There comes a point in time when you have to step in and take the car keys from mom or dad. It feels like grounding a misbehaving teen and your parents feel hurt and humiliated by this.
They feel a loss of independence and a blow to their sense of dignity.
But just as you step in to be the parent regardless of how your child feels, you do the same for your parents to protect them, to protect you and to protect everyone else sharing the road with them.
Driving is a complex task; you need good vision, good hearing and sharp reflexes to be a safe driver. As we all get older these senses may start to falter.
So how do you know it’s time to make that painful decision?
1. If mom gets lost while driving to the neighborhood grocery store that she always went to without any problems, time to take the car keys.
2. If your dad who has kept a pristine credit profile all his life starts bouncing checks and forgets to pay the bills.
3. Accidents; particularly the types that result from stepping on the gas instead of the brakes. Mom trying to back out of the parking lot but winds up crashing into the car parked in front of her.
4. Any medical condition that impairs their level of alertness, their vision or alters their consciousness like epilepsy, poorly controlled diabetes or advance visual field narrowing as seen in glaucoma.
5. If mom is on a prescription medication that impairs her level of alertness, her vision or alters her level of consciousness.
If any one of these five instances holds true for either one of your parents, it’s time to ground them and be the parent by taking away the keys to the car.