Should someone with macular degeneration be driving?

1 answer | Last updated: Nov 28, 2016
Joakim717 asked...

My moher has early stage macular degeneration and I am concerned about her driving. I have offered to pay for a car service but she refuses. What can I do to help her and keep her safe?

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.

Your mother may still be safe to drive since she is in the early stage of macular degeneration. In fact, in some states you only need vision in one eye to keep driving.

But to get at your deeper concern, I'd say the first step is to talk. Some older adults are not comfortable with taxis or car services. I'm not sure if it is stigma or lack of familiarity but there can be a real resistance to using alternative means of transportation. Find out what's holding her back from using such services and what her thoughts are about getting around when she is no longer safe to drive. If a car service won't work, is she comfortable asking a friend or neighbor for rides? It is best to start talking, now, in-person if possible, because these issues will become more pressing in the not too distant future.