Grandma says: Drive SLOW. I'm just worried that sort of thinking is going to cause an accident or road rage.


So this is a little thing on itself from the bigger picture but in a way I'm kind of at a loss of what to do or how to handle this. For now, grandma is in a medical rehab facility after breaking her hip last weekend and going into the hospital for surgery on her hip and also needing a pacemaker.

Anyway, this is a small thing that bugs me but also might cause issues if she has to ride with me. Whenever I leave the hospital with my own mother and girlfriend, my grandma always tells me to "drive slow". I'm thinking she might possibly mean drive carefully but she's already come out and called me leadfoot which is what I'm guessing her sister thinks of my driving and convinced her that I'm terrible because I choose to go the speedlimit and not 40 in a 65.

This isn't the era of Mary Poppins and driving slow is going to be more of a safety hazard than anything. I don't thinks she's ever going to drive again, which is good, but her sister does, who has her convinced and I'm just worried that sort of thinking is going to cause an accident or road rage someday. That's a bit beside the point but what can I say or do about this situation, especially if grandma is ever forced to ride with me? I do try and take it a bit easier when she's in the car but driving slow is the wrong mentality to have and in 2018, it's just something that cannot easily be done, especially when on the highway where people expect you to go the speed limit or above. I'm thinking that the age of 83 might have a bit to do with that sort of mentality but it could also be a bit of dementia clouding her judgment since it doesn't seem like she had that big of a problem with my driving in the past. But her brother-in-law who has driven cars for a living is a lot faster than I am but nothing is said about his driving because he's been doing it for so many years and apparently me driving for 15 years doesn't account for much despite going across country on my own several times.

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After intense caregiving, I bought a Subaru WXR STI and I do have a lead foot. If my grandma is in my car, she kind of freaks out about "how fast" I am going even if I'm doing the speed limit. I just say your husband sped, he taught me to drive and she usually backs off. However, if I drive her Buick Rendevous, then nothing is is perception. Depending on your vehicle, you may want to drive hers.

Yes, slow drivers can cause accidents and road rage. Maybe you could cover her view to your odometer if she is checking it out.
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Reply to tacy022

I think the elderly feel speed more. 50 isn't too fast but they "feel" its fast. Do u see what I mean. I "feel" 50 at night seems faster than 50 in the daylight.

I agree, Gma is not going to be driving with a hip that has been broken. She will be in rehab for a while for therapy. In the elderly, breaking a hip is serious.

Like said, if you do drive her, just go the speed limit and when she complains tell her if you slow down you could get a ticket for driving too slow.
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Reply to JoAnn29

I agree you have to 'keep up' with traffic sometimes. sometimes I let the fast cars 'go by' - I don't want to be next to them anyway.

are you sure gma BIL doesn't get told to slow down too?

I cant explain a dementia brain. but sometimes the same "phrase" gets used repeatedly. there is some trigger, and there goes the "phrase"

she may not even really realize you are going fast - its just maybe ONE TIME, she felt you were going fast...and now that little thought has stuck.

with dementia I think ~everything~ moves TOO FAST. their brain cant process all that info. so when she is in the car. passing other cars and moving past buildings. its too much. it probably feels like shes going 100 mph

my dad when in a wheelchair. always said 'slow down' and I was barely pushing...he was always AFRAID I was going to push him off the edge of curb or run into a wall(etc)

just come up with some remarks. just to get thru her remarks.
say: im sorry gma we left the house late, and now I need to hurry a bit, but im being safe! next time we'll plan better. or. oh, you are right I was a little fast, I will slow down. or I will get you there safely I promise! 

I know its a distraction to listen and drive. play the music on the radio and sing. maybe she will forget about saying "drive slow'

my moms dementia is so bad. when we drive, I don't think she even remembers if im going fast. I just TALK non stop about "whatever" and she just sits there and agrees with me. she thinks we are having a nice conversation...I tell her sit down, shut up and hold on. she thinks its funny
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Reply to wally003
tbb279 Aug 12, 2018
Thanks for your reply, wally. I'm quite sure her brother in law isn't told to slow down since he's in his 80s and has been driving for a living for a very long time. Even though he's in his 80s, you'd swear he was in his 50s. Some people are just lucky I guess!

