I'm almost a senior (59) and am part of a family trying to cope with an 85 year old woman who Will. Not. stop certain activities. She was widowed 4 years ago and lives alone in a rural area. Her 4 sons live very near and do help where needed.
Driving: She drives somewhere 4 - 8 times a day. She has really bad eyesight but managed to pass her eye test at the DMV this year, so she's legal for another 7 years. She drifts in her lane constantly and claims that because she doesn't drive fast, if people don't like it, they can go around her. Last week she drifted into a pedestrian walking on the side of the road, hitting the person's arm (which caused bruising) and thankfully not knocking him down. She had heard a sound, stopped up the road and didn't see where anything was wrong, then continued home. They read her license and reported the incident. When my husband came home he saw the sherriff's car at his mother's and was able to get the information from the deputy. She was not charged with hit and run, but does have a court date this coming week to answer for the incident.
She was in tears, very down on herself, remorseful. The next day she got in her car and started out again, basically to go have coffee 2 miles away. She continues even now with multiple trips per day.
Legally no one can take away her license except a police officer or a judge. No one can take away her vehicle or disable it without her permission. When we offer to take over the bills and take her shopping, she agrees and then never asks or tries to set up a time/date (she claims we have our own lives).
Bill Paying: She cannot see to read the printed pages of bills, gets mad, sets something down and immediately loses it. It is phenomenal to watch happen. She absolutely cannot keep her checkbook straight and is incredibly bad about having anyone help her, handing papers to someone and then snatching them away before anyone can read them. Yes, my husband has power of attorney but only when she gives permission for him to use it.
I am positive there are a few people out there right now simply nodding their heads.
There are other issues, but my thought is this: What does it take to get a Senior Center going? We sure are building up a lot of seniors, so how can this be made to work? I'm thinking a senior center will help the Under-Senior Caregivers as well as the Reigning Seniors. A place to centralize, a starting point.
What ideas have worked in other communities? I know it won't happen fast and may not help my MIL, but I'd like to know what might work.
Thanks in advance for suggestions, and maybe we can meet this Senior Life Care Challenge by using our brains :)