When is it Time to Give Up the Keys?

Time to Give Up the Keys?

Driving gives a sense of freedom. It allows you to go wherever you want without having to worry about how you’ll get there. Unfortunately, as we age our senses can diminish, making driving rather unsafe. So when is it time to stop driving?

Unusual Driving Indicators

When you drive you have to understand a huge amount of information. The brain has to be able to process all this information and make split-second decisions. When these decisions become slower is when trouble can arise, leading to damage, injury, and even death. Below are some indicators that should raise some red flags and suggest that driving is no longer safe.

  • Running stop signs and red lights
  • Confused by traffic signs, lights, and procedures
  • Stopping when there’s no need, like a green light
  • Parking accidents, like side-swiping
  • Overly cautious, like driving way too slow
  • Difficulty staying in the correct lane
  • Frequent ‘close calls’
  • Hitting curbs, especially when making right turns or backing up

Family members can become key components in recognizing these signs and taking steps request a driving evaluation. Rehabilitation centers, the DMV, or driving schools can test a senior’s ability to drive, their reaction time, and determine if they should be driving or not. These tests, while simple, can help to decrease serious accidents. You can even take the AARP online driving course. It’s quick, thorough, easy, and can help determine if more tests should be conducted. It’s a good start regardless. It does cost money to take the test, and the price depends on what state you’re testing for. Visit their course HERE.


Studies have been done that suggest that those in good health begin to lose reaction time once they turn 85 years old. Of course, those with diminished health can have delayed reaction time far before 85 years old. The eyes begin to lose their abilities and this can cause serious problems with driving. One of the issues with this is that the Department of Motor Vehicle testing, including eye tests, are not timely, and sometimes eye issues can arise in between visits. This is another reason why it’s so important to pay close attention to yourself or your loved one.

A common thing to ask about you or your loved one is, would you feel safe driving, or letting your loved one drive children? If the answer is no, then it’s time to give up the keys.

Coping With Life After Driving

Losing your license can cause a lot of issues with your day-to-day life. It can also lead to a loss of the sense of freedom. Fortunately there are options. To start, residents at Bonaventure Senior Living communities, like independent living, assisted living, and memory care communities have a community bus, and sometimes a community van as well. Getting to where you need to go at Bonaventure Senior Living communities is super easy. We have trained drivers that specialize in transportation. Visits to the doctors, stores, restaurants, and more are as simple as being a resident at one of our many communities in Oregon, Washington, and Colorado.

There are other options as well. Public transportation is almost always available, like a bus, train, and taxi. Of course this costs money to get to and from a location. Look at it this way, chances are you’re going to be saving some money by not having to pay for car insurance, car payments, gas, and maintenance. You can also ask family members to give you rides to places that you need to go. This also gives you a chance to spend some more time with your family, so it’s a win-win situation.


However or whenever it happens, setting down the keys can be a hard thing to do, but if it’s needed, then it’s safe for everyone; driver, passengers, and other people. With so many transportation options available in this day and age, there’s always a way to get to your destination. Be safe out there.

Bonaventure Senior Living

At Bonaventure Senior Living, we have Retirement PerfectedLiving PerfectedDining Perfected, and Fitness Perfected.  The best way to see for yourself is to Book-A-Tour today and discover how you can live life on your own terms. We specialize in Independent LivingAssisted Living, and Memory Care, that way, no matter what your current situation is, we have all levels of care covered if your needs ever change.

Independent Living

With Independent Living, we want you to enjoy Simplified Living, allowing you to have the freedom to do what makes you happy. Our Independent Living is designed to accommodate the exceptional senior lifestyle that you’ve earned. What’s even better, is that with Independent Living we offer whatever supportive services that you may need at any time you may need them. Now that’s Retirement Perfected.

Assisted Living

Assisted Living at Bonaventure Senior Living is simple: all the lifestyle benefits of our Independent Living, but with any extra support that you may need. Our philosophy is based on three simple things: choice, independence, and dignity. Now that’s Assisted Living at its finest.

Memory Care

Every senior is a unique person, and our Memory Care approach is no different. We tailor our Memory Care by connecting with family members and taking time to understand each person’s specific circumstances. This includes mental, emotional, and physical health. Our Memory Care creates an honorable and professional plan to make sure that each person lives their life to the fullest. That’s the way Memory Care should be.