Professionals explain how and when to talk to seniors about the time to stop driving

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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- Police said the elderly driver who crashed into the QuikTrip near Truman and Sterling accidentally hit the gas instead of the brakes.

FOX 4 spoke to professionals who explained how and when to talk to your senior parents about when it’s time to put down the keys.

“If there’s some form of dementia going on, then it is certainly a safety issue, if it’s eyesight it’s a different safety issue, if it’s hearing it’s a different safety issue,” said Tim Tholen, President of Thoughtful Care, a company that helps seniors with day to day tasks.

He said many people feel pushback from their parents when they ask them to stop driving. Tholen recommends having your parent talk to their doctor, an attorney or a trusted professional who can convince them to put down the keys. He said often times parents will listen to a professional over their children.

FOX 4 spoke to a senior Lenexa couple who know all to well how to deal with the situation. Gloria Roy said her husband no longer drives because he got in an accident a year ago.

"Suddenly you see your husband's car sitting on a tow truck and I didn't know where he was until the ambulance called me," she told FOX 4. "He is a very slow driver and a very safe driver so the fact that this happened is a shock."

Tholen said there are plenty of resources out there if you are looking for someone to drive your loved one around, but he said you need to do your research. He said make sure the personal support worker takes a drug test, provides proof of insurance and you should do a background check.

In Missouri, if you think your loved one is no longer safe behind the wheel, fill out this form.

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