Preferred Lifestyle Services - Care Management

Care Management ~ Eldercare Advocacy ~ Dementia Care

Serving families in Palm Beach, Martin and Port St. Lucie counties

Is Mom Safe When Her Friends Drive?

Judie Rappaport
March 19, 2015

Dear Judie,

Mom’s (82) poor eyesight caused her to give up driving several years ago. She’s managed to live independently because her closest friends drove her wherever she needed to go. Only one friend (Helen) still drives.  Mom says Helen’s quite confused and keeps refusing Mom’s offer to accompany her to the doctor for help.  Mom’s making excuses to avoid riding with Helen but we’re all worried about “an accident waiting to happen.”  Do we have options?

- Linda, PSL

Dear Linda,

If Helen’s confused, she most likely doesn’t recognize the change in her driving skills and you’re unlikely to convince her she needs medical attention. Your best option is a neutral expert to help keep Helen safe and Mom’s friendship intact. Try these options:

1.) If Mom and Helen visit the same physicians, ask him/her to call Helen for a medical workup to identify the cause of her confusion.  There are over 50 diseases and conditions that have symptoms of confusion and many of them of treatable and reversible.  

2.) Speak with Helen’s family and explain the risks.  If they’re willing to help, refer them to Alzheimer’s Community Care (Martin 772-223-6351/St. Lucie- 772-460-9166; Ft. Pierce- 772 466-3261); Alzheimer’s Assn. (all areas: 800-272-3900), or Alzheimer’s/Parkinson’s Assn. (Vero 772-563-0505) for help.  If family members won’t or can’t help, we hope you and Mom will make the call to these experts.

3.)  Be sure your plan includes alternative transportation for Mom and Helen.   

Judie Rappaport, President & Founder
Preferred Lifestyle Services

Trust Yourself. You Have the Knowledge, Insight,
and Power to make the right decisions for you and your parent. ©


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