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 I have no clue what to do.... 
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Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2007 4:28 pm
Posts: 741
Location: LA
Post Re: I have no clue what to do....
At age 88, I have received a new license for four more years. I drove away from the Drivers License Bureau saying to myself, "Stupid people!!". When I leave home in the car, which is seldom, I map my route to travel with traffic lights but mostly I ride with others. I never drive on the interstate anymore. Yes, I am glad I can go to the post office, church, bank, drug store, or doctors offices for my checkups, but mostly I fit real good in the passenger side of my kid's cars. I started driving before I was 12 years old. I learned how in a car that needed to be cranked to start. Driver's licenses were non existing and unheard of.

Yes, my children have promised to stop me when they think I am a danger to myself or to others. I think I will know. My trips are becoming fewer and fewer.

Dorthea

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"See this lady she's 85 but she's nice" When I joined in 2007 this is the way Mr B. introduced me to the people only he knew,he added "You need to listen to her" he was 89 then, death due to Lewy Body Dementia/pneumonia in 2009.


Sat Mar 12, 2011 10:44 pm
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3378
Location: Vermont
Post Re: I have no clue what to do....
Dorthea - you are one great lady! I think it's a little crazy to renew drivers' licenses for that long too, once people are over maybe 80 or 85. My dad's was renewed FOR TEN YEARS when he was about 85 or 86. Can you believe that? Lynn

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Lynn, daughter of 89 year old dad dx with possiblity of LBD, CBD, PSP, FTD, ALS, Vascular Dementia, AD, etc., died Nov. 30, 2010 after living in ALF for 18 months.


Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:22 pm
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Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:53 am
Posts: 969
Location: Ocala, FL
Post Re: I have no clue what to do....
It's hard to judge the point at which someone should stop doing something. My mother, who died in September at almost 105, was still babysitting great grandchildren into her 90s. She was healthy and quite capable. She also took care of our dying dad at home when she was 96. (He was younger than she was and he died at 92.)

I've got pretty good genes.

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Leone Carroll (75); wife of Dale (75) who passed away March 23, 2011


Sun Mar 13, 2011 6:25 am
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
Posts: 3213
Location: WA
Post Re: I have no clue what to do....
I don't think any of us implied that age was the issue. The issue is driving with dementia.

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Pat [68] married to Derek [84] for 38 years; husband dx PDD/LBD 2005, probably began 2002 or earlier; late stage and in a SNF as of January 2011. Hospitalized 11/2/2013 and discharged to home Hospice. Passed away at home on 11/9/2013.


Sun Mar 13, 2011 9:16 am
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3378
Location: Vermont
Post Re: I have no clue what to do....
And, there are always exceptions. I don't know a lot of people who, as they age, develop (or maintain) better reflexes, better vision, better ability to judge distance and greater stamina. I don't mean to sound mean or say that every single person who is over a certain age shouldn't drive, but I do think that the natural aging process for the majority of people dictates some changes in the process of re-granting the PRIVILEGE of driving. An eye, written and driving test every so often just makes sense to me from a safety standpoint. Lynn

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Lynn, daughter of 89 year old dad dx with possiblity of LBD, CBD, PSP, FTD, ALS, Vascular Dementia, AD, etc., died Nov. 30, 2010 after living in ALF for 18 months.


Last edited by LTCVT on Sun Mar 13, 2011 12:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:36 am
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Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:53 am
Posts: 969
Location: Ocala, FL
Post Re: I have no clue what to do....
mockturtle wrote:
I don't think any of us implied that age was the issue. The issue is driving with dementia.
That's true, Pat... but when you are 75, everyone thinks you are 'over the hill.' :lol: And maybe a little crazy too......

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Leone Carroll (75); wife of Dale (75) who passed away March 23, 2011


Sun Mar 13, 2011 12:03 pm
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
Posts: 3213
Location: WA
Post Re: I have no clue what to do....
My mom still drives her stick-shift Nissan to the store and the library and she's 85. She knows her limitations and wouldn't take it on the freeway or drive it in a major city. Nor does she drive at night.

