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Dad turns 93 Saturday and can barely walk, but somehow he manages to get to his car and drive somewhere almost every day. He is sharp as a tack but he's hard of hearing and has so many health issues it is nuts that he is still driving. The assisted living facility he lives in doesn't object which surprises me. The DMV renewed his license without so much as an eye test. We want to just take the keys but his DR says he will get so depressed that would be the end. We need some support! Any ideas how we can make it easier for him to adjust to not driving?

Did the DMV renew his licence automatically? Or through the post?

I reported my father to the DMV and they sent him a letter requiring him to have an eye dr and other dr sign papers saying he was in good shape to drive. They didn't and he lost his right to drive.
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Well. The people with clout - the ALF management and the DMV - don't seem to think there's a problem. And although you mention health issues, including heart disease, you don't specifically mention sight impairment, dementia, anything that is an obvious bar to safe driving.

Can barely walk - lots of people with disabilities who can't walk at all can still drive. There are even specially adapted cars for the purpose.
Hard of hearing isn't a help, but deafness does not stop you getting a driving licence.
And being 93 does not of itself make you a danger on the road.

I hesitate to ask if you've accompanied him recently (and managed to keep your eyes open and not dig your fingernails so hard into the dashboard that you had trouble getting out of the car again) - but what deterioration in his skills can you report as a fact?
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caringkarren Jun 27, 2019
I recall my grandma being able to drive pretty well despite her mobility issues.


Until her car burnt down due to an arsonist! But that is a different story..
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I guess a lot of young people can't understand that Uber and Lyft are foreign words and concepts to a lot of older people. For you it is an easy common solution. For a lot of older people it doesn't even compute. My mother had never even taken a taxi, let alone Uber or Lyft. My husband hasn't either. Don't you have to have a smart phone to call Uber or Lyft? I can do it, but my husband has problems with his first generation flip phone. Personally, I know I can't drive forever, and I have plans. If something happens to me, my husband will be dependent on nieces to take him around. I pray he will go first, because his niece is already talking about the fact that she knows of some "inexpensive" places to put him while she takes his house. Needless to say, we aren't even talking now.

As for Dial-A-Ride and Senior Buses, you sometimes have to sit for an hour or more while you wait for them. I see handicapped people at my gym waiting and waiting for an hour or more for their transportation. The same at the grocery store.
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pronker Jun 30, 2019
This is the reply from @confounded when I had a similar question re Spouse, who at 76 hasn't used anything other than a land line:

"There is a subscription service, ArriveRides(dot)com, where folks can call on any kind of phone (even an old-school landline), and they will arrange for an Uber/Lyft ride. An account does need to be set up first. After that, it's similar to calling a taxi."

Like you, I've met folks who never used public transportation, even taxis, trains, or buses.

Best wishes to your husband in any dealings with his family.
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Quadriplegics use wheelchairs and can drive a car (adaptive equipment, etc). They cannot walk, but can pass a driving test. Assisted living means just that - he is able to live with a little assistance. Doesn't mean he cannot drive.

Have you been in the car with him and observed dangerous driving? Does he just go to the corner store using side streets and slower traffic areas? His age doesn't determine his ability to drive. His reaction times and close calls, if any, would determine that.