I do change the subject as much as I can but of course time isn't of the essence for her. Even if I make a comment of a traffic backup and people just seem to be doing dumb things, she'll ask me what my hurry is and that I have all day. I mean...I'm sorry if you have all day but I really don't. But I do think your comment has truth behind it but since we live in different time periods, people back then didn't have to go as fast as people do now and I even prefer people going around me instead of being along me or behind me. But when you're going the speed limit or a tad over and you have someone racing up to get right behind you, you certainly don't want to push your luck with those kinds of people. But her solution would be to just slow down and they'll pass. I live in a small area where there's little danger of getting hurt but I certainly don't like to tick people off in this day in age, you never know who's a little mental and will start a fight with you because you decided to slow down on them. Scary times sadly.
My husband drove for a living, and when he could no longer drive and I had to, I could read his mind when we were in the car. The first year or so, I was always nervous and could be a little crabby when he’d say something. You can tell Grandma that you don’t want to be cited for driving under the speed limit. Nowadays, speed limits on highways have gone from 55 to 65. My son always said that the speed limits where he went to college were “a suggestion”and not a law.

Dont let Grandma freak you out. It’s not like you’re driving her cross country. Drive the way you usually do and when she starts, change the subject.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
tbb279 Aug 9, 2018
Thanks for the reply, Ahmijoy, I appreciate it. You're right, I won't be driving her all over the place but it still puts you a bit on edge when you're already stressed out as it is. The worst part is that she can always remember to say drive slow before I leave, you almost want to say "If you can always remember that, why the hell can't you remember the stuff you're actually suppose to remember?" lol

Your son is essentially right, the speed limits are mainly a suggestion and not the law. People want to go where they're going as fast as they can. But these people come from a time where laws really were a lot more strict and they believe you'll get stopped for going a mile over the speed limit. That just doesn't happen today. Maybe if the cop is in a really vile mood or something, it could happen, but the likelihood of getting stopped for a mile or two over the limit is even slimmer than finding a $100 bill laying on the side of the street.
I think that I might drive as carefully as I could and try to change the subject. I've dealt with the same sort of thing with my parents for years, even though, they still drive and don't have dementia. For some reason, my mom always freaks out when I am driving her. She's pressing on the imaginary brake with her foot and constantly telling me to stop, yield, look that way, turn there, slow down, etc.! It's like I am a student driver. I just ignore it and occasionally say, I know. I've been doing this just fine for over 40 years! AND, I've never caused an accident. They DO NOT ACT that way when my brothers are driving, though. lol
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Reply to Sunnygirl1
tbb279 Aug 9, 2018
Thank you Sunnygirl1 for your reply. I don't think my grandma is capable of driving anymore. Even when she did a few years ago I'd get nervous around curbs and whatnot, thinking she's getting a bit too close to them than I'm comfortable being. For me, I'm still looked upon as being a child despite being 30. Heck, even her sister reminds me of some of the things I used to do as a child and tries to apply it to my adulthood in the most stupid ways possible. I mean yeah, when you find some random person in the store to talk to for half an hour, no 8 year old wants to stand there and listen to you blab about some crap. So because of that I'm a terrible adult as well. Oh well, that's beside the point. Neither one of them actually sees me as grown up. I'm thinking about posting another thread on here just about her elderly sister who doesn't actually require "care" but is a huge problem in the care of my grandmother and I think she tries to play on my grandma's inability to really remember stuff and think for herself. But yes, she holds onto the seat when I'm driving for no reason so I'm sure she's telling my grandma what a bad driver I am because I choose not to go super slow on the highway and tick people off or even go 25 in a 40. How in the world can it not make you nervous when you have a line of cars behind you pushing each other along???