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Old 11-05-2020, 08:30 AM   #61
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We went through this with my father. He totaled his big car and refused to give up his right to drive. We researched best cars for seniors, and settled on a Subaru Forester with all the safety features including auto braking, lane departure control, blind spot detection, cameras etc. He knows he’s on a short leash and now drives much slower and more cautious. The car is much easier to maneuver and the driver position is higher. Fingers crossed...
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Old 11-05-2020, 09:23 AM   #62
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When we moved here to what we hope will be our last home, one of my ironclad requirements was that there should be sidewalk all the way to the supermarket.
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Old 11-05-2020, 10:04 AM   #63
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If we're all still around in 20-30 years, we can start a thread complaining about our kids wanting to take the keys away when we are all perfectly good drivers! I'll put a note somewhere to remind me to start it.
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Old 11-05-2020, 10:34 AM   #64
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If we're all still around in 20-30 years, we can start a thread complaining about our kids wanting to take the keys away when we are all perfectly good drivers! I'll put a note somewhere to remind me to start it.
Hopefully they'll have autonomous driving vehicles by then.
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Old 11-05-2020, 11:57 AM   #65
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Friend's Mom was 102. They had the talk and took her keys. She said it was OK. Next day she took a cab and bought a brand new car. LOL.


Good luck


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wow still driving at age 102
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Old 11-05-2020, 12:38 PM   #66
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My dad loved to drive and had a big stroke at 59. When he got home from the hospital after 2 weeks he took his driver’s license out of his wallet, crumpled it up and threw it across the room while saying that he would never drive again. My mom drove until about a year before she died at 89. She kept her car in case she felt well enough but she never did. Hopefully I will be as smart.
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Old 11-05-2020, 06:53 PM   #67
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Wow - there are some really wild stories here!

Shortly after turning 86 DF declared he wasn't driving anymore and thus had to move to a "nursing home". By that time he was only driving from the country to a small town 5 miles away. He ate breakfast and lunch out, then had something light at home for dinner.

So we helped him move to a small group home in a nearby town because there was no way to live out in the country and not drive.

People told us how lucky we are. DF just remembered how anxious they were about his mother driving as she aged, and didn't want to do the same.
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Old 11-07-2020, 06:39 AM   #68
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Uber may be an alternative.
I would think only a small minority of older drivers giving up keys have a smart phone or could manage the uber app.

Uber or a third party needs to provide a voice or one touch physical button summons service.

It also underlines the importance of living within walking distance of stores and services in anticipation of losing license.
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Old 11-07-2020, 07:02 AM   #69
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It also underlines the importance of living within walking distance of stores and services in anticipation of losing license.
Once you get old enough, walking beyond short distances may be more difficult than driving. It certainly was in DF’s case. So I’m not sure being within “walking distance” is practical. Crossing half a parking lot was very difficult - he finally got a handicapped parking permit after much encouragement from us. Shopping and cooking had also become too burdensome. He would drive to restaurants for breakfast and lunch and have cereal for dinner.
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Old 11-08-2020, 04:03 PM   #70
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Couple of posts reminded me of another, kinda sorta related tale...

When #1 son was a couple of years out of college, he was still driving an older Honda Prelude that we had for the kids. It was rough, odometer had stopped working at 140K miles, but reasonable estimate was it had 170K miles. No speedometer. I just kept waiting for it to die, I didn't want to spend any money and he sure didn't. But he was doing a job that required visiting customers regularly so he had to drive.

One day, a friend of a friend at DW's school posted they had a car for sale. It was 3-4 year old Kia Optima. With 8K miles. Belonged to their father who had bought a brand new car at age 93, while living in AZ. Proverbial go 2 miles to the grocery and church type car. 2K of those miles were from the drive back to OH after he passed away.

The family was always upset that he'd bought a new car at 93, actually that someone would sell it to him, they felt he was taken advantage of. But he was independent and still driving and had the money, so it was his choice.

Since Kias at the time (over 10 years ago) had a bad rep, the blue book had dropped to less than 50% of the original price despite the low mileage. They didn't have anyone in the family who was ready for a car, so we got it for $8K. Really nice family, actually pleased to see my not long out of college kid who was still getting established get it.

