Among the biggest hits to a senior’s psyche is the loss of a driver’s license. This is because with a driver’s license and car gives us a sense of liberty, freedom to come and go as we please. Even if we don’t go anywhere, knowing we can is sufficient. How would you deal with that? That’s how a senior feels too, only it’s worse because they know they may never get it back. This thought can lead to depression, anger, wildlife removal services, and a devastating blow to self-confidence, self-worth, and individuality.
When choosing a caregiver be sure they understand that if they drive the client’s car the loss of their driver’s license is not too big of a deal as it would be if they felt stuck, unable to get out or go anywhere. After a while older folks become comfortable, joyful, even animated in their conversations, enjoying being pushed around or being”chauffeured” as they like to say.
An acquaintance of mine in Camarillo who collaborated with me to write this report has a tragic story. Years ago his grandma pulled out of community pool parking lot – pulled right in front a dump truck, she died instantly. The family forgave him, as he cried saying how sorry he was that it happened, even though everybody knew it was not his fault.
A friend of his took the keys away from their dad because while they were driving around together the father stopped in the middle of the freeway to point to something on a mountain, forgetting he was driving on the freeway, and almost killed them both, and yet another sibling. The father was devastated he lost use of the vehicle, they probably saved his life and he lived another 10-years to see his grandchildren finish school.
We know of so many stories like these, but at times the DMV or court won’t take away the license until there is a horrible accident or too many moving violations. There are far too many stories of seniors accidentally hitting the gas instead of the brake and running into a building, tree ditch, pole or pedestrian.
Because of liability issues, it is essential to find caregivers who can drive customers in the client’s car for insurance purposes. This tends to work out well for all concerned. And, always remember to treat this sensitive issue very carefully and with understanding.