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Old 10-19-2015, 02:34 PM   #21
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My parents are in their 60's and have no problem with driving. My mother's parents both drive also, grandfather is 97 and grandmother is 92. All still are careful drivers and drive a lot. My parents keep an eye on my grandparents car for scratches, broken tail lights, dents bumpers. A friend's grandparents tell them that "somebody" else scratched/dented the car while it was in the parking lot.
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Old 10-19-2015, 02:39 PM   #22
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Dad hadn't been driving much at 84. Wanted to take a turn at the wheel when I was driving him across country to my sister's. All went well until he needed to make an exit from the Interstate. He stopped in the middle of the freeway so he could decide if it was the right exit. Last time he ever drove as far as I know.
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Old 10-19-2015, 02:42 PM   #23
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I would not use age as any kind of gauge (yeah, I know, poet and don't know it).

Capability is what is key. Vision, agility, reflexes, awareness (especially to the side and behind) are what matters. That could be any age for anyone.
Spot on. A buddy had RP and was going blind. Those who knew him didn't want him driving on his OK. drivers licence. At that time OK. didn't make you retake the vision test. He finally got pulled over and the MO. officer took his OK. license. Few months later an Optometrist claimed he tested 20/40 so off he goes driving again. The guy had told me he could not have passed the test on his own, the Optometrist had helped him pass.

After a pair of DUIs earned on a 3 day drunk, the driving ended. Luckily nobody was hurt.
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Old 10-19-2015, 02:43 PM   #24
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Dad hadn't been driving much at 84. Wanted to take a turn at the wheel when I was driving him across country to my sister's. All went well until he needed to make an exit from the Interstate. He stopped in the middle of the freeway so he could decide if it was the right exit. Last time he ever drove as far as I know.
Did y'all have to stop off at Wally World to get you a change of pants?
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Old 10-19-2015, 02:56 PM   #25
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He finally got pulled over and the MO. officer took his OK. license. Few months later an Optometrist claimed he tested 20/40 so off he goes driving again. The guy had told me he could not have passed the test on his own, the Optometrist had helped him pass.
That reminds me of my mom. With her vision issues (cataracts, detached retina, macular degeneration, and a couple of botched surgeries, she was lucky to be able to read a large print book using a magnifier, one word at a time.

But even though they no longer had a car, and no interest in driving anyway, she still wanted to have a DL "so she could cash checks." No problem -- every few years she would visit the friendly neighborhood optometrist who would charge her for an exam and give her a letter to give the DMV so she could renew her (useless) DL.

The other story I love is from many years later after she moved to another state where she would have had to take a real exam at the DMV. She had a friend of a similar age who still drove although she shouldn't have. Mom told me about one day when her friend was driving her somewhere.
The friend asked Mom "Is that traffic light red or green?"
Mom's reply was "What light?"

I told her she shouldn't ride with that woman any more, and Mom said "Yes, I think that would be best."
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Old 10-19-2015, 03:01 PM   #26
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My mom doesn't have a license and my dad sees driving as an unwanted chore. I don't think we'll have problems with my dad insisting on driving when he's older (he's just 59 right now). My mom could barely convince him to do any long driving now (he considers a 100-mile drive long).

Personally, I'd love to have a condo where my grandmother lived. There's a mall and grocery right across the street. Tons of restaurants (both fastfood and upscale). There are branches for all the major banks. Only thing not within walking distance is a hospital (~3 miles away). Having almost no driving required sounds like heaven to me. Seriously, when are we going to get self-driving cars?
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Old 10-19-2015, 03:33 PM   #27
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My dad stopped driving at 90 when his symptoms of vascular senility began. For quite a few years prior to that, anytime I would be in a car with my parents, I would drive. My dad initiated that simply by handing his keys to me one day. It was never discussed.

