BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - August 12, 2009) - For adult children, one of the more difficult conversations to have with their aging parents is when it may be time for them to stop driving because a driver's license is a powerful symbol of youth and independence. According to Home Instead Senior Care of Massachusetts (, which provides high quality, trusted home care to help seniors remain in their homes as they grow older, striking the right balance between protecting your loved one's rights and wishes and protecting their safety and the community's can be a tricky juggling act.

"Factors, other than age alone, may play a significant role in diminishing safe driving, but we know a vast majority of adult children are concerned about their parents' driving safety. Home Instead Senior Care developed tips to help adult children and their parents address driving safety as well as identify next steps once the decision is made," said Jack Cross, owner, Home Instead Senior Care of Lexington, one of 17 offices in Massachusetts.

Based on years of experience in helping families address issues, including when senior drivers should consider giving up their keys, Home Instead Senior Care of Massachusetts has compiled some practical tips:

--  Position interest in their driving as a positive effort to make smart
    and safe decisions with their help as opposed to criticizing or judging a
    senior loved ones driving.
--  Start having the conversation before frequent driving problems 
    start -- before a tragedy strikes.
--  Be prepared with specific examples where their driving was a problem
    vs. voicing a "general concern."  For example, "Remember last week at the
    store when you bumped all those carts coming out of your parking spot?" or
    "I noticed a new scratch down your door. Are you alright?"
--  Make them part of the decision vs. "talking at them." Ask them how
    they feel about driving, ask them as a smart and caring person to be honest
    with themselves about whether driving is safe for them, about whether
    driving at night is still be a good idea, etc.
--  Have a friend, close family member, doctor or other trusted people
    form a united front and broach the subject.
--  Encourage them to have an impartial third party assess the safety of
    their driving. In addition to the AAA's RoadWise Review, a software
    assessment tool, there are Massachusetts organizations to check their
    driving abilities conveniently and confidentially at home.
--  If they refuse to give up the keys and you are steadfast in your
    concerns, feel free to refuse to ride, or let your children ride with them.
    This sends a strong message.
--  Find alternative transportation options.  If they live in an urban
    setting, public transportation or taxis may be a great option.  In suburban
    settings, find neighbors or friends who can drive, offering them a regular
    time slot when you or another family member can drive them, or look into
    senior transportation services like The Ride.  Professional, non-medical
    caregivers are also a great source of reliable and regular transportation
    for your senior loved one to the supermarket, social events, doctors
    appointments, etc. as part of their overall in-home care services.
--  After the decision has been made, keep a keen eye for isolation and
    depression due to the loss of independence. Again having alternative
    transportation and care giving plans in place will help lessen these issues
    and help your senior loved one get where they need to go, stay socially
    engaged and remain as healthy and happy as possible.

About Home Instead Senior Care of Massachusetts

Home Instead Senior Care is a network of 17 locally owned offices in Massachusetts dedicated to providing high quality, trusted home care to help seniors remain in their homes as they grow older. For those who have chosen to age at home, HISC can be the difference between counting the years and living them. Services are also available to seniors living in facilities. To learn more about Home Instead Senior Care of Massachusetts, please visit

Contact Information: Contact: Beth Lutz Birnbach Communications 978-273-2493