Among the biggest hits to a senior’s mind is the loss of a driver’s license. This is because with a driver’s license and automobile gives us a feeling 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 cope with that? That’s how a senior feels too, only it’s worse because they know that they might never get it back. This thought may lead to anger, depression, and a devastating blow to self-confidence, self-worth, and identity.
When choosing a caregiver be sure they understand that if they drive the customer’s car that the loss of the driver’s license is not too big of a deal as it would be when they felt stuck, unable to get out or move anywhere. After a while elderly folks become comfortable, happy, even revived in their conversations, enjoying being pushed around or being”chauffeured” as they prefer to say.
An acquaintance of mine at Camarillo who collaborated with me to write this article 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 himas he cried saying how sorry he was that it occurred, even though everybody knew it wasn’t 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 dad was devastated he lost use of the car, they probably saved his life and he lived another 10-years to see his grandchildren finish college.
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 dreadful accident or too many moving violations.
Due to liability issues, it is important to find caregivers who can drive customers in the customer’s car for insurance purposes. This tends to work out well for all concerned. And, always remember to take care of this sensitive issue very carefully and with understanding.