He drive the daylights out of it, was up to somewhere around 130K miles. It was having issues, making bad noises, but he said he would drive it until it stopped! Literally got into it one day to go home and it wouldn't shift out of 1st (automatic). So he drives it home at 15 MPH or whatever, fortunately just a few miles over city streets. Went out the next day and got a 2 year old used car, and called a tow truck to pick up the Kia.
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Old 11-08-2020, 08:16 PM   #71
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I would think only a small minority of older drivers giving up keys have a smart phone or could manage the uber app.

Uber or a third party needs to provide a voice or one touch physical button summons service.

....
Thus is our situation with MIL (90). We are the closest kids to her and FIL, at 8 hours. FIL was the tech person and is now unable. She has become even less tech comfortable with age. Luckily, her local, daytime driving still checks out ok on our frequent trips, as there is no way she could figure out smart phone and Uber/lyft. Fortunately, she has a lot of extended family in the area and we have close friends minutes away for when the time comes....

(Trying to enable her to order groceries online, even with TeamViewer, this spring was an adventure that failed!)
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Old 11-10-2020, 01:39 AM   #72
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Years back, I finally had to take my dad's car away. Fortunately, he didn't call the police on me. Mom backed me up and dad was sort of okay with it. I was close by and could help out when they needed to go someplace. I guess the final straw was the time Dad called me from a small town 30+ miles away and was asking me why the meeting (he thought he was supposed to attend) wasn't actually happening. I was afraid I was going to have to go lead him home, but he finally made it.

He'd already totaled a couple of his cars - though, thankfully, no injuries or even citations - never could figure out if he was at fault. So, painful but necessary.

Oh, and MIL DID call the police on her daughter (my DW) when she took the car! MIL had loaned the car to some young man who, as it turned out, did NOT have a DL. MIL had also let the insurance lapse. That was sort of a big horror show. FORTUNATELY, MIL's son (my BIL) was a local LEO! He backed up his sister! You had to be there so YMMV.
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Old 11-10-2020, 10:31 AM   #73
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At 77 and DW 76, we can see the day coming. We went through this with my father and both my older brother (81) and I agreed we would not put our kids through this. Neither of us, as far as I know, have had a driving problem. My daughter did comment on my driving once, but I was 55, so I am not sure I trust her judgment.

So I read these post with a little different view. We live rural. A sidewalk to the store would be 33 miles long. We can have groceries delivered, but not pizza. I currently make my auto purchase decisions on the amount of safety equipment and the ability to self drive. I am not to the point yet, but I am giving a hard look at a Tesla. We use Lane Keeping, and Adaptive Cruise control, but as safety aids not as self driving aids.

My point is, we all will be on the Senior end of the stick some day. For the senior it is more than 'not keeping up with technology'. Most of the technology in my kids house comes from hand me downs from our house. Driving represents freedom, giving it up represents one step closer to the guy dressed in black with a scythe in his hand.
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Old 11-10-2020, 04:45 PM   #74
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My dad was always the only person I really felt comfortable riding with. He had no tickets in all the decades he drove. But when he was parked nose-in at the Costco, he floored it (he was nearly deaf) and went to shift into reverse- I reached over and turned the key off. I drove him home with the excuse that he was probably exhausted from the shopping trip. Later that day he just decided he was done driving. Always a very logical man.

I am glad we didn't have to take his keys, but would have if needed- lives at stake.
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The Hand of God (and quirks of postal service)
Old 11-10-2020, 05:26 PM   #75
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The Hand of God (and quirks of postal service)

My dad, now gone over 23 years, was not going to give up driving. When he started the car, he floored the gas pedal because he could not hear that it started until it reached high rpm!

He and mom moved to our small town, while they still owned the farm 3 hours away. I was driving dad and I to the farm when we were stopped by the state police, because it appeared my registration was expired. I could not find new registration, but the kind officer let me go with a warning.

When we returned from the farm, I asked dad if I could borrow his car while we figured out what was going on with the truck registration. That night, his parked car was totaled in front of my house by a drunk driver. Dad and mom never asked to replace the car.

We found out that, three years earlier, the local post office had stopped having the local post office delivery person sort the mail. When they did that, the truck registration, which was erroneously addressed to West Main Street (we lived on East Main Street), was actually SENT to West Main Street, and we never got them! (The local post office delivery person knew our name and overcame the error - until he was eliminated!)

