How to Talk to a Loved One About Giving up the Keys

Posted on 07/06/20

A recent car accident, changes in physical mobility or simple concern about an older loved one driving a car can spark conversations about whether it’s time to give up the keys.

Seldom are these conversations easy, says Neil McCallum, the driver safety state coordinator at AARP Wisconsin. “You want to maintain a person’s self-respect throughout this entire process,” he said during a recent AARP Wisconsin Facebook Live. “It’s a very hard decision to make.”

To help loved ones plan for and navigate these difficult conversations, McCallum recommended AARP’s We Need to Talk online seminar. The free interactive course helps family members and loved ones plan for these conversations and get through to those they care about.

The course advises individuals to listen to and validate the concerns of their loved ones. It also recommends looking into alternative driving arrangements such as ridesharing — and doing research ahead of time to be ready for questions.

The course is usually offered in person, but because of the coronavirus pandemic, it will be at least 2021 before in-person offerings resume.

McCallum also touched on AARP Driver Safety’s other offerings, including a driving skills refresher that’s offered online and open to all ages and the Smart DriverTEK program, which helps people understand and utilize new vehicles’ technological bells and whistles, including blind spot sensors and assistive parking.

Watch the rest of his comments on AARP Wisconsin’s Facebook page.

This story is provided by AARP Wisconsin. Visit the AARP Wisconsin page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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You can find CDC’s latest coronavirus information at cdc.gov/coronavirus; AARP information and resources are at aarp.org/coronavirus. En español, visite aarp.org/elcoronavirus.

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