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LET'S TALK ABOUT IT  |  Carenotes | Let's Talk Archive

Let's Talk

Welcome to Let's Talk About It.  In this special section we will feature the question/topic of the month and provide an opportunity for an interactive exchange that will help find some answers and possible solutions to concerns. If you wish to participate, just follow the link provided at the end of the question/topic and add your comments and thoughts.

Question/Topic for Nov/Dec 2012

Are you concerned about your loved one’s ability to drive? What are the issues? If you had successful resolution, please share it here.

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Name: Deb
Location: MN
Date: 01/02/2013
Time: 07:14 AM


Hello-My mother is 97 years old and still insists on driving. We live in a small community with no stoplights. My other family members (out of state) encourage her driving. People in the community have expressed concerns about her driving. I fight about it with my mother. She seems ok when I drive with her, but am still uneasy just because of her age. She is bright and would know any tricks I pulled. Any ideas?

Name: oldina wahlers
Location: canada
Date: 12/23/2012
Time: 04:56 PM


my dad voluntarily stopped driving when he smacked his car up at the grocery store. It was minor damage but when he hit a car pulling in and hit another pulling out he decided it was time. We agreed. He gave me his car so now I take him where he needs to go. Easily solved for us not so with other areas but at least he is not endangering himself and others

Name: Carol Torrence
Location: Pasadena, TX
Date: 12/23/2012
Time: 10:49 AM


Doctors told me I can drive. But I have sudden petit mal seizures. I don't want to endanger a life either. I also can't tolerate how Texans drive

Name: Karen Shiffert
Location: Pa
Date: 12/23/2012
Time: 09:44 AM


My husband has Parkinson's and is totally wheelchair bound. He cannot even sit upright to control his electric scooter any more. When he gets angry he wants me to give him the keys to the car so he can drive himself somewhere-no where in particular. I use to argue. Now I tell him if he can get the keys from the hook and get himself into the car he is welcome to go ahead. I know he is not able to climb into our vehicle. He also gets mad when I won't put him into the scooter. I have told him the batteries are dead. He's not happy, but can't get himself onto the scooter or into the car on his own power. I know this is different than those who have the mobility to get themselves into a vehicle and I certainly do not envy your predicament.

Name: Jo S
Location: Virginia
Date: 11/22/2012
Time: 06:46 PM


To Kay C. - Hang the key, but remove the rotor from the distributor on some other pertinent part to allow the car to run. If she has the key, she'll feel the power, but if the car won't run, what can she do??? I know others this has worked for...

Name: Randall Gene Knowles
Location: Great Falls, MT
Date: 11/11/2012
Time: 01:00 PM


When I knew it was time for Susan to stop driving I went to the Drivers License office and asked if they had a form that a Dr. could sign that would require Susan to re-take the written test. [I knew she could pass the driving test but not the written test] Susan has dementia. On the form I checked the box that Susan should retake the written exam and mailed it to two physicians with a note asking them so sign and mail to the State office. Susan got a letter in the mail from the Highway Patrol that said she could not drive any more until she passed the written exam. I gave Susan the study book and we worked on it for several weeks. I created an imaginary deadline to take the exam. On the drop dead day Susan looked at me and said: "do I get to take the study book with me?" No, I responded. Then Susan said; "if I cannot take the book then I will never pass the test." I responded, we still need to go to the office and give them your drivers license and they will give it back to you any time you want to take the test. It is important to get an identification card. In Montana you can trade the drivers license for the identification card with out additional proof of identity. Since Susan seldom shops she is not in the "store's" computer and we have to show ID each time. Susan still tells me how to drive!

