Tuesday, July 6, 2010

More on Senior Driving

How else can you talk with a parent or loved one about whether or not it is time to stop driving? Well, for many seniors, they have realized that they are not as comfortable driving as they used to be. Perhaps they have already self-limited their driving: no driving at night, or in the rain, or maybe no driving on busy highways any more. Often, they have narrowed it down to a weekly grocery trip, often doubling up with their same weekly trip to church. At this point, they are most likely spending more money on car insurance, car maintenance and gas then they would spend on a car service!

If they feel uncomfortable with "a stranger" and using public transportation, perhaps you could consider paying a responsible family member or friend to set aside a couple hours per week to run errands. Frankly, in this economy, there are many people happy to make an extra $100 per month for a couple hours work per week! Relying on friends and family members for favors is fine for the occasional event, but making a real business arrangement- even at a minimum wage plus gas type fee-helps all parties be more consistent and helps the senior feel more empowered (as opposed to feeling like a "charity case" or that they are imposing on someone to ask for a ride.)

BOTTOM LINE: Consider the financial bottom line as a legitimate talking point when deciding whether or not to stop driving.

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