1 Corinthians 7:17 - You must accept whatever situation the Lord has put you in, and continue on as you were when God first called you. This is my rule for all the churches.
There are many challenges we face with a health condition. We deal with the changes that take place which don’t allow us to be able to function in a normal capacity. One-by-one we watch as our freedom to live and move the way in which we want to becomes ever more constricting.
One of those constrictions lies in our inability to drive anymore. Whether due to age or disability, having to give up your driver’s license is difficult. I know because I was there.
My independence was cut short by my vision. I have double vision and loss of being able to tell how close a vehicle is to another object. I also have issues with depth perception.
Losing a driver’s license is symbolized by handing your keys over to someone else. Those keys held your ability to come and go as you pleased and now you have to depend on someone else to take you places. That can be a blow not only to your choices in activities and work; it causes you to have to ask for help. That can be difficult for someone who is independent and doesn’t want to depend on anyone else.
But here you are. Keys in your hand. And then, letting go.
Let’s change the direction of this discussion to the other side of the story – being the one who has to convince a loved one that it’s time to stop driving. That can be very tricky as having that discussion can cause your relationship with your loved one to falter.
First, both for the person who is about to lose their license and for the one who needs to convince another person to give up their license, take a look at some of the rules from the Department of Motor Vehicles on when it’s time to stop driving from the DMV website, “DMV Senior Guide for Safe Driving.” One of the main rules is that the person driving must be alert enough to make quick decisions to make the correct course of action in any type of traffic situation. On the DMV website you will also find, the "California Driver Handbook," which will discuss an individual's cognitive impairment.
In addition, please note: "Physicians and surgeons are required to report patients at least 14 years old and older who are diagnosed as having lapses of consciousness, Alzheimer’s disease, or related disorders." (California Health & Safety Code [CHSC] §103900).
So now that you know some of the reasons why someone can lose their driver’s license, we also need to consider the person who will be the one to talk to a driver about giving up their keys. This is a difficult decision and you'll find help with this in the article, “How to Talk to a Parent About Driving,” on the care.com website.
For the one who is about to lose their license, God knows that you must come to a point of accepting that you will no longer be able to drive. It’s not easy to do, but knowing God will help you to find strength, and provide people around you to help, can ease you into your new life situation. I learned to do so and made several close friends in the process. You can, too.
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.