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Old 03-27-2012, 08:34 AM   #21
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It's hard to see this happen, I do like him a lot, but at the same time I also believe he's one of those guys who will eventually make a sit-down restaurant into a drive-in. Or worse.
Being an ex-cop you've probably seen more than your fair share of "I was stepping on the brake!" accidents.

Not too long ago the 90-something dad of a childhood friend was parking in front of a business and went over the curb through the front window, killing a lady shopping inside. Everyone in the small town knew he shouldn't be allowed to drive but no one made the effort to do anything about it until it was too late.
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Old 03-27-2012, 11:25 AM   #22
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My 86 year old father is recovering from a broken left hip. He hasn't driven since November. His car is parked for now and we reduced his car insurance to minimum coverage on a car that's not driven.

For years he had pain in his back and right leg that made driving difficult but he drove anyways. Now that he's had so much rest and physical therapy for his broken hip he no longer has the pain in his back and right leg. He recently renewed his driver's license and his car registration "just in case" he's able to drive again.

He's a very practical guy and knows his limits but it will be very hard for him to decide to give up the car if the time comes. It's a 2001 Honda Civic (52,000 miles) and kind of low to get in and out of. For now his home health aide takes him out to run errands in her car. If he recovers enough his condo building has a shuttle service to the shopping center but he's been resistant to trying it and has made it clear that he wants us to stop "suggesting" that it's an option.

If he wants to drive again we may have to insist that he be re-examined in a driving test. Maybe we'll tell him that it's required to "certify the new hip".
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Old 03-27-2012, 11:48 AM   #23
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My brother and I have become a little worried about our 81-year-old dad whose driving, while still good, is slipping a bit. Dad has recognized this and tries not to drive at night. Whenever I visit him (he lives about 15 miles away) and we go out somewhere, I now drive even if it is daylight.

My brother lives about 200 miles away so when my dad and I (and my ladyfriend) visit him every Thanksgiving, I do about 2/3 of the driving although I expect to one day do all the driving because his driving skills have given us a scare now and then in our long, daytime trips.

Neither my brother nor I relish the time when we may have to battle our dad to give up his DL. It might be 2 years from now, 5 years from, 10 years from now. Still, it won't be pretty.
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Old 03-27-2012, 12:11 PM   #24
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When my parents were in their mid 70's they took a "senior driving" class. After that my mother stopped driving altogether and my Dad stopped driving at night. In recent years he stopped driving to unfamiliar places or longer distances.

During this time period the 2 highways between my house and their home (30 miles) underwent a major reconfiguration and for almost 3 years the largest change was the interchange between the 2 freeways. It was confusing even for us sharp, competent, middle aged people. He drove home from my house through that construction once and decided he didn't want to do that again so they stopped driving to our house. Smart decision.
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Old 03-27-2012, 01:43 PM   #25
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As near as I can tell from his files, my Dad drove flawlessly for nearly three years with Alzheimer's symptoms.

He admitted once that he'd occasionally get lost because he'd forget where he was going (or where he'd been, or how to get there). Being an engineer, he'd drive a right-hand expanding circle until he'd recognize a landmark. I offered to equip his SUV with a holder for his GPS but by that point he'd pretty much stopped using computers.

He carried around a wallet ID card with his name & address and the names/phone numbers of us sons. He said that if he couldn't remember how to get home then he'd look for a patrol car or call the police and give them his wallet... he made it a joke: "Please tell me who I am and how to get home".

Last year when I drove him from the hospital to the care facility, he was happy to let me do the driving. (His surgical incision was still healing.) I'd explained that when I got to the facility I'd be flying back to his apartment to take care of his things for him. He insisted that I leave his SUV in the facility parking lot so that if he didn't like it he could drive to a different facility. The illusion of control/choice was more important to him than actually being able to do anything.