No one noticed the expired registration sticker for several years because it was hidden by the trailer hitch ball. That is, until it was important for the expired registration to be noticed, and cause the vehicle swap, and eliminate the problem of dad's degrading driving skills!

And THAT is the rest of the story... (BTW, the registration was inactive for so long, I got a new registration and did not have to pay the delinquent fees! Saved money, but not something I'd recommend!)
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Old 11-10-2020, 05:45 PM   #76
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But back to the OP's situation:

What's Dad's problem? Is it a vision thing that can be fixed? Or too-slow reaction?

What about Dial-A-Ride or similar? I used that after knee surgery once and it wasn't too annoying ... plus I can see it would be a good source of social interaction if one used it regularly.
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Old 11-10-2020, 07:55 PM   #77
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We went through this with my dad after he continued to demonstrate dangerous decisions when driving. When he was in his mid 70s his car began having unexplained small dents as did the garage, other cars, parking lot signs. His reading ability also declined (and is near 0 at 82). The eye opener was when he was driving the family and ended up on the wrong side of the road. We talked to him about it but he was firm that he could drive just fine. His doctor in MA sent him to be evaluated but he refused because he knew he would fail. As a family we researched a way in which someone else would take his license away so they would take the blame. In Florida we sent a form (can be sent by anyone of concern) to have them require an evaluation by his PCP. Once the letter showed up and we read it to him it said that if he didnít get an eval he would lose his license in 60 days automatically. My mom and I went with him for the cognitive eval with his PCP. It was sad because it was crystal clear he could not perform any of the tasks requested. Dad looked at me for answers but I wasnít allowed to respond. The PCP sent in the form and then dad got a letter stating his license had been revoked. Itís been a year since and he hasnít driven. My mom has picked up the local driving with longer distances done by family or friends. As a family we are grateful for this to finally be done and it is working ok. Check with your RMV for details. We also recommend support groups (Alzheimerís for us). Good luck.
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Old 11-10-2020, 08:37 PM   #78
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How about you just tell him the facts? Are you more worried about hurting his feelings than some innocent kid getting killed? If he causes an accident, you are complicit at this point since you recognize the problem and do nothing about it. I know this is not warm and fuzzy, but you need to grow up.
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Old 11-11-2020, 04:12 AM   #79
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You've gotten lots of great responses, but I"ve not seen what my cousins did for my then 89 year old, VERY active aunt.


There were a few gradual steps but the final step was to order a Lyft for her whenever she had somewhere to go. They handled everything--she'd call them and they'd make the arrangements. She thought she was paying for the rides which gave her a continued sense of independence, though of course they paid themselves.


At some point my aunt wanted to arrange the rides herself so they got her an ipad and taught her only the most basic steps. She was determined to master the (cellular) ipad (and reinforcement was being able to Facetime with family overseas) and now, at 92 does all the arrangements herself (she doesn't know the credit card on file is theirs) and she always overtips so drivers are glad to pick her up, help her with groceries, so on.


She's very independent and proud of it, and still goes (pre-Covid) everywhere she needs to, and loves her iPad.
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Old 11-11-2020, 04:28 AM   #80
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But back to the OP's situation:

What's Dad's problem? Is it a vision thing that can be fixed? Or too-slow reaction?

What about Dial-A-Ride or similar? I used that after knee surgery once and it wasn't too annoying ... plus I can see it would be a good source of social interaction if one used it regularly.
Dad's problem is that he is increasingly unaware of his surroundings. Some recent examples include being in the left turn lane where there was a red arrow indicating he needed to stay stopped, but instead he ran the red arrow (from a full stop) and drove directly into the opposing left turn lane coming from the other direction. Then pulling over into the straight through lane without signaling. And often pulling into a highway from the entry ramp then dropping to 35 mph, because he's distracted.

Every time we are with them it's more and more scary. We are afraid he will have an accident before we can get them moved.

We don't think this can be fixed. We think it's decreasing mental ability.

He does not notice any problem with his driving. And it's central to his life. Very important for both of them.

Right now we're just waiting for them to sell their house and move into independent living, where there will be a van service plus meals in house. (Right now they go out for lunch every day.)
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