Monday, July 5, 2010
One of the most challenging issues with an aging family member is whether or not they should drive. As we age, most of have significant decreases in hearing and vision, as well as delayed reflexes. As I argued with my own father, if you complain that you can't see and you can't hear, why are you still driving? Of course, his answer was that if we took away the car, we were taking away his independence.
So, what can you do? First of all, I encourage people to start using public transportation BEFORE they "have to". Now, in many parts of the country, this is no big deal, but in others (such as Texas) we tend to rely on our own cars. Public transportation can be buses or trains, but don't forget about the cabs! Using a debit card (or a gift card- hint, hint) for a taxi service gives many people the independence they want to preserve without be limited by a set schedule or need to get to a specific bus stop or station. Often, regular clients form a working friendship with a specific driver, which creates the feeling of having a personal driver more than "having to take a cab".
BOTTOM LINE: Giving up driving does NOT have to mean giving up your independence!