Today I want to talk to you a little bit about when to talk to your parents about them no longer driving.

Hi everybody, my name is Miranda Dressler and I’m the associate attorney at the Law Offices of Bridget Mackay in Petaluma, California. And we practice in the area of estate planning and elder law. Some signs that, you know, might be occurring, that might give you a hint that it’s time for your parents to stop driving would be. You know, them driving too fast or too slow. Maybe getting multiple tickets or getting into fender benders. Possibly, you know, getting lost in areas that they used to be familiar with. Having trouble backing out of parking spaces or bumping the curb a lot.

The point is that you know really if you no longer feel safe driving with your parent or if you really feel like it’s not safe for them to be driving it’s probably time to have a conversation with them about this issue. So, what’s the best way to approach this issue with your parents? You know, it really should come from a place of concern for their well-being rather than a criticism of their age.

So, who delivers the messages really, I think just as important, as the message itself. So, it should probably come from a close family member or a friend or even your parents’ doctor. When is the best time to bring up this conversation with your parents? You know, maybe if you’re at an event and your parents says they need to leave early because they don’t want to drive in the dark. You know, that that might be a good time to bring up this issue. Another good time to bring up the issue is when your parent goes to a doctor’s appointment. Especially if they have a medication change that might impair their ability, their motor skills.

So, it’s important to make alternative suggestions to your parents. So really, you know, the issue of them not driving anymore is not seen as much as a loss of freedom. Make other suggestions, teach them how to order an Uber. Maybe help them put the Uber app on their phone. Talk to them about public transportation, offer to drive them yourself to the places that they need to go.

So, what if you’ve had this conversation with your parents about not stopping driving but they don’t want to hear it? They think they’re fine still and they want to continue driving. Well, you know, really one thing you can do is that, you know, in California under the law doctors are required to report patients who have dementia to the DMV. In addition, you or other family members, emergency technicians, doctors as I said all can contact the DMV and request that the DMV do a reexamination of your parent to see if they still have the skills to be able to maintain their license.

Above all though, you know, the main concern is for your parent’s safety. So, don’t put off this conversation until it’s too late and something bad happens. If you feel that it’s unsafe for your parents to be driving, you need to try to do something about it now.

So, if you have any questions about this topic or any other topic having to do with the area of estate planning or elder law, you should contact an experienced estate planning attorney in your area. Thank you.