AFAIK he still carries around his driver's license in his wallet, but I don't know if it's still valid. He finally agreed to sell the 12-year-old SUV to my brother (for $1) so that bro could "take care of the registration & insurance" for Dad. But part of the deal was that Dad could still drive it when he wants. I think Dad's happy to maintain the illusion of control while secretly being relieved that he doesn't have to remember how to get to the restaurant for their Sunday lunches, or get back to the care facility afterwards.
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Old 03-27-2012, 01:57 PM   #26
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We are going through this right now....

I had to buy a new right hand mirror for my mom's car... she insists that she did not hit anything, but looked over and the mirror was against the side of the car and it was broke... after getting one, I left it at my house for a couple of months as other things came up... we went to pick up her car last week and there was a dent in the right fender and scratches all along the side... she admitted to hitting the back of a truck from the side.. she hit their towing hitch... it was sticking out... no damage to it...

But, she could not explain the scratches... so I told my sisters who also jumped on the bandwagon of telling her she should not drive.... I was not there, but she said to my sister 'would you take the keys away from your kid if they had two accidents'.... my sister said 'well, we have hopes their driving will improve.... we do not with you'... Later, I told her that it was two accidents within 1,300 miles... so yes, I would take the keys away...


The good thing is she only drives to the Y for exercise, the bank and grocery store.... all are at the same corner 3 miles from where she lives with a speed of about 35 MPH... she does not drive when there is a lot of traffic or at night... her license expires in Oct, so we will see if she passes the test... she did two years ago... she will be 93 then....
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Old 03-27-2012, 05:30 PM   #27
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Most of these old people should not be driving, ever. My brother took the keys away from my mother when her Taurus started showing damage along the R side like like Texas' mother. She never forgave him, being a stubborn hillbilly. My former FIL was still driving until a couple months before he died a few weeks ago at 97. And not driving well, either. But the Mercedes dealer was willing to lease him a new E-350 at 97.

Anyone who cares about their inheritance should stop this stuff fast. I actually cannot understand older people who move into car requiring locations. When I was still married I told my wife that my next move was to going to be to a condominium or apartment, not to another car dependent house somewhere. She disagreed, but I noticed that when she went out on her own she went to an apartment, no longer having a live-in handyman or auto mechanic. I have also noticed that non live-in BF handymen usually demand more in return, given that they are free to take their skills and labor wherever they wish.

IMO older people who want or expect some help from their kids need to realize that there are stakeholders other than themselves. The older generation has no right to unreasonably complicate the lives of the younger generation, or to give them avoidable worries. And I say this from the standpoint of the lead generation in my family.

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Old 03-27-2012, 06:43 PM   #28
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The good thing is she only drives to the Y for exercise, the bank and grocery store.... all are at the same corner 3 miles from where she lives with a speed of about 35 MPH... she does not drive when there is a lot of traffic or at night...
TP, that was the justification this guy's kids used when asked why they allowed him to continue driving until he killed someone.
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Old 03-27-2012, 06:52 PM   #29
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she insists that she did not hit anything, but looked over and the mirror was against the side of the car and it was broke
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But, she could not explain the scratches
Sounds to me like the kind of things that happen to cars parked in certain parking lots, while the driver is not present. I always tried to park as far from my office as possible to minimize the scratches and dings.
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Old 03-27-2012, 07:34 PM   #30
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My mother drove until she was 90 and we convinced her to move to independent living. On her final voyage she pulled into the garage too far, ran over the vacuum cleaner and hit the dryer.

The car was donated when she moved as she really did not need to drive.