My mom is still driving at 93, but only to familiar places within a 3 mile radius, and not at night. For anything further away, I pick her up and take her there. Even within that 3 mile radius, I increasingly pick her up and take her. She is now starting to show signs of dementia and her driving may soon have to stop completely.
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Old 10-19-2015, 03:58 PM   #28
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Both sets of my grandparents lost their independence from injuries caused by accidents my grandfathers had. Can't have a better family example than this. Got a call from a friend who is a policeman last week who said my 79 year old father passed him in the right lane at least 20 mph over the speed limit. He's hit the garage wall numerous times and cars in parking lots. He's also done the stopping in the middle of the road thing because he thought there was a signal there. Meeting my folks at a clinic where dad was having a procedure done, mom pulls into the lot and tries to perpendicular park, hitting the curb and tearing up the right front wheel on the car and leaves it parked sideways in the parking spot - so mom taking over the driving duties is not much of an answer. I love my folks and know it's a conversation that should happen, but don't want to start WWIII - and be the one who cost them their independence. Not sure what to do other than wait for the phone call and hope no one is dead.
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Old 10-19-2015, 04:05 PM   #29
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I love my folks and know it's a conversation that should happen, but don't want to start WWIII - and be the one who cost them their independence. Not sure what to do other than wait for the phone call and hope no one is dead.
That was the same issue I had with FIL. In Maryland, you can write and they will not tell the driver who contacted them, just that it is a "random selection" of people being retested. I suggest you call the agency that issues driver's licenses and ask what their policy is, they may do the same. If so that lets you off the hook for doing what is in everyone's best interest and the DMV plays the bad guy.

The problem is not only that they may hasten their own demise, but also someone else's. I've seen that happen, which was why I was the only one in the family willing to write the letter. And yes it's hard. I really did like him.
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Old 10-19-2015, 04:13 PM   #30
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Self driving cars can't come soon enough!!
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Old 10-19-2015, 04:50 PM   #31
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A few years ago DH and I had concerns about his father's driving.

FIL, a widower who at age 83 lived in HI in a senior community and who cherished his independence, insisted he was fine, only drove during the day, and only for short distances. He said he'd get rides with his friends, or use transit available from his senior community, on longer trips & at night.

But after his last trip out to visit his dad, DH came home worried about his dad's general driving abilities. We knew we had to have the talk with him, soon. We absolutely dreaded it. We were going away on a trip in a week, so we put it off until after our trip.

But the trip didn't happen. A few days after DH's visit with his dad, we got one of those dreadful middle-of-the-night phone calls. FIL was driving home alone from a club meeting that night(!!) and either passed out or fell asleep at the wheel. He crossed the center line and ran head-on into a pickup truck. Thankfully, the driver of the pickup truck was not injured, although the truck was badly damaged (thankfully again, FIL had very good insurance, and the truck was replaced). FIL on the other hand sustained serious injuries and was in the hospital for nearly a month. Long story short, he never fully recovered from those injuries, he was no longer able to live independently, his overall health deteriorated (he spent his final months in a nursing home), and, about 18 months after the crash, he passed away -- coincidentally, two years ago today.

I don't have any lessons to draw from this. Before the accident, we knew FIL was going to fight us tooth & nail if we tried to talk him out of driving anymore (simply because we had already broached the subject with him, and it was unpleasant to put it mildly). In fact, even after the accident, he was talking about buying a new car once he got out of the hospital! We and his doctors (and ultimately, the state of HI) quickly disabused him of that notion.

In retrospect, we should have tried harder to get him to give up his car. We're just grateful that no-one other than FIL was injured.

ETA: Best wishes to anyone dealing w this situation. It's a hard one for all involved.
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Old 10-19-2015, 05:09 PM   #32
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But the trip didn't happen. A few days after DH's visit with his dad, we got one of those dreadful middle-of-the-night phone calls. FIL was driving home alone from a club meeting that night(!!) and either passed out or fell asleep at the wheel.

...

In retrospect, we should have tried harder to get him to give up his car. We're just grateful that no-one other than FIL was injured.
Sounds familiar. Dad finally gave it up at 87, after he drove through the garage door and support pillar.

Nobody was hurt, including dad. He insisted it was unintended acceleration (it was all in the news at the time about Toyota). He was fine, he said, because he just passed the driver's test 1 week earlier (true!).

Siblings and I were wrecks for the next few months while we convinced him to give it up.

