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She now faces homicide charges... Imagine your parent in prison, when this could have been avoided.

Take the keys and car away and make yourself or someone available to transport elder to appts. or errands..

So sad!!

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That sounds like very, very serious ignorance on the part of people who should know better. I am glad at least the hearing examiner knew better!

Voluntary rather than mandatory reporting, at least in theory, lets people with good judgment use it - and my state is voluntary. I would have the *option* to report someone I thought would be dangerous behind the wheel and did not care enough about themselves or others for whatever reason to refrain. I have not actually had to ever do this, but bear in mind that I am in the pediatric not the geriatric arena professionally and I think at least one or two of our pediatric neurologists (I"m a PM&R doc) have. The other truth in this situation is that poorly controlled heart disease and diabetes pose about the same degree of risk as epilepsy but they are more common and people tend not to think about them the same way....
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Tying someone a bed just b/c you had epilepsy - wow, that's REALLY barbaric, and overreacting as well as in my opinion a deprivation of your freedom and health care rights. If you presented in an epileptic mode that would have been different, but even as a caution it still seems to be overreaction. I'm sorry you had to endure such an experience and hope you gave them a stern lecture before you left!
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vstefans - however, someone with epilepsy who reports to their dr that they've had a single seizure will have their license revoked in most states, because the dr is required to report to the state that they have had a seizure.

I have epilepsy, but have not had a seizure since 1984. When I first moved to CA, I was having heart issues. I was in the hospital for those heart issues. He brought a neurologist in to meet me and suggested I try a new med out at the time for epilepsy that could help me lost weight. I agreed. When I started going to that neurologist, even though at that time it had been over 15 yrs since I'd had a seizure, I was reported to the DMV. I had my license suspended until I could go in and explain to them that I hadn't had any seizures in 15 yrs, at which point the examiner wanted to know why we were holding a hearing. The next time I went in the hospital a male night nurse looked at my chart, saw I had epilepsy and tied me to the bedrails so I wouldn't fall out if I had a seizure (even though my last one had been 15 yrs prior. People are barbaric about the disease. I prefer not to report.
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FF as I remember, the woman who plowed into the crowd at Oklahoma State U was drunk, another category of dangerous drivers.
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Teens and over-80 are both high risk age groups, but evaluations should be individual. I can't recommend a good specialized OT behind-the-wheel evaluation when there is doubt strongly or often enough. Some people give up driving when they would be fine, others keep going until tragedies happen. You can get a state ID that's not a DL, and heck, even my Mom got a DL because we needed it right away for a plane trip and the guy knew I would not be having her drive.

The other thing to realize is that voluntary reporting serves a purpose - people with epilepsy with well-controlled seizures can drive, and need to know they can come clean to their doc about a single seizure due to missing meds or something and decide for themselves when they are on an even keel again rather than wait the usual 6 or 12 months stipulated in state law. BTW, most accidents involving people with epilepsy are caused by....

Speeding.
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Well....I have to weigh in w/Maggie and NYDIL on this.....just based on my personal experience w/my Mom. My sibs and I probably spent 3 years trying to convince Mom to give up driving.....it always ended in a raging argument w/Mom insisting she was an excellent driver. Truth be told, she was never excellent even when young .... she talks w/her hands.....she would turn fully around while plowing down the street, so she could look back seat passengers in the face as she spoke to them....and this was when I was a teenager! So.....in fact, she was always a "lucky" driver. Well, for Mom's 90th B'Day we kids threw her a magnificent party. The day before Mom and I made a short trip to the CVS, in a strip mall maybe 1 mile away. I let Mom drive. As we turned into the mall, I saw a truck backing out of a parking space.....realized Mom wasn't slowing down....said, "Stop, Mom!"....no reaction..."Stop! Stop the car!"....Nooooo......Well, the Good News is that it was a low speed, low impact collision....just minor paint scrapes. Bad News? Mom told everyone it was my fault.....because I didn't tell her WHY TO STOP the car! Guess that big, red truck backing out in front of you wasn't enough of a clue, right, Mom?!
Further irony: 2 days after Mom's 90th B'Day I was helping her go thru her mail, pay bills, etc. Found the notice from weeks earlier: Mom's DL had expired on her B'Day. Mom had done nothing about it. It required a vision test and Mom tried to convince me she could do this w/a pair of $10 WalMart readers! No way! Mom!
Mom's excellent geriatrician had diagnosed her a year earlier w/MCI. I called him (have Med POA) and he agreed to tell her she had to give up the DL. It worked and I wasn't the "know nothing, arrogant kid and " bad guy". We arranged several options for Mom to get wherever, whenever....sold the car.
But here's the finale: several weeks later Mom gets a renewed DL in the mail....WTH?! Yessss, the politicians in the great state of FL know their largest voter base....and they aren't going to do anything (including mandatory driver tests for DL renewal at age 90) to pi** them off.....luckily, the car had already been sold.
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And what do some States do? They raise the speed limit !!

