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Old 07-06-2012, 08:04 AM
 
Location: Boca Raton, FL
5,176 posts, read 8,699,926 times
Reputation: 6199

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Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
Whenever anyone brings up the very elderly (not the young elderly) driving on public roads, others invariably bring up teens driving on the roads. So we never get anywhere, as the idea of targeting the very elderly is seen as discrimination. That is understandable. But for this debate/discussion to have any meaning within context, it should, imo, stay within context and not bring other factors into it. It's like saying we're going to do a study of how many times a day a cat has to eat and suddenly cats alone aren't good enough, we have to bring in dogs. It just kinda gets us nowhere. Not that there's any answer. All I can say is watch out in parking lots, stay far behind an ancient driver, and watch out for those lane drifters (yes, of any age).
My FIL will be 90 next month and still drives. Years ago, my husband swore he would handle it but he's getting soft on the issue. The parking lots scare me the most. NEG is right on this.

I notice a difference where my FIL lives. There is a large concentration of older people in his area and of the older population, I would say there is a very high concentration of older seniors 85 plus.
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Old 07-06-2012, 09:47 AM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,985,208 times
Reputation: 15649
I taught every one of my kids to drive at age 15 (so they'd know in an emergency and would be defensive drivers). I drilled into them three rules (that at get-togethers I still drill them on as they all laugh). One of them is: NEVER trust a blinker. If you're stopped at a crossing and the car to your left has a blinker on, as least 2 times out of 10 it's on because the driver doesn't know it's on. If you trust that s/he's going to really turn right and you go ahead, there is a collision in the making. Bicyclists need to heed this too, never trust a blinker. I've driven in cars with elders at the wheel who do not know it's on because they can not HEAR the blinker mechanism and are so unaware that they don't look at their dashboard that often to see the blinking light. I don't know how many times I've had to say "your blinker's on."
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Old 07-06-2012, 10:42 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,747,361 times
Reputation: 32309
Old people continuing to drive when they really shouldn't is only one component of a larger and more generalized problem, namely the problem of denial - denial that they are no longer fully capable of driving, keeping the house clean, managing their own finances, and so forth. Who among us would be eager to admit to those and similar shortcomings? But of course they are putting themselves and others at risk, and the problem is worse among old people who have been stubborn and cantankerous their whole lifetimes anyway; they continue to be stubborn or the stubborness gets even worse. Sometimes a negative event (automobile accident, money disappearing from the bank account) indicates a change is long overdue, but frequently the damage has already been done by that time. There is no good solution to all this; sometimes adult children need to be more assertive, but that is no guarantee of success. Going to court to obtain a guardianship costs money and is fraught with emotional peril - and there is no guarantee of success. (What if the old person is having an exceptionally good day mentally the day of the court hearing and makes a good impression on the judge? What if siblings do not agree on the approach to take?)
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Old 07-06-2012, 11:23 AM
 
5,090 posts, read 13,552,001 times
Reputation: 6928
One day my mailman, noticed my father of 88, driving around, erratically, looking for my house--in a panic. He notified me. That was the last time my father ever drove a car, as I convinced him to stop driving.

It was not difficult because he understood he was now having problems. His auto insurance rates were going up because of his age even though my father had a perfect driving record with no tickets for perhaps over 40 years. He was always a very safe driver. I explained to him, that his monetary worth would disappear in an instant, if he killed or severely injured someone, letting him know that the liability would exceed even his higher coverage insurance policy.

You primary concern should be for the harm caused by the driving of your aged parent. However, for those of who are expecting an inheritance, that estate will be gone if your aged parent, with poor driving skills, causes that severe accident. In addition, you could very well expect that a jury will award all your parent's estate, if there is no more surviving dependent spouse, to the victim or the aggrieved family; so as to take away any inheritance from the lazy children who did nothing to prevent the tragedy. Sometimes I think if there would be additional liability to the children with a failure to act. I would also suspect if there is a guardianship in place because the parent was not of sound mind, that the guardian, and most probably a son or daughter, can kiss their assets goodbye in a liability suit.

Now my father is 90 and he is not bothered by the lost of driving. He constantly talks about the money he is saving from the insurance and maintenance. Of course, he will remind me forever about his car he gave to me. My siblings and I, when I am able, drive him around for his needs In addition, public transit must be supported everywhere to provide options for the elderly to get them off the roads.

I want to point out that being elderly can be considered a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act for many problems from a failure to ambulate to a bus stop, to problems dealing with too cold or too hot weather, to confusions as getting to a place or not having the ability to understand schedules. Municipalities are required, and enforced by federal lawsuits and fines, to provide adequate transit for these elderly.

We have excellent public transit in Denver. For the above problems my father is now considered disabled; he cannot walk to the bus and gets confused. Now, he has access to the disability bus for pickup/return from his house. In addition, there are other transit services for the seniors that he can use. I would suggest strongly that you investigate these services for your aged parents.

