Solutions to address memory or judgment issues related to driving include:
Older adults' driving might change if they:
Share your driving safety concerns with the older adult. Ask what might be causing the problems you see. Also ask if the older adult has noticed any changes with driving.
Involve the older adult's health professionals by telling them about your concerns, including:
Confusion or problems with judgment or memory can be caused by medications, lack of sleep, treatable health issues or serious health conditions.
Ask a pharmacist or other health professional to review all the older adult's medications.
Ask if any might affect driving. Sometimes, changing or reducing medications can help make driving safer.
For a thorough medication review:
If the older adult has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease or another type of dementia, the older adult will need to stop driving at some point. Discuss driving "retirement" with the older adult, as early as possible. Including health professionals, social workers or others who the older adult trusts might make conversations easier. If the older adult gets a professional driving assessment, the occupational therapist can help figure out when it is no longer safe for the older adult to drive.
If the older adult has increasing problems or concerns with driving, talk to them about driving less and finding other ways to get around.
Ask if the older adult can make gradual changes by:
Look into transportation alternatives in the older adult's area, such as public transit, volunteer driver programs or rideshare programs. Ask family, friends and neighbors if they might be willing to drive the older adult around occasionally.
If the older adult starts driving less, make sure the older adult can still visit friends and family and take part in social activities. When older adults drive less or stop driving, they might become isolated or depressed.
If the older adult stops driving, ask if the older adult wants to keep the car, so that others can use it. Ask if the older adult wants to keep a driver's license or get another form of identification for travel, voting and other uses.