Sometimes I Feel Like a Piece of Bologna

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Assessing Driving Skills of Aging Parents

My mom is still able to drive and that’s a mixed blessing. It allows her the freedom to live on her own in a town where she now has no family. She can even drive at night, which is also a mixed blessing. The mixed part is that she still feels pretty invincible. Since Dad’s death a few weeks ago, she keeps threatening to drive back to Kansas to visit her few remaining childhood friends. A reasonable desire, to be sure. But do I want my 86-year-old mother driving alone halfway across the country? No way!

Frankly, I dread the day when I’m no longer comfortable with her driving (and I check that every time I visit) because I have no idea how we’ll handle it. It will almost definitely necessitate a move, and possibly one to another town where she has someone who can keep an eye on her. A bridge I’m sure we’ll need to cross in the next year or so to keep both her and the rest of the world around her safe.

The Arizona City News has an article called “How to begin that conversation about driving with aging parents” that looks like it probably originated from AARP. It offers some good tips for those of us facing this issue.

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2 comment(s):

My sister and I were starting to wonder about my mom's driving. At age 87 she had still driven across two states to my daughter's graduation. I think she was OK then. At her home, she had a daily routine of driving, but she stuck to a route of slow, no traffic, two lane roads. She drove herself to the YMCA for pool-exercise even the day her friends made her go to the ER because she wasn't feeling well. She was SENT HOME! Drove by herself! The doctor missed congestive heart failure, but that was picked up at a different ER when my sister took her there.

Then mom had a stroke. She knew she couldn't live at home any more "because of the car." Meaning: she wasn't able to drive anymore.

By Blogger P.S. an after-thought, at 5:25 AM  

One way to make giving up the keys less painful is to have alternatives ready. Calling Rides In Sight makes that possible. It's a free hotline that helps people find local senior transportation anywhere in the U.S. The number is 1-855-60-RIDES.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:32 PM  

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