I’ll never forget watching my great uncle back out of the driveway all the way across the road into the neighbor’s front yard. He had arrived for a family event earlier that day and no one was aware that he had been experiencing issues with driving until that moment…
Our ability to drive is also linked to a feeling of independence and freedom. No wonder it’s also one of the things that people are the most reluctant to admit when there’s a problem – or agree when asked to hand over the keys.
If you notice driving issues with friends, neighbors or loved ones, the conversation is an important one for their safety and the safety of others. While a conversation with driving alternatives and advice is preferred, in Michigan, you are able to “turn in” the name of an older driver for a driving test if you feel their driving should be tested, but you are reluctant to have the conversation. The form is called OC-88 and you are able to submit it online. You will remain anonymous to the extent of the State of Michigan and Federal Law.
If a loved one is unable to drive, there are options available for them to maintain their dignity and independence. Certain Private Duty companies provide driving services for seniors, in mid-Michigan there are CATA and Spectran Options, and you could seek out private individuals (although for this option, it’s recommended that you conduct a background check and check of driver’s record as well as references) to name a few. You might be tempted to say, “I’ll just take you where you want to go…,” however, keep in mind their need for independence. While this could work in several situations, for some this is a blow to their dignity and independence. Being aware of how this affects them emotionally is key.
Safety is first and most important, but you can have safety and still have options.
Please reference our resource guide to begin your search for help.