Livecontent

Last edited by livecontent; 07-06-2012 at 12:02 PM..
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Old 07-06-2012, 11:42 AM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,745 posts, read 4,220,203 times
Reputation: 6866
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
Old people continuing to drive when they really shouldn't is only one component of a larger and more generalized problem, namely the problem of denial - denial that they are no longer fully capable of driving, keeping the house clean, managing their own finances, and so forth. Who among us would be eager to admit to those and similar shortcomings? But of course they are putting themselves and others at risk, and the problem is worse among old people who have been stubborn and cantankerous their whole lifetimes anyway; they continue to be stubborn or the stubbornness gets even worse. Sometimes a negative event (automobile accident, money disappearing from the bank account) indicates a change is long overdue, but frequently the damage has already been done by that time. There is no good solution to all this; sometimes adult children need to be more assertive, but that is no guarantee of success. Going to court to obtain a guardianship costs money and is fraught with emotional peril - and there is no guarantee of success. (What if the old person is having an exceptionally good day mentally the day of the court hearing and makes a good impression on the judge? What if siblings do not agree on the approach to take?)
In my state, the old person does not need to attend the hearing. Each "respondent" is provided an attorney who will advocate on behalf of his/her client. It doesn't matter if the house is disgusting or the senior is eating properly. That is the senior's choice and the court will NOT appoint a guardian for those reasons. That said, I'm not sure about the driving issue. Is an individual legally incompetent because the children believe the parent should not be driving? Probably not. I would not even consider going into court to petition for guardianship without proof that the parent's license was suspended. My plan is to tell the physician if I learn my father is driving - at that point she is legally obligated to inform the MVA that in her professional opinion, he should not be driving. Of course, the MVA is free to decide the senior is still able to drive and it frequently does so. I'm trying to head this off before we get to that point. We have stressed to him that the prohibition against driving is temporary, but he still insists "that woman" doesn't know what she's talking about. I'll probably tell him driving against medical advice will render him legally incompetent. Yes, that's probably BS, but whatever works.
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Old 07-06-2012, 11:59 AM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,985,208 times
Reputation: 15649
I've said this somewhere previously I think, but there was an incident here a few years ago a very elderly gent went off the road into a wooden fence. Being that elderly, with frail bones and all, he was severely hurt even though the accident was not all that bad. I think someone said he lost a front tooth too. He spent several months in hospital, and according to local heresay, was never able to go back to his own little home after that, he just went downhill from there. Trauma may have led to general confusion or perhaps dementia. He went into a SNF somewhere around here and may have died by now. I think this type of incidence is a major reason why very elderly people should not be driving. Of course this could have occurred with him as passenger, too. The very elderly have the potential for major injury whereas someone younger could take the hit and recover. I for one do NOT want to put myself at high risk for this kind of an ending. I already rarely drive after dark. In perhaps 5 years I will elect to stop driving, as that's my personal plan. I'm not very elderly, either. That's not to say that everyone under 80 or so should stop driving. But these things, along with what LiveContent says about inheritance being gone in a lawsuit, are major considerations.
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Old 07-06-2012, 12:07 PM
 
833 posts, read 1,472,545 times
Reputation: 764
I hear what you all are saying, but the phrase----"your inhiretance "---bugs the heck out of me.
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Old 07-06-2012, 12:09 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,985,208 times
Reputation: 15649
Quote:
Originally Posted by redwolf fan View Post
I hear what you all are saying, but the phrase----"your inhiretance "---bugs the heck out of me.
especially when it's spelled that way
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Old 07-06-2012, 12:13 PM
 
Location: NY
206 posts, read 474,994 times
Reputation: 317
I didn't read all of this thread, but most. I have seen and experienced everything that the rest of you have when it comes to older drivers. To me it's simple. Motor vehicle departments in each state test and regulate drivers their entire lives. Since renewals are now outlandishly long compared to back in the day, a simple driving test should be administered to everyone regardless of age.

I'm in my late 70's and some of the "old folks" out on the road scare me to death. How about bearing down on you behind the wheel of bus sized RV!

The saddest of all is, of course, seeing an older person wandering around a parking lot. We all lose track of where we park at times, but I mean the ones who truly don't know where they are or where they're going.
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Old 07-06-2012, 12:29 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,985,208 times
Reputation: 15649
Quote:
Originally Posted by gggjfg View Post
The saddest of all is, of course, seeing an older person wandering around a parking lot. We all lose track of where we park at times, but I mean the ones who truly don't know where they are or where they're going.
That would be ME, lol, and I'm not even 65 yet. It is so embarrassing to come out of a store bearing bags and wandering the rows trying to look nonchalant and panicking as your car is nowhere to be found. I think I;m going to have to affix a plastic flower or pompom to my antenna, and start wearing the big purple hat for full effect.
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