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Ideas For 87 Year Old Driver

Eightyseven year old Mom, three light strokes last winter,recovered completely except weak. Good mind ,drives, but gets nervous in traffic. I'm disabled-migraines every time I'm out long. I feel she is trying to protect me by driving herself. I won't interfere, yet want to be there for her. Ideas?

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 ---Darlene_1 on 7/25/05
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If you are financially able, hire someone to drive you and your mom on errands and other trips, as needed. There are state run programs like Metro lift in Texas, dont know if they are elsewhere. They will give rides to doctors appt, grocery stores, to church etc. Home healthcare services are also available to your mom and you ,if you are over 65 yrs old. Home aide worker will come in, do lite housekeeping, make a meal, run a few errands on a daily basis. The agency pays them a small fee.
---Robyn on 6/13/07


I'd simply explain my concerns, and it may be that she enjoys being able to do it for herself, so you might insist when she declines to find out.

Nervous in traffic isn't always a bad thing.

All said I'd shoot straight and be real about it explaining that you really want to help her.
---Pharisee on 6/12/07


One thing you can do is look up your closest Elderly organization (We have Eldersource here). A lot of them actually test older people for the ability to see, react, respond, as well as give them a road test. The will be very open if Mom is unable to safely drive. 5-6 years ago, my wife was rear ended by an 80 year old woman who "did see the car stopped in front of her." Dont be afraid to take her license and her car away from her if she is not safe.
---NurseRobert on 8/18/05


this worked for a friend whose father needed to stop driving because of failing sight. She called the local highway patrol and explained the situation. They sent him a letter asking him to be tested for his license. He failed the test and was off the road, but he never knew she had anything to do with it. He was safe and family harmony was preserved.
---Annie on 8/18/05


Thank you all for your input,it has been helpful.Pharisee,I had never thought about the nervousness being something to help her be more alert, good point.To all who suggested help;Mom pays a lady who cleans and takes her to buy groceries but she makes too much to qualify for any kind of aid.She's been tested by physical therapist,body and mind, who released her to drive.She tires but can take care of herself well .She's been the perfect mother I just don't want to let her down.Thanks for the support.
---Darlene_1 on 7/27/05




Talk to her. Let her know that you appreciate the help, but that you don't want her driving anymore. There are buses, taxis, neighbors, friends, electric wheelchairs/scooters. Plenty of reasons neither of you should have to drive. Grab them yellow pages and find what you prefer best. Ask your local government if the city offers transportation for the elderly. They have a free bus service where I'm from. Picks you up at the front door and everything!
---Katie on 7/26/05


Hire a mothers helper part time and if you cannot afford one the state or county should help to pay for that for medical reasons or ask for volunteers thru church.
---Audrey on 7/26/05


I had a stroke last January. I am only 38. have a bright mind, am a mother etc. My Dr. is concerned about safety with me driving and has voiced that soon they may not allow me a license. Sometimes we just have to accept that our bodies are tired. My dad is 76 and he no longer drives. It is not a bad thing Just something you have to adjust into your lives. Itis better to be safe than to take a risk each time you go out. if she is nervous in traffic that is a sign that safety could be a problem.
---shaz on 7/26/05


My mother also had many mini strokes last year then she had the big one it has left her left side parlyzed and on a feeding tube i would suggest to you that she not drive at all for her body is telling her to slow down. My Mommy is 83 and a mom of 10 children,,,,,but she is doing pretty good and still has her mind she is a miracle to still be here. I pray that your mom is blessed to be w/ you many more God Bless.
---LEA on 7/26/05


Darlene, that's a tricky one. Of course you want her to be as independent as possible, but the inevitable will happen...eventually she won't (or shouldn't) be able to drive. For everyone's safety, her doctor should request a driving test and a report sent to him and HE should make the determination...her mind may be sharp but the stroke may have slowed her reaction time, and only a test can determine that. I remember how painful it was going through this with my parents. My heart goes out to you!
---Ginger on 7/26/05




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