_________________
Pat [68] married to Derek [84] for 38 years; husband dx PDD/LBD 2005, probably began 2002 or earlier; late stage and in a SNF as of January 2011. Hospitalized 11/2/2013 and discharged to home Hospice. Passed away at home on 11/9/2013.


Sun Mar 13, 2011 12:06 pm
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Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:53 am
Posts: 969
Location: Ocala, FL
Post Re: I have no clue what to do....
Smart lady, Pat. I don't like to drive at night either. The only time I do it is when I've rented a car in California. On the last trip, I almost had an accident. I read a sign wrong.

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Leone Carroll (75); wife of Dale (75) who passed away March 23, 2011


Sun Mar 13, 2011 12:10 pm
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3378
Location: Vermont
Post Re: I have no clue what to do....
Or, we start becoming invisible to younger folks. Anyone else notice this phenomenon? I am starting to notice it..... and I just turned 61! It stinks. Lynn

_________________
Lynn, daughter of 89 year old dad dx with possiblity of LBD, CBD, PSP, FTD, ALS, Vascular Dementia, AD, etc., died Nov. 30, 2010 after living in ALF for 18 months.


Sun Mar 13, 2011 12:19 pm
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Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 5:46 pm
Posts: 610
Post Re: I have no clue what to do....
About two years before her LBD diagnosis, my mother (whose doctor had already diagnosed "dementia") was having trouble driving. She thought she was just fine to drive, but people in our small town started reporting her near misses to me! I asked her doctor what to do, and the next time she had an appointment, the doctor told my mother she should not drive and why. My mother accepted it only because of her great respect for the doctor but knew I was behind it and bitterly resented me. I took her wrath because I knew it was better than letting her injure herself or others. It was not fun at all, but very necessary.

I am fortunate that my father does not have dementia and also is more realistic about his abilities--quit doing amateur sports car racing in his 60s because he knew his reflexes were slowing down, turned in his pilot's license at 70 even though he was still passing the physicals, and at 89 limits his driving to local streets because he doesn't trust his reflexes at higher speeds anymore. At least I won't have to facilitate taking his driver license away. I am sure he will know when it's time.

Everyone is different but I think at least those with any degree of dementia need their families to step in because more than likely they will not have the insight to stop driving when they should.

Julianne


Sun Mar 13, 2011 12:32 pm
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
Posts: 3213
Location: WA
Post Re: I have no clue what to do....
And with LBD they often exhibit severe visuospatial deficits even when their memory and other cognitive skills are intact. This was my husband's first driving issue which I noticed but he denied. He would crowd the center line to the point that oncoming traffic would sometimes honk at him. He insisted he was NOT, of course, just as straight was crooked to him and crooked was straight. His vision also fluctuated between good and very poor. Ask yourself how you would feel if your LO killed a child? At an AD support group in AZ I learned that over half of the members' LOs were still driving. Very scary. IMHO, the doctors need to step up to the plate on this issue and not leave the onus of restraint on the family.

_________________
Pat [68] married to Derek [84] for 38 years; husband dx PDD/LBD 2005, probably began 2002 or earlier; late stage and in a SNF as of January 2011. Hospitalized 11/2/2013 and discharged to home Hospice. Passed away at home on 11/9/2013.


Sun Mar 13, 2011 12:43 pm
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3378
Location: Vermont
Post Re: I have no clue what to do....
In some places, you can ask the police or sheriff to request that your LO have a driving test. My sister went to one of my dad's neighbor's, a local sheriff and asked him to request that my dad have a driving test, on the basis that he had received word that dad was having some driving issues. We don't know if that is why my dad supposedly had a driver's test, but he did (about 3 years ago), and it was only the written test!!! That's when they renewed his license for 10 years! We were just apalled, and it became my responsibility to take the keys away because no one else would do it. Very difficult, but right before I did this, he drove a bunch of people to a Sunday breakfast, left the car in neutral by mistake, and the car nearly ran over an elderly friend getting out of the back door of his car. The car proceeded to roll, and without the quick thinking and movement of my sister, the car would have run over the woman and gone into a concrete ditch. This was 2 miles from home, and this was before we were told by his dr. he had dementia, about 6 weeks before The Big Decline. But we had wanted him to stop driving a year or two earlier because his driving was erratic. We were all very, very lucky. Lynn

