Taking away the car keys is no simple task. It is much more than operating a machine, there are many emotions tied to driving a vehicle. Think back to when you got your driver’s license, and the feelings of independence and freedom that came with it. Getting your driver’s license was one of the steps towards adulthood. Now, imagine what it would feel like to have your license or the car keys taken away. It could be utter devastation, even when necessary.
Driving a vehicle is a complex task, your hands and feet need to operate quickly to push the appropriate pedal, turn the correct direction, use the correct lever, push the correct button, etc. In addition, you need to know where to go and respond to what is happening around you. As cognition declines, these tasks (which have become automatic) become increasingly difficult and can become dangerous for the driver and others on the road. The driver may or may not recognize that he or she is not driving safely. Some people voluntarily will give up the keys, others will not. Family members and caregivers need to be diligent in their observation of their loved one’s driving ability. And when the time comes, approach their loved one with compassion, kindness, and creativity.
Parks’ Place Memory Care is a privately owned assisted living home, specialized and specifically designed for those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Our home is for people of any stage of dementia so they are able to age-in-place in their home. For tours, general information, or admission inquiry, please contact Kaitlin Kelly at 763-710-8484.