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How to Persuade an Elderly Loved One to Give Up Driving

by Krin Murphy

Driving is a responsibility that is difficult to give up. However, if your loved one is having a difficult time driving safely, you may find that it is time to persuade your loved one to stop driving.


Talk to your loved one regularly about their day. You may get a sense that they are not going out as often as they had been before. Find out when your loved one has a doctor's appointment and offer to accompany them.


Go for a ride, and ask your loved one to drive. Use this as an opportunity to assess the driving skills of your loved one. Find out if your loved one does one of the following:

  • Becomes distracted
  • Clips the curb
  • Responds in a delayed fashion
  • Almost has an accident
  • Runs red lights
  • Fails to follow road signs
  • Drives very slowly
  • Poorly judges distance
  • Does not notice other cars or pedestrians

Each of these incidents can be a justification to begin the process of persuading your loved one not to drive.


Persuading your loved one can be difficult because independence is important to someone of any age. Therefore, you will want to have a plan that allows your loved one to still have independence in a different way. Explain to your loved one that the road is more dangerous than it used to be what with more drivers on the roads every day.

Also, discuss how medications may impair your loved one's ability to drive. You may also want to list off observations that you have made about how your loved one drives. Be aware that some individuals may feel embarrassed, and you do not want to sound judgmental, but simply concerned.

Find Alterantives

One way to make it easier for your loved one to turn in the keys is to start using medical transportation services. Medical transport companies perform background checks on their drivers and make sure that their drivers are CPR-certified. They will arrive on time to take your loved one to a doctor's appointment or to provide an emergency hospital trip.

Not only do some companies provide short-term transportation, but some will also provide long-distance transportation. They will accompany your loved one to the airport and will ride with him or her throughout the journey.

For non-medical transportation, come up with other solutions. This can include a network of friends and family members who will share a ride with your loved one. You may also use a ride-sharing service or call a taxi when necessary.