Name: Kay C.
Location: Florida
Date: 11/11/2012
Time: 09:47 AM


Our Mother, 81 now, has a Cateract and does not want to get the surgery to fix this. That is okay with us but now we have stopped her driving. Of course she is very upset about this. We have gotten the Doctors letter stating no more driving, however, mom is sneaking the car out when we are not around! :-( She has promised us no more driving but she has gone back on her promises, THREE TIMES!! So we hide the car key now so that other family/friends can use her car to take her places when need be. She insists on us hanging the car key up on the key ring however we say NO! She cries and says we don't Trust her! We say she has broken her trust on three different occasions! Needless to say she could hurt herself or Innocent people!! This is an ongoing issue EVERY SINGLE DAY!!! I am so tired of it....I don't want to be The BAD GUY, but it seems I am. I am holding Strong but other family members are saying just hang the key up! NO NO NO!!! It's just not right!! :-( Just wondering if anyone out there has any ideas or suggestions or positive words I can try with my mom???? She is not listening to the Doctor or the Division of Motor Vehicles etc. etc....She sneaks and is sly as a Fox! I wanted to return her car to the Dealership, however, family members and caretakers need to use it from time to time. I get phone calls from mom every single day asking for her Car Key!! I'm going CRAZY!! hahaha ;-) HELP????

Name: Jeffrey Adler
Location: Porter Ranch CA
Date: 11/11/2012
Time: 07:10 AM


My wife has early onset Alzheimer's. She is only 50. My daughter and I had a discussion and we talked about intermittent confusion. She agreed and handed over her key. She was a little angry for a day or two. Three weeks later we sold her car. She was bummed for a day.

Name: N.D.
Date: 11/09/2012
Time: 10:42 AM


This may or may not apply. Texas law states that if anyone has been unconscious, they cannot legally drive for six months without physician approval. (This could be used in the event of an automobile accident of some sort.) My husband had a cardiac arrest at home. After he had his defibrillator/pacemaker inserted, the doctor's nurse told us this in normal conversation. It was the only time we'd been made aware of this law. My husband has not had a problem giving up his driving privileges, even though it's been 18 months since his cardiac arrest. Now his mother was another story! I enjoy your newsletters and am very glad that a friend let me know of your publication(s).

Name: Janie Scott, MA, OT/L, FAOTA
Date: 11/09/2012
Time: 08:28 AM


Here are a few tips related to driving and driving cessation:

Contact an occupational therapist and request a driving assessment. Driving evaluations, on-road testing, and strategies to prolong safe driving may be recommended. The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) has information on Older Driver Safety at Visitors will find information geared to professionals and consumers. Examples of information in the consumer section include: help finding a Driving Rehab Specialist, Driver Safety tips, and ways that the individual can assess their own driver fitness. Retiring from driving is emotionally difficult for many people, especially when driving is a role that the individual has had for decades. Help create transportation options, e.g., ride-sharing and learning how to use public/community transportation. Some individuals with pre-existing conditions respond to information that involvement in a car crash can cause injury and sometimes death to themselves, may cause harm to their passengers and others, and that at-fault involvement in a crash may take away their savings and intended inheritances. Finally, some people are very attached to their cars and don't want to sell them or give them away to strangers. Donating the car to a good cause or to a young relative can make the senior feel better about giving up the car.

Name: Deb
Date: 11/08/2012
Time: 12:00 PM


In my case, we had to buy a new car and, strange as it seems, it only had one key. Somehow, we never got around to getting another. My husband seems content with being able to unlock the doors with the electronic remote. Also, prepare ahead. He is 23 years older than I am and I always knew there would come a time when I would have to take over on a lot of things, driving included. I began establishing myself as the main driver before it was ever an issue. The transition was much easier.

Hope that helps someone.

Location: PT. ST. LUCIE, FL
Date: 11/08/2012
Time: 10:20 AM


We never discussed with our mother the possibility that she would one day have to consider giving up the car. We knew that would create an argument. When she was in her late 80s, we made it a point to ride with her and observe her driving. We made sure not to criticize; we simply watched. When it became apparent that our mother was no longer a safe driver, we disabled the car. She went out one day to start it up and nothing happened. We told her we had the car towed away (the following morning while she was sleeping.) We had "the mechanic" call at a time where she would not answer the phone and had him explain on the answering machine that the problem was irreparable. Buying another car was not financially feasible and our mother was well aware of this. Fortunately the other car in the household was being used during the hours she would ordinarily want to use a car. In time she got used to being simply a passenger. Thankfully it was a peaceful transition.




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