How does an assisted living community work with loved ones to take away driving privileges of residents?

  1. Molly Dworken 10/16/2012 05:33PM

    While residents of an assisted living community have permission to keep, own and drive a car as long as they have a valid driver's license, sometimes residents reach a point where they can no longer safely drive. As we age, our hearing, vision, and reflexes may diminish, making driving more dangerous. In some cases, prescription medicines may have side effects that make it dangerous to drive. This is never an easy situation for loved ones, but assisted living staff may be able to help.

    Sometimes, suggestions that a senior turn in their keys and stop driving will be taken more seriously coming from someone other than a family member. Assisted living staff, physical therapists, or visiting physicians could make the recommendation, while pointing out the availability of convenient transportation provided by the assisted living community.

    In particularly tough situations, where the senior refuses to give up their car and license, a physician can perform a physical evaluation and issue a report to the state's Department of Motor Vehicles to revoke the senior's license and driving privileges. In some states, loved ones or caregivers can request that a senior take a driving test, which includes a written exam, eye test and road test. If the driver fails the test, the license is revoked.

    The staff of assisted living communities are no stranger to these situations, and can help advise you on the best steps to follow in your state if your aging loved one is no longer capable of driving safely.