If I had my way, all major roads would be 35 mph.
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I know AAA has a course but it's not mandatory and something should be because driving is a privilege. And invoking all the bad 20-something drivers is a red herring. Driving in this country needs to be safer - for young people, for commercial drivers, for old people - and we all need to help make that happen.
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cwillie, I bristle, too, anytime I read a story about an elderly driver and to me 60 isn't elderly!! Most of the serious wrecks in my area where people had died were teen drivers.

I remember recently reading of a young woman in her 20's who plowed into Oklahoma State University's homecoming parade with her car killing 4 and injuring 50.

One thing that gets me is when I see an elder using a Smartphone while driving. Now who in their right mind gave the elder such a device? I am sure the elder wasn't standing outside the Apple store for 10 hours waiting for a new updated device to go on sale.

I know some accidents with elders have to do with mixing up the gas and brake pedal. I grew up learning to drive using my left foot for the brake, my Dad was a left foot braker, so was his Dad. Maybe it is time to make that more of the normal then right foot for both pedals. Just a suggestion.
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LOL Maggie!
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Thank you very much for posting this, AA. We need constant reminders that we simply MUST take the keys away before tragedy happens. We know it. We just find it sooo hard. Good post.

If I may...."I want to die peacefully in my sleep like gramps did...not screaming in terror like the people in the back seat of his car."

My apologies in advance.
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NY DIL, AAA does have a course of sorts for older drivers.
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It's about reflexes and reflexes decline with age. Part of looking ahead while driving is looking out for something that may jump out into traffic and cause you to swerve because you won’t have enough time to stop. By keeping an open space beside you, you can swerve into the EMPTY LANE and learn to do it without going off the side of the road. This is a SKILL best learned in a defensive driving class. A SIDEWALK at a mall is NOT an EMPTY LANE.

Another option is to not swerve in order to avoid hitting something in the road, since most new cars are designed to take the front-end collision. Swerving to miss something can cause a driver to LOSE CONTROL of the vehicle, possibly causing WORSE results.

Those are the facts and most elder drivers should take a defensive driving course. Perhaps it should coincide with Medicare. That would be fair. You want to drive? Great! PROVE that you still have the necessary skills. That there's no drivers education refresher requirement for old drivers is insane. Just like we don't put teenagers on the road without drivers education, old people shouldn't be on the road without drivers education.
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A &A, I'm not challenging you directly, just expressing an opinion here.

I really hate this anti-elder attitude. Sometimes I think it gets more attention than drunk drivers causing accidents.

Perhaps this woman had to swerve and get on the sidewalk to avoid some young idiots walking and texting or playing on their wireless devices while in the driving lanes. I've had to swerve or slam on the brakes because of this several times.

One man almost caused an exit ramp pile-up when he drifted at right angles to the ramp, across a concrete barrier, down the side, over another barrier and directly onto the exit ramp. It was obvious that he was distracted as I was the first to almost hit him and I clearly saw a handheld device in his hand; he wasn't even looking at the traffic.

Granted, he may have some other mental issues to manage drifting down an incline onto the ramp, but that device was clearly his object of attention.

And while older drivers can be hazardous to the public, they're not Public Enemies No 1. I've yet to read that an elderly person armed with an AK-47 has shot or wounded several people in a mass murder situation b/c he/she felt alienated from society. There's a lot of potential rage in younger people who are disenfranchised, and it does of course garner major publicity. But it's a lot different than an older person losing faculties accidentally creating an accident, which I'm not excusing. I'm just suggesting that it be kept in perspective.
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Correction.. She hasn't been charged
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I always bristle when the "elderly driver" stories come on because just the fact someone is elderly doesn't automatically make them a menace on the road, and we never seem to hear the full story. Plus I have seen people in their 60's described as elderly drivers, and there are plenty of stories where younger people have driven over pedestrians.
That said, yes, if there are any doubts at all about your own or a loved ones abilities, get off the road. I've often thought we should have graduated licences for seniors: no freeways and home by dark, no travel beyond 50 km from home?
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That Natick shopping center is difficult to maneuver for any driver. I cannot imagine an elderly driver attepmtong it. Unfortuneately, Massachusetts is a self reporting state when it comes to having driving impairments.
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