Taking the Keys From Mom and Dad - Top Eleven Tips For Living
Without a Car
"Honey, I'm thinking of
getting rid of my car." My heart skipped a beat as my mind raced and I
blurted back at Dad, "Really?" "Yeah, I think it's time to give up
driving. I'm afraid I'm gonna hurt someone." "Gosh Dad. I had no
I knew Dad was slowing
down because recently he asked me to run a few errands, which was
totally out of the ordinary. But I was shocked by this announcement.
"Well, if you want me
to take you to Car Max or anything, just let me know. I can do that,"
"Oh, I think I'll get your brother to do that with me," he offered. I
guess that's more of a son than daughter chore. I'll stick with
picking up prescriptions and food and let my brother do the car sale.
That was a couple weeks
ago. Car Max wouldn't give him what he thought was fair so he opted to
have a grandson sell it online and within days his car was gone.
This is life changing.
I can't quite wrap my mind around the fact that Dad can no longer jump
in the car and go whenever he wants, ever. In the quick sale of his
car, he became dependent, and I find this terribly sad. He can no
longer take his friends and relatives to their doctor appointments,
visit them in the hospital, or do other kind gestures he was so good
about. He can't pick me up so we can meet my sister for lunch. He can
no longer stop by and visit me while I'm working. He can't tote his
grandkids around. He can't jump in the car and head to the store or
pick up a quick meal which he did so often.
My family is fortunate
that Dad was wise enough to know when to give up the keys and did so
with grace. I know this isn't the case with many boomers having to
take the keys away from Mom or Dad. I've been in that boat too and it
was no fun. My MIL had macular degeneration and we had to take her
keys away before she was ready to give up her independence. No fun! We
felt like rats.
While grappling with
the fact that the only way Dad can get anywhere, is to have one of his
children or friends pick him up, I came up with a list of things to do
to help fellow boomers in similar situations learn how to cope. Here's
my list of the Top Eleven Ways to Embrace Living without a Car.
Top Eleven Ways to
Embrace Living without a Car
Notify family members and friends and alert them about your loved
one's life change.
to the local cab companies and share those numbers and drivers with
with your local
Department on Aging to see if they offer transportation
for the elderly.
Research to learn if there are services for the elderly that can
take them to nearby adult day care.
Locate local food stores and pharmacies who deliver.
with siblings and friends and learn when they are available to drive
your loved one.
your car-less parent a list of when people are available to run
errands with him.
ahead and set dates for taking them on out of the ordinary outings
like the movies, a show, or even a Sunday drive. Give them something
to look forward to.
with neighbors who may be able to pick up food or prescriptions
while they run their errands.
sure your loved one has a cell phone on their body that they know
how to use in the event of an emergency while out and about alone.
Create a nice area outside their home so they can sit outside and
enjoy the elements. Fresh air is vital.
By using this list and
communicating with your loved one, they should be able to relax
knowing that there are others who love and care about their new life
Dotsie Bregel is Founder of the National Association of Baby Boomer
and the wildly popular Web site
the # 1 site
for "baby boomer women online. She is passionate about empowering and
educating midlife women. Dotsie has been mentioned in Time magazine
and American Association of Retired Person's Bulletin among dozens of
newspapers across the nation. She frequently does radio interviews and
appeared on The Early Show (CBS) with Dave Price. You may contact her
Additional Information and
webpage by Paul Susic MA Licensed
Psychologist Ph.D. Candidate