC 7, there isn’t just one simple answer.  

We all age differently and what impairs one person, may never affect another. However, slower reflexes, trouble seeing or hearing, and even certain medications can all affect your ability to drive. 

“You’re requesting them to, in their mind, give up a big part of their independence,” said Hayes. “It’s a conversation that needs to be approached with some dignity, some empathy.”  

Hayes said there is no age limit for getting behind the wheel. Some people can drive for decades longer than others.    

The National Institute on Aging says you should have a plan before having the conversation. The last thing you want to do is take the keys and leave mom or dad stranded. 

Alternative forms of transportation and honest conversation can keep everyone safer. 

We asked people on Facebook whether they thought drivers older than 65 should be required to take their driving test again. Within three hours, around 75 percent of the answers were for “yes.”    

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