As our parents get older, driving becomes less of an option for them. Meanwhile, their car sits in the garage.
Losing the ability to drive can be a devastating moment for an elderly parent. It’s a double whammy, signaling a loss of both autonomy and dignity as a common practice is taken away from them—even if they’re aware it’s for the best. Be that as it may, it needs to be handled in a respectful way, addressing their feelings and future needs. If you’re flummoxed over what to do next, here’s how to deal with an elderly parent’s car.Have a Heart-To-Heart Discussion
You’ve probably covered most aspects of aging and care with your parents, but the question of driving ability tends to be overlooked until an incident or accident occurs. Deal with it before it happens and broach the subject early on. Ask your parents to be aware of any changes that affect their driving such as diminished night vision, reduced reflexes, and poor hearing. Let them know there’s no shame in reducing the amount of time spent on the road or asking for help when they need it. Before then, keep track with visits to the DMV for vision tests and perhaps a refresher course regarding the rules of the road.
Explore Other Options
We live in an age where everywhere is easier to get to, and the entire world can be delivered to your doorstep. Encourage your parents to make use of public transportation more often. Frequently, your parents will be eligible for senior discounts on fares. Ridesharing apps are another convenient way for them to get around, and often their community may offer shuttle service to stores and other places. You can also put them on an ongoing delivery service for groceries, medications, and various household supplies, cutting down on their trips.
Take Care of It
Until you decide to get rid of the car, maintain it and keep up the resell value. While it may stay in one piece by not letting an aged driver drive it, other damage can occur while it’s resting. Keep the proper tire pressure. Among other issues that damage tires, long-term idleness means the full weight of the car is resting on them, wearing them out without moving an inch. Check all the fluids and take it out for a spin to get rid of moisture in the engine and lines. Keep the dust off—get a car wash at least once a month.
Letting It Go
Whether they agree to give up driving or not, it’s wise to remove the temptation. If you’re wondering how to deal with an elderly parent’s car, there’s more ways than one. If you have power of attorney, you can sell the vehicle yourself. You can also ask your parents to put your name on the lease. Another alternative is to donate the car to charity and get a tax deduction for your folks.
Disclaimer: The material in this blog is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace, nor does it replace, consulting with a physician, lawyer, accountant, financial planner or other qualified professional.