How can I get my uncle to stop driving and move into a retirement community?

1 answer | Last updated: Jul 06, 2010
Oakie asked...

My uncle is 91 and at a point where he should not be driving and should consider moving into a retirement home, but he is stubborn and will not do either. Are there steps I can take to make these things happen? Thanks

Expert Answers

Elizabeth Dugan, a Fellow of the Gerontology Institute, University of Massachusetts Boston, is the author of Driving Dilemma: The Complete Resource Guide for Older Drivers and Their Families.

Communication is the best tool at your disposal.  Try talking with your uncle, using motivational interviewing techniques (described in my book The Driving Dilemma and in articles on this site) to find out how he views the situation. 

You don't say why you think he shouldn't be driving, but I assume there has been a marked decline in his physical and/or mental health that worries you. You can help him by finding the local alternative transportation services and  potential supportive housing options. Talk over what might be acceptable to him. 

You may also find that communicating with his primary care physician is useful. You'll get an objective opinion on his status and a professional to help you in your efforts to take care of your uncle.