_________________
Lynn, daughter of 89 year old dad dx with possiblity of LBD, CBD, PSP, FTD, ALS, Vascular Dementia, AD, etc., died Nov. 30, 2010 after living in ALF for 18 months.


Sun Mar 13, 2011 1:19 pm
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Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 5:46 pm
Posts: 610
Post Re: I have no clue what to do....
I heard reports of my mother's erratic driving and that was enough for me. I didn't even discuss it with her first because I knew she would resist. It is fortunate that the doctor was willing to step in and my mother respected her enough not to argue. It is a very unpleasant task but imagine saying nothing and allowing your LO to cause a tragedy.

Julianne


Sun Mar 13, 2011 1:41 pm
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Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:07 pm
Posts: 1039
Location: Minnesota
Post Re: I have no clue what to do....
We faced the issue twice. Ten years before Lewy, Coy fell off a ladder onto a concrete floor. Neighbors did CPR. The closed head injury kept him hospitalized 5 weeks and right up to the week he was released no one was certain whether he would recover his cognitive abilities. He did. But, enough to drive? That was the question. There is a nonprofit service organization here called Courage Center that tests people with handicaps to determine whether they can safely drive and if some adaptations to the vehicle would be useful. They test reflexes, reaction times, etc. and perform behind the wheel driving tests. Coy passed. They advised him to avoid rush hour traffic, to park in ways to minimize the need for backing out of tight spaces, and to be extremely careful to observe speed limits. So he continued driving until Lewy made that unsafe.

Loss of driving was his major (very major) complaint. I think he went through mourning for it. He didn't blame me and he didn't blame the doctor who said she was "required" to report it. He asked the doctor if she would write a letter saying he was fit to drive. She said yes, she would do that if he passed the Courage Center evaluation. She said she didn't know what the state would do, but she'd write the letter. She knew, of course, that he would never pass the evaluation, and in fact we never tried and he never tried to insist on it. Agreeing to write the letter on his behalf was a good way for his doctor to show that she was on his side. He understood that she had to follow rules.

A social worker suggested that Coy get a "personal mobility vehicle" -- an electric cart. My first thought was, "Are you out of your mind!!" But we got one. We'd been renting one to tour the state fair for several years, and he used them in places where they were provided, like gorcery stores and the zoo, so he was used to them and wasn't learning a new skill. It went a long way toward getting him out of the no-driving depression. It restored a little sense of independence. He can go to get a haircut by himself. He can go to the library and the drug store. It comes apart and fits in my trunk so we have our own to take to the fair and on similar outings. I would never have thought of it on my own, but it turned out to be a very good investment.

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Jeanne, 68 cared for husband Coy, 86. RBD for 30+ years; LDB since 2003, Coy at home, in early stage, until death in 2012


Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:43 pm
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3378
Location: Vermont
Post Re: I have no clue what to do....
The Courage Center - what a great idea!
You're lucky you live in a place where he can take himself in his power cart and do some things to maintain his independence.
I'm sure I will not be too happy the day I can't drive any more, but maybe I can figure out how to do the things I need to without my own wheels before that happens. It is a huge loss, especially in this culture where driving is such a way of life and so many of us live too far from the grocery stores, dr. offices, etc. to walk or ride our bikes, or the weather is too bad for doing so. Lynn

_________________
Lynn, daughter of 89 year old dad dx with possiblity of LBD, CBD, PSP, FTD, ALS, Vascular Dementia, AD, etc., died Nov. 30, 2010 after living in ALF for 18 months.


Sun Mar 13, 2011 3:08 pm
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