Tulsa Agency Helps Family Talk With Elderly About Driving, Safety
TULSA, Oklahoma -
It's a tough decision to take the car keys and independence away from an aging family member, but a Tulsa group is trying to make that conversation a little easier.
Dad has been driving longer than you've been alive. He taught you how to get behind the wheel and pass your driver’s test. Imagine taking those freedoms he gave you away from him.
Counselors at Select Life Management say taking the keys away from an elderly family member can be a heart wrenching and awkward conversation.
“There's a national research and survey that family members would rather discuss funeral arrangements with their elderly loved one than driving," Imane Rose said.
Rose says the "Beyond Driving with Dignity" program her company offers helps family members speak with elderly drivers about when to get out from behind the wheel.
“And quite often family members are at a loss because they are thrown in a role they are not prepared for," Rose said.
She says the program takes away the feeling of being punished and stripped of your ability to drive.
“Once they own it, it really works so much better," she said.
Not in all cases does a senior citizen need to lose their license because of old age and impairments.
Sometimes counselors can make modifications to the car, change the driver's medication and even go on a ride-a-long to suggest changes in driving behavior.
Statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety show fatal crashes involving senior drivers are down in recent years.
But Rose says allowing older-impaired family members get behind the wheel can pose a public safety risk.
“This is not just an individual or a family issue,” Rose said. “This goes beyond."