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Do Your Homework: Options When Your Loved One isn't Safe to Drive - Aging Wisely

This is an issue we seem to talk about daily with families. Our care managers regularly coach families on how to approach this, help evaluate the situation, and help go through the process of “ending driving priveledges”. (We invite you to check out our downloadable handout which offers some great tips and resources).

One of the messages we think is important in this process is that individuals can still thrive and live their lives minus a car. But, this requires exploring the options and giving them ways to still get to important activities. Before approaching this issue, take time to learn about transportation options in your loved one’s area (or consult with a care manager on what those are). If your loved one’s lucky enough to live in an urban area with great public transportation, this may not even be an issue in the first place. However, for most of us, that is not the case. However, many aging service organizations offer transportation and there are disabled transportation services via many bus systems.

The option we commonly recommend for clients, in addition or combination perhaps with the above, is to hire a private duty home care company who will provide a homemaker/companion to drive the client. We work out a plan that fits the clients’ needs and schedule. This can not only include transportation to doctors and appointments, but to favorite activities, the hairdresser, dinner dates and more.

This service is often more affordable than people think. According to the Dept. of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, car ownership costs are the second largest household expense in the U.S. Owning and operating a car costs an average of $8,000/year or about $600/month—which is equal to more than 30 hours of drive time, for example, with our sister company, EasyLiving, Inc. (

As you prepare to discuss the “driving issue”, do some homework and learn about the options to help your loved one stay active. For most people, a combination of resources can make this transition much easier. Friends, family and neighbors may be willing to help–but don’t leave the person with that as their only option. That really reduces the person to relying on, and potentially feeling like a burden to others. Your local Area Agency on Aging ( can provide a list of resources, or contact us to discuss options in the Tampa Bay area.

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Our goal is to enable every individual we work with to live the most fulfilling life possible, with utmost dignity, focusing on their physical, mental, spiritual, family and financial wellbeing.