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Old 10-21-2006, 09:16 AM   #1
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Age and Driving

Dear Caregivers,

I've been following the case of a man who killed 10 people when he plowed into a crowd at a farmer's market. He is 89, I think. Obviously he should not be driving a car, and some people are now speaking of banning all older drivers. I think, as a 67 year old, I would be willing to take written and driving tests , have my doctor attest to my mental health, and have my vision checked as often as the state felt was necessary. I feel sorry for the old man - he certainly did not plan to go out and kill people.

This ought to be a warning to people whose relatives have AD and still drive. This could happen to them too! He has not yet been sentenced.

Love,

Martha

 
Old 10-21-2006, 12:06 PM   #2
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Re: Age and Driving

Oh Martha, how awful ..

But isn't that what we've been trying to say? Yes, Yes, YES !!!

I know my Dad was driving up until his dying day .. he was 89.5 .. cognitively FINE, still volunteering at Meals on Wheels and the Yacht club .. and yeah ok .. he was a picture of health and fighting fit ... but even HE knew his reflexes weren't that good anymore, and the driving authority here had restricted him to driving in a 15km radius from home (which wasn't QUITE enough to get to the shops) ... he didn't like the restriction, but he accepted it as part of getting old'ish (old'ish .. don't ya just love it? .. The man was almost 90 and he classified himself as old'ish)

I guess our AD charges are under the illusion that they are perfectly FINE (thankyou very much) but that's all it is .. an illusion, and I know it breaks their heart to lose part of their independence, but look at the cost if we go along with their illusion !!

People can DIE !!!!

That's the scary part .. and no matter how often we give an excuse, it's not a REASON y'know? Yes, they will be upset .. but so will the families of the people that are killed !!!! Yes, they will lose their independence, but look at what the families have lost !!! And yeah .. it's probably going to be a bit of a burden driving them around .. but look what you can SAVE !!!

Having been in the position of having to take away a licence, and feeling like a right mongrel doing it (that's a bad thing for those who don't know aussie speak) I knew in my heart of hearts, that no matter how much my charge hated me for doing it, that I had done the right thing ...

That's the bottom line people .. doing the right thing.

Thanks for the article Martha .. !

 
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Old 10-21-2006, 02:37 PM   #3
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Re: Age and Driving

Our doctor told my husband that he should not drive and this was when he was first diagnosed. For some reason he does everything the doctor tells him. I wish he would tell him to stay in bed all night!

 
Old 10-21-2006, 10:30 PM   #4
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Re: Age and Driving

Hi All,

Just had to jump in! My dad was told by his doctors not to drive anymore. This was about a year ago. I think that my mom used to let him drive home from the fix it shop (car), about 4 blocks there and 4 blocks back. But, it was on a very busy main road, part of the way!

I think (not positive), that he has not driven in at least 6 mo. He still has his drivers license and keys to the car - if he can find them. So, I still am not comfortable that he will not get a hair sometime and think that he can drive (ya know, feeling so good from his pacemaker). At least their truck is broken and will not run/start. We could fix it, but so far, with my moms blessing, it is sitting in their driveway, not driveable!

He asked her the other day, "why can W and F drive and I cannot?" W is my 91 year old FIL, who was told by his drs. not to drive and that lasted about 2 weeks, about a year ago. His son (my husband) and his 18 yrs. younger 2nd wife (likes to drive around in her own van/that used to be his), do not stop him, so there he goes and has dings all over his car and garage!!! A is the neighbor across the street (whos wife does not drive) who is 91 also! His drs. probably told him not to drive, he just got out of a NH from a wreck he had!!! No ticket even! And my FIL cheated on his last drivers test. He told us that!!! My poor dad just cannot understand and probably thinks that it is just not fair!

Now, my mom needs to quit driving. Needs a couple of tickets to get her license taken away. She was on probation about a year ago - 3 tickets in 2 months!!! But, they would have to move, if they had no car. My mom would go bonkers, if she had to stay at home until my niece, my husband or me took them somewhere!!!!! :>

I know, that they can back out of their driveway and run over someone. Just like that! But, I do not think there is anything I can do about my FIL.

Take care and drive safe!

