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Long Distance Driving - How To Keep Mom Safe

Judie Rappaport
September 13, 2021

Dear Judie,

My 87 year-old mom is fiercely independent, healthy, walks a mile daily, and totally manages her own life. She’s insisting on driving 1,000 miles, alone in her car, to visit with family this summer. She and Dad used to take the trip frequently and says the journey “brings back memories” of Dad. Even though she’s made the trip by herself in the past, she currently won’t drive even one hour south of her home because there’s “too much traffic.” She’s refused all offers to drive with her, buy her plane tickets, or rent her a car at her destination. How can we preserve her dignity and prevent her driving alone?      

- Lisa, Hobe Sound


Dear Lisa,

Thank you for understanding the need to protect Mom’s dignity while trying to stop this dangerous adventure. Since previous efforts were unsuccessful, try explaining your very valid safety concerns to family she plans to visit. The inherent dangers of driving 1,000 miles  alone - flat  tire, engine trouble, car theft, sudden unexpected physical problems for Mom, another driver hitting her car/injuring her without someone she trusts to help her - problems that occur every minute of every day to people of all ages. Ask them to say they love her too much and couldn’t bear the stress of thinking of her alone on such a long drive out and back. Suggest they insist she not drive alone, and if necessary, gently make their point by graciously uninviting her if she does not take a family member or trusted companion with her. Regardless of the difficulty, this is one fight you should work very hard to win. 


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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