As part of my membership with Michigan's Institute of Continuing Legal Education, I get to read the blogs of other estate planning attorneys across Michigan. Stephanie L. Stenberg recently wrote about her struggle with how to persuade her elderly parent to stop driving. She knows that many of her clients struggle with the same problem, so she did some research and found some options for how to proceed with this delicate situation:
Have the Conversation
Baby boomers who were surveyed have said that asking a parent to stop driving is more difficult than talking about funeral wishes or selling the house. The conversation may be easier if you use these videos provided by the Alzheimer's Association about how four different families approached this topic. Also, the AARP offers this online seminar that helps you talk to your parent about his driving.
Contact the Experts
If you contact your parent's doctor or optometrist, they may report an unsafe driver for you. The doctor is not required to, but may report to the Secretary of State if the senior has had an "episode" due to an impairment of consciousness, driving judgment or vision. In addition, see if your parent will agree to have an independent specialist evaluate his driving skills. Find experts here. Sometimes when an unsafe driver sees the video results of his driving test, he will voluntarily give up his car keys.
Contact the Secretary of State
You can complete this form and request to have a driver evaluated. You cannot make an anonymous report, but this may be your last resort to take an unsafe driver off the road.