Love, Wannabe

 
Old 10-22-2006, 06:31 AM   #5
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Re: Age and Driving

We made my FIL give up driving a few years back, when he was 80. He got to where he was getting lost out driving and also said he almost had a wreck a few times. Once when I went over to his apt. he was having a "spell" (mini stroke) and was totally out of his mind - and yet he was looking for his car keys! That is when I said - enough is enough! We told him that he might get in a wreck and get sued and there goes all his money! WE took his car and sold it (he let us, but he fussed a lot about it). We ordered him meals on wheels and I took him on errands, and so did my Mom ( who lived in the same apt. complex back then). It all worked out. Now he is in a senior apt. complex and just walks down the hall for lunch, hair cut, mail....plus, they clean his room and do his laundry! It's a sweet deal! He really likes it and has made friends. It adjoins the nursing home. It's really reasonably priced too. I still take him to the store, but they do have a van that takes the folks, if he needs it. He has friends that take him out twice a week when they are able. I just feel that the person who has mini strokes, or AD should not be allowed to drive anymore. It's just too dangerous. Good luck to all, I know it's not easy taking that independence away from them. My FIL still talks about it. He's 86 now, and just hates to be a burden to us (which he's not). Cindy

 
Old 10-22-2006, 12:49 PM   #6
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Re: Age and Driving

Thankfully I think we're over this stage. Dad still has his car but hasn't driven it in more than a year from what I've been told. My sister keeps telling him the radiator leaks (it did but it's been fixed).

My sister says he doesn't even ask about driving anymore but she throws in these "broken" comments every once in a while to keep him from trying.

I'm going to visit him a month from now. I can't wait to see him but I'm a little worried about how much worse he's gotten in the 16 months since I've seen him. I can't believe it's been that long. I remember posting to you all telling you that he was going to my sister's house and how I didn't think he was going to stay long before she shipped him back up to me. I think it was BarbaraH who said I shouldn't let her bring him back, that I needed the break. Boy was she right!

Have to do a WalMart run now. Ds is very sick today. He called off both of his jobs which he HATES to miss. Have to get him some more meds and a pair of shoes. He ruined his shoes working with the cows and horses on the farm where he works. So time for new school shoes.

Poor kid goes to school full time and is working two jobs and volunteering at our local tv station on top of that. He worked 17 hours outside between his two jobs yesterday and he felt terrible yesterday too. I never thought I'd say this but I'm glad these two jobs will be over after Halloween. Then he can rest.

Poor kid looks like he's wiped out.

He just added Gatoraide to my list. I'd better go now.

Love, Barb
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Old 10-22-2006, 01:09 PM   #7
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Re: Age and Driving

It must be real difficult to be told your not fit to drive. BUT, being told not to and the motor vechicle department knowing you are not fit to keep your driving privelage are 2 seperate things. If/when the Dr. says no more driving here in NY the Dr. fills out a form and sends it to the DMV letting them know that due to a medical condition the person can no longer drive. I hope in other states they have simular situations, for the safety of all .

 
Old 10-22-2006, 10:23 PM   #8
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Re: Age and Driving

Hi All,

My mom will not sell their truck, because if she had a wreck of their car had to go in the shop, she could get the truck fixed in nothing flat! But, she told me I could not take it home and drive it. I used to borrow it, when my husband came in with me to see his dad and then went home early. Well, I stay most of the day. It is just a small old pick up, and I would feel much better if it was gone.

Barb, you are right about you needing to rest for awhile. With your health and job, plus you are still raising a family. I do hope you get to see your dad, tho. I imagine you miss him.

Love, Wannabe

 
Old 10-24-2006, 06:07 AM   #9
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Re: Age and Driving

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha H
Dear Caregivers,

I've been following the case of a man who killed 10 people when he plowed into a crowd at a farmer's market. He is 89, I think. Obviously he should not be driving a car, and some people are now speaking of banning all older drivers. I think, as a 67 year old, I would be willing to take written and driving tests , have my doctor attest to my mental health, and have my vision checked as often as the state felt was necessary. I feel sorry for the old man - he certainly did not plan to go out and kill people.

This ought to be a warning to people whose relatives have AD and still drive. This could happen to them too! He has not yet been sentenced.

Love,

Martha
My 92 year old mother died early this year.Mom was still driving,she should not have been.I tried talking to her,that did no good.I called her insurance company,the police department and the state she lived in.No one could offer any help with this driving problem.I thank god every day she never caused an accident.She was very strong willed.

 
Old 10-24-2006, 06:08 AM   #10
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Re: Age and Driving

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha H
Dear Caregivers,

I've been following the case of a man who killed 10 people when he plowed into a crowd at a farmer's market. He is 89, I think. Obviously he should not be driving a car, and some people are now speaking of banning all older drivers. I think, as a 67 year old, I would be willing to take written and driving tests , have my doctor attest to my mental health, and have my vision checked as often as the state felt was necessary. I feel sorry for the old man - he certainly did not plan to go out and kill people.

This ought to be a warning to people whose relatives have AD and still drive. This could happen to them too! He has not yet been sentenced.

Love,

Martha
My 92 year old mother died early this year.Mom was still driving,she should not have been.I tried talking to her,that did no good.I called her insurance company,the police department and the state she lived in.No one could or would offer any help with this driving problem.I thank god every day she never caused an accident.She was very strong willed.I think your right testing is needed every so often for everyone.