As dementia continued, Dad's check valves fell off, and he told stories of driving around for a few hours trying to find home. I believe these are true and why he agreed to give it up. Thank goodness he didn't end up in the next state lost as a Silver Alert case.
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Old 10-19-2015, 05:35 PM   #33
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Mom was instrumental in getting Dad to stop driving his car as dementia resulted in a few lost episodes in the small town we live in. In order to remove the car as quickly as possible I checked the Blue Book value and gave them the money. He was probably in his early 80s at the time. A couple of years after he passed and Mom was in assisted living having problems with dementia herself by then I was able to convince her to sell her car. She changed her mind a few times. When she finally agreed again I took her to the DMV to transfer title and bought her car too before she changed her mind. She was also in her early 80s by then. All of this cost me a few thousand but all of us in the family knew they were a danger to themselves and the rest of the drivers on the road. We also did the same thing with my wife's stepfather. Glad this isn't an issue with her mother. I didn't want to have to do this again. She doesn't drive.

Cheers!
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Old 10-19-2015, 06:02 PM   #34
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Mom drove until the age of 93 when she had her first accident in over 75 years of driving. Totaled the car, suffered non-life threatening injuries and that was the end of driving for her. She wasn't supposed to drive at night during the last 10 years, but the accident happened 3 hours after sunset one Friday night. She said she lost track of time, left the supermarket later than usual and was driving around for over three hours trying to get home after getting lost. The supermarket was less than two miles away and the accident occurred about 3 miles away at the opposite end of town. The driver of the car she hit said she looked slumped over just before impact. It's possible she fell asleep. He was not injured. No medical issues were found. Just glad no one was seriously injured or disabled.
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Old 10-19-2015, 06:24 PM   #35
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Appreciate the comments on this thread. In Laws live 7 hours away from us and we are the closest.... Mid-80s and DW/sibs have managed to persuade them out of doing more long cross country trips; but trying to figure out how to handle "close" driving--and to determine just what limits would be appropriate. (We've ridden along and were not comfortable; but they exhibit no real signs of cognitive deterioration otherwise.)

I think it would be easier if one of the siblings were "in town".... Luckily, there are a lot of extended family members (MIL's siblings, etc.) who we are relying upon to keep an eye/ear on things.

E.T.A.: Helpful/reassuring to see that we are far from alone in wrestling with this.
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Old 10-19-2015, 06:25 PM   #36
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My mom gave up driving around 85 (and driving at night before that). Her boyfriend is still driving at 90. He is bad but not awful and mercifully drives very little.

My grandfather was still driving at 94, he was pretty scary.
My next Tesla will have self-driving features so I think you'll have to pry my Tesla fob out of my dead hands.
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Old 10-19-2015, 06:25 PM   #37
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My mother is still a good driver at 73. My father is 78 and probably has a year or 2 left before he needs to hang up the keys. He enjoys driving and thinks he is perfectly safe (he's not) so he won't quit willingly. Unfortunately, there is no mandatory testing here so it will be up to family to do the dirty work.

As others have stated...I dread that conversation.
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Old 10-19-2015, 06:30 PM   #38
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Did y'all have to stop off at Wally World to get you a change of pants?
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Old 10-19-2015, 06:34 PM   #39
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My parents stopped about three weeks ago at 85.


The capper was when my sister noticed some paint on the car and asked if they had hit something. My mom said they had but had left a note.


What did you say my sister asked? My mom said they left a note that they were sorry! No name, no number, nothing!
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Old 10-19-2015, 07:37 PM   #40
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In Laws live 7 hours away from us and we are the closest....

I think it would be easier if one of the siblings were "in town"....
Yeah, that was basically our situation too; we were half an ocean apart. DH had no siblings, or other close family members, we were "it".

FIL did have local friends who were aware of his occasional medical issues and previous (minor) vehicle mishaps, and unfortunately, they took FIL at his word when he told those friends that he kept us informed. We only found out about most of those prior occurrences once FIL was in the hospital after the accident. We couldn't be critical of the friends, FIL managed to keep us all in in the dark. Probably because he knew if we knew what was really happening, we'd insist that he transition to a higher level of care and/or move closer to us (neither of which he wanted to do), and of course curtail his driving. Ironically, his accident led directly to all three of the things that he tried to avoid.


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Luckily, there are a lot of extended family members (MIL's siblings, etc.) who we are relying upon to keep an eye/ear on things.
That's good! Our mistake was not to be in direct contact with FIL's friends. We didn't realize at the time how important it was to get information from people other than FIL. But then again, maybe they wouldn't have wanted to rat on him.

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E.T.A.: Helpful/reassuring to see that we are far from alone in wrestling with this.
Alas, far from it. You have my best wishes.
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