In all fairness to her, she really drove very little, avoided nights, bad weather, stayed close to home toward the end of her driving years.
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Old 03-27-2012, 07:44 PM   #31
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When my father's driving began to concern us, our sister defended him retaining his car and driving privileges as his freedom. It did not occur to her that he was endangering other people's lives. She was right, bet we were righter.
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Old 03-27-2012, 07:57 PM   #32
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I used to work in an assisted living facility. One of our residents' children took her car away (she definitely wasn't safe). The resident knew her children took the car, but purposely called the police to report the car stolen to teach her kids a lesson. She was quite the spiteful one.
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Old 03-27-2012, 08:35 PM   #33
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I haven't seen any comments on restricted licenses. My state uses them:

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A restricted driver license is intended to ensure that you are driving within your abilities. Some of the most common license restrictions are those that:
-Require eyeglasses, corrective contact lenses, or bioptic telescopic lens to be worn at certain times.
-Permit driving from sunrise to sunset only, or prohibit driving during rush hour.
-Restrict the geographical area in which a person is permitted to drive, or prohibit freeway driving.
-Require special mechanical devices, or an additional side mirror on the vehicle.
-Require extra support in order to ensure a safe and correct driving position.
It seems that one good step for a parent is getting the restrictions in place as soon as they're appropriate - that makes for a more gradual transition.

I'd like to see them add "restrict type of vehicle". An elderly person driving a street legal golf cart on a residential street is a lesser danger than the same person driving a two ton 17-footer on that same street.

I'm already thinking that buying the right small car when I get there will ease the pain of giving up the flexibility.
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Old 03-27-2012, 08:58 PM   #34
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I haven't seen any comments on restricted licenses. My state uses them:



It seems that one good step for a parent is getting the restrictions in place as soon as they're appropriate - that makes for a more gradual transition.

I'd like to see them add "restrict type of vehicle". An elderly person driving a street legal golf cart on a residential street is a lesser danger than the same person driving a two ton 17-footer on that same street.

I'm already thinking that buying the right small car when I get there will ease the pain of giving up the flexibility.
Me too.

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Old 03-28-2012, 01:24 AM   #35
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I used to work in an assisted living facility. One of our residents' children took her car away (she definitely wasn't safe). The resident knew her children took the car, but purposely called the police to report the car stolen to teach her kids a lesson. She was quite the spiteful one.
I'll bet she got lots of visitors on Mother's Day!
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Old 03-28-2012, 06:59 AM   #36
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I'll bet she got lots of visitors on Mother's Day!


Her kids were petrified of her! And so was I! She reamed me out big time once, and I never forgot it, to this day. Some people are just mean for being mean.
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Old 03-28-2012, 06:59 AM   #37
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I see from the other's posts that in many cases the parent gives signs of at least acknowledging to themselves if not to others that their driving skills are not what they used to be.

That's not the case with FIL. He's insistent that he's been driving since before WWII and he's fine.

But like I said to DW the other day one of the maneuvers he'll have to do is of course parallel parking. In real life that's something I do about once a year if that. So if I was facing a driver's test I'd be out there with the trash cans and practicing that a bit to make sure I had that skill current and nailed down.

He won't do that. Then he'll complain about what a cruel world it is when he fails the test.
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Old 03-28-2012, 07:05 AM   #38
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I was reading in NY state you can anonymously contact the DMV and they decide if they call someone in to be retested. I am guessing if someone has a clean record they might be suspicious unless they are at least 80. I am thinking of doing this as SIL defends MIL driving as she does a lot of errands for her. I could be wrong but from what I have seen she is so unsteady and forgetful I can't imagine she is not a danger to others.
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Old 03-28-2012, 07:33 AM   #39
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I was reading in NY state you can anonymously contact the DMV and they decide if they call someone in to be retested.
Maryland (where FIL is) has a similar program. He knows someone contacted the agency but not who, at the moment he thinks it was someone from church. If he finds out it was me it's gonna get ugly.

If confronted I'll own up to it of course but there's nothing to be gained by rubbing his face in it.
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Old 03-29-2012, 08:14 AM   #40
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Reading this thread has made me glad that my father at 85 gave up driving on his own. He told me he just couldn't see the road one day. He had a blank spot where he felt he couldn't see so he pulled over, rested for a bit, then turned back home and never drove again. This happened this last year or so. He said he felt it would be bad if he hurt himself but he couldn't live with himself if he hurt someone else. I was pretty proud of the old guy! I hope I can follow his lead when my time comes....many years from now! :-)
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