Recently, I was asked by a client’s family for advice on how to tackle one of the most dreaded conversations a person can have with their aging parent.
“Dad, we need to talk about your driving.”
This is not the first time I have been asked this question. In our culture, driving is a symbol of freedom and independence. The moment when a senior must consider the possibility of surrendering that aspect of themselves is one no one eagerly anticipates.
There are certain physical realities of aging which cannot be avoided. Being uninformed about the natural aging process is likely one of the reasons this conversation can be so daunting.
“That’s great information but it doesn’t make this conversation any easier.”
I know. There is no magic bullet that will make this an easy conversation. That being said, there are a number of things you can do to deploy the proverbial airbags before impact.
Ultimately, every great outcome must be built on the foundation of a solid relationship. Building and maintaining a relationship with your aging parent will give you the emotional capital you need in order to broach a multitude of sensitive topics. Having a relationship with your aging parents will give you a greater understanding and an empathetic point of view which will naturally color any and all conversations you have about their unique aging experience.