Two of the biggest among the multitude challenges facing many Alzheimer’s dementia care partners are:
- “I want to go home.”
- trying to get a person with dementia who can no longer drive safely to stop driving
This post is about how to get a loved one to give up their car keys. Why? Because we all want to avoid head-on collisions (and BANGS) both off and on the road.
Top tip #1:
DO NOT attempt the “driving conversation” on your own with a loved one living with dementia.
Instead, do this:
- Enlist the help of an “expert” outsider whom your loved one respects
- Ask the expert to watch the Teepa Snow video below BEFORE the conversation
- Give the expert the list of “Tips for Conducting the Driving Dilemma Conversation” (you can download the PDF at the link below the video)
- Do a practice role play with your expert (you act the part of your loved one)
- Identify pitfalls, develop responses to use with the tips below
Tips for the expert whom you will enlist to conduct the driving dilemma conversation (see disclaimer):
- Create a connection
- Use “hand under hand”
- Make eye contact
- Identify the issue
- Flag the emotion
- Acknowledge competence
- Ask questions
- Praise & agree
- Show you know what they value
- Understand their position
- Invite them to consider consequences
- Offer options
- Build self esteem
- Be respectful
- Be on their side (against common “enemies”)
- Accept and value their input
- Identify external threats
- Offer solutions
- Give support
- Be a partner
See how many of the 20 tips you can spot in Teepa’s video:
You must give all of this information (i.e. the tips and the video) to the “expert” BEFORE the conversation, because even experts need support to get the job done. Success depends on a team effort.
Could we try?
What do you think?
As Teepa suggests:
“Use what you know about their values and what is important to them to help them make hard choices.”
Good luck and let me know how it goes!
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