How can you stop driving with out giving up your privacy and independence?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 14, 2017
Marriott asked...

Retired exec still working daily has been told he can no longer drive due to impaired memory which is worsening. He still will work as he has no hobbies. He wants his privacy & independence. He keeps an office outside the home which he attends daily plus does shopping & socializing. He does not want his spouse or children driving him about as he's afraid they will be critical of him & how he spends his time. He lives in a large city. Does anyone have any suggestions for arrangements that could be made for him so he can still come and go without conforming?

Expert Answers

Laura Juel is an occupational therapist at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina. She works in the Outpatient Occupational Therapy Program and the Duke Driving Program for older drivers.

This is always a tough subject as our independence is so closely associated with our ability to drive. Balancing a persons wishes/desires with safety can be a tough call for family members. I would explore options for a personal driver that he is free to contact and arrange his appointments/outings. That way he can still have control/privacy over his activities. Check out local home care/personal assistant programs in your area. If you are not familiar with any, contact local retirement communities or the Alzheimer's Association for resources in your area. The downside of this alternative transportation may be cost. At some point, everyone needs to stop driving. Encourage him to be an active participant in his options may help the follow through be more successful. Help identify options available and make sure to point out the positives, door to door service and no car insurance/maintenance costs. Try to make driving cessation a 'win-win' for all.