Last edited by smarkin; 10-24-2006 at 06:12 AM. Reason: adding to post

 
Old 10-24-2006, 08:07 AM   #11
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Re: Age and Driving

It really does need to be watched! Dad was of sound mind (just wouldn't take no for an answer), but he had a heart condition. He was 88 and had several single car accidents, the last one was in the early afternoon when he hit a parked car and broke several bones. We are not sure if he had a heart attack because of the accident or the other way around, but he had another in the hospital and passed away. The really stupid thing about all of this was that he had a lunch meeting that included my brother and they took separate cars, my brother was right behind him and saw the crash. At least he didn't hurt anyone else.

 
Old 10-24-2006, 02:57 PM   #12
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Re: Age and Driving

The driving thing is very maddening! When we took away my mother's license (told her she couldn't drive anymore) she was relieved. We lived back yard to backyard from each other. One afternoon, she came over to my house and asked my daughter, who was 13 at the time, if she would open the garage door for her. She was on her way to pick up my dad at the golf course. My daughter and Mom walked thru the backyard to their house and Rena discovered that grandma had the car running in the garage, but didn't know how to open the garage door! (I wasn't home from school yet.) I have to admit I have blocked out what happened after that, but we told her not to drive anymore and she didn't.

On the other hand, my FIL has had his license removed by the state and has been told that there is no insurance or coverage if he gets in a wreck or hurts anyone while driving.....to no avail. They could lose everything, but he doesn't get it! MIL can't or won't stop him. I decided that I was going to go to the local police dept. and inform them of the situation. They know him from the many "rescue calls" they have had to make, plus he used to service their overhead doors.

I haven't had to make that call as the last three weeks he has started to fill with fluid and has difficulty walking. He passed out for about 5 or 6 minutes due to the fluid....was in the hospital a couple of days, but checked himself out. He still is in bad shape due to the fluid retension. MIL and DH's siblings are in denial about his condition. He can barely breathe and the Lasix isn't working. He should be heading to the bathroom at least twice an hour and he goes for hours and hours without urinating. This is the only reason he is not driving....because he can't walk to the truck!

I don't think he can last with so much fluid around his heart and in his abdomen. He sounds gurgle-ly. His legs feel like he has a cast on. He has gained over 50 pounds!!!! (in 3 weeks)... The heart doctor knows he won't stay in the hospital and knows MIL won't say he's incompetant to make him.. If he won't stay for treatment and if MIL won't make him by signing the form that he can no longer make that decision...I can't see (and obvioulsy either can the doctor) putting him in the hospital where he torments the help, pulls out the IV's, rants and raves and makes everyone miserable.

He wants to die. He doesn't want to go to the hospital. I don't blame him. He knows there is something wrong (AD) and he'd rather just die with this heart condition. I am the only one (besides my husband) who acknowledges this. Even after going to heart doctor yesterday...MIL said he had gained weight because he just sits in a chair all day!

So every night, I set clothes out and am ready for the call.

Getting back to the driving thing, most states have forms for the doctor to fill out. Just go to the DMV and ask. Or go on-line... that's what I did and it's anonymous. But if they still drive, you have to go to the local police dept. If FIL gets his legs back, that's what I'm doing. I can't live with knowing he could kill someone.

Prayers continue to go out to all the board....even when I don't make comments to what going on with everyone...I still read the posts and pray for you all!
Choquis

 
Old 10-24-2006, 04:48 PM   #13
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Re: Age and Driving

Dear Choquis,

Your dad sounds like he has congestive heart failure. It isn't enough just to give him Lasix ... and who knows, perhaps he is pretending to swallow the pills but hiding them somewhere.

My Mom went to the hospital with congestive heart failure in May of 2003. At that time, except for minor memory loss, she was completely normal in the mind. Her lungs were filling up with water. They saved her life with heroic measures (breathing machine, etc.) Later she signed a health proxy saying she does NOT want heroic measures again.

But she has lived 3.5 years longer and going strong - with several different heart/ water/ blood pressure/ circulation drugs.

To be brutally honest, I wonder sometimes if it wasn't meant to be that she would pass on that day. They said if my brother had taken her to the hospital half an hour later, they might not have been able to save her. Sooo, she went down the Dementia path and wound up in the NH ... but I guess really, when I think of how happy she was on her birthday, I am glad she is still around.

Yet I fully accept your dad's wish to go. I think it ought to be up to the individual if they want certain treatments or not. Back in 1977 my dad refused chemotherapy which could have prolonged his life. He said no, I am ready to go. Who knows what was best? He was 74 and had lung and liver cancer. The treatment was supposed to prolong his life by 6 months. He said, "what for?"

Love,

Martha

Last edited by Martha H; 10-27-2006 at 03:28 PM.

 
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