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Care.com: By Allison Cook
Wondering at what point you should have a conversation with your parent or aging loved one about their driving
abilities? Is it time to take away the keys? There are a number of issues you should take into account. It would be a
lot easier if we could just assign an age when people are no longer safe drivers, but as a group, seniors are relatively
safe. They've got years of experience behind the wheel and they tend to self-regulate when and how much they drive.
Jody Gastfriend, LICSW and VP of Care Management at Care.com lists the following considerations for deciding if it
is safe for your loved one to continue driving. (If needed, get tips on talking to your parent about driving.)
Consider this: Your senior doesn't have to take an all or nothing approach. It is possible to safely drive on local roads
at speeds under 45 miles per hour, while avoiding long distances on the highway. This is an example of self-regulating
Additionally, there are tests that can evaluate a person's ability to operate a car. A driving assessment may be
available at the local Department of Motor Vehicles, rehabilitation center, Veterans Administration medical center, or
hospital. According to the Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., these evaluations usually cost between $200 and
$500 and are rarely covered by insurance, but it may be well worth the expense.
If you are unsure whether it is time to speak with your parent about driving, ask yourself how comfortable you feel with
your parent driving other people. If you do not want them driving grandchildren, it is probably time to have a
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