Not really enough information for us to offer suggestions - other than get in the car with him and see how he does.
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Geaton777 Jul 15, 2019
Comparing a senior to a quadriplegic is not the best comparison since they are driving vehicles that adapted for their challenged areas. There is no such thing for seniors. I do agree that one should have evidence of declining skills before venturing down this path. My own mother is 90 and has gradually self-limited her driving to only during the day, never during "busy traffic times", only during perfect weather, no long distances and no new routes. She enjoys her freedom and I'm happy she does.
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A couple of things: take a walk around his car and see if there are any dents or dings or signs of running into something. If there isn't any body damage, that's a good sign that he's probably doing OK. Ride with him and actually see how he does. My Mother was driving until 95 when she voluntarily gave up driving because there were too many "crazies" on the road. I made it a point to ride with her at least once a month to see how see did and how comfortable she was driving. She was right to quit driving when she did as the increased development and traffic has led to a lot of craziness on our roads. If it's obvious that he is not doing well or if his eyesight has diminished below acceptable levels, follow some of the suggestions that others have given you. You might remind him that if he is in an accident -- even if it isn't his fault he will be blamed just because of his age (not fair but true). In this case, he runs the potential of being sued and could lose all his assets.
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Hi not sure if you feel like you have time, but I made a deal with my father that he would stop driving at a certain age (for him it was 95). A few months before his birthday his car insurance was due to be renewed, and so I asked him if he really wanted to lay out the money when he didn't drive all that much anymore. That seemed to make sense to him and he sold his car and hasn't driven since. He's 98 now. I thought giving up driving was going to be a big fight, but it turned out to be really easy. I made it about money and not losing his freedom.
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If you truly want to take this man's driving away from him, you will destroy him. And if you are bound and determined, and have truly legitimate issues, then let the doctors handle that. And here is something else - if you take the car away, you MUST assure him and be willing to do so that there will always be someone to take him wherever and whenever he wants to go. That is only fair and right. I live for my pussy cat and for my car and I will be 86. I cannot walk but do use a walker. I have an excellent driving record and go all over by myself. When people come to visit, they ask ME to drive because I am an excellent driver and l00% with it. I drive carefully and safely and everyone knows it. I would make sure I would be "gone" within a month if someone took my car (or my cat) away from me. It would be the end for me. Don't do this to him - especially if none of the authorities are objecting.
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B3z5wb Jul 11, 2019
I understand by your writing that you have all your faculties. My mother does not. She has gotten lost coming home from my house and the bingo that I know of. Yes she is extremely upset. I will not give her back her keys. I am looking out for her wellbeing. It is my responsibility to do so. She is also forgetting to take her medications. Add that to driving and it spells disaster for others as well as herself. She also will not allow anyone in her house so help is not an option. She is 88. I monitored the situation for the last 5 years. It is now a dangerous situation. Though she does not feel she has any problems.
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Here do you live? No eye test for 93 year old is very dangerous. Talk to doctor about dad he can write yo DMV. Or take car for service and don't bring it back. Or wait till he's in an accident. Or. There's lots a ways to do it. But you must do something. But as long as he has access to car and keys, he will drive. (Leaving car but "losing" the keys isn't a good idea. He will find keys and continue driving.)
Of course he'll be mad but as a good child its time to step up. It's hard to change rolls from child to decision maker for parents. But it must be done. You can do it.
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maryqesq1 Jun 30, 2019
Years ago my friend's grandfather killed grandma when he was driving. I would have had a hard time forgiving him.
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I am afraid that you are kicking against a loosing battle. To many authorities don't agree with you.

You have done all you can, you are not responsible for his actions. Let it go and keep your eyes open. If he is sharp as a tack he will know when it's time to stop driving.

I have an 89 year old friend that drives, even on the freeways. She knows that she has slower reflexes than she used to and she makes adjustments to accommodate them. I think all the texters are far more dangerous than our senior population. That proof is in the statistics.
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Countrymouse Jul 2, 2019
I agree. I'd be more in accord with the suggestions to hide the keys, take the wheels off, immobilise the engine if these measures were also applied to the speed freaks, tailgaters, picnickers, chatterboxes, make up artists, drunks, and yes certainly texters who are, as you point out, responsible for far more deaths on the road.
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My dad is 93. His doctor revoked his driving privileges 1-1/2 years ago but he kept driving. We tried everything. I finally staged a 'mini intervention' to get his keys from him (he kept them in his pocket 24/7) and it was a disaster. Ended up with the police coming because he became so combative. They put handcuffs on him and took him to the hospital for 5 days until he calmed down. It was a total disaster. Then I found out he had extra keys! The DMV made the mistake of not taking his license from him when he got an ID card. The local sheriff and I had been in touch about all of this and he stopped by dad's one day and took the physical drivers license and he never drove again except to drive it in and out of the garage in his driveway.................. I would not wish this on anyone........... yes, it will kill him. Let the doctor's do it.
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