I am 80 years old and have had two fender benders in last year--is it time for me to quit driving? Has anyone used Uber for shopping?


I have never been a good city driver, especially in parking garages. I do quite well on the Interstate between cities--but should I sell my car and use Uber or Lyft for shopping? I already use them to get back and forth from airport several times a year.



Arleeda, I lurk more than post around here, but I needed to come on just for a minute this morning when I saw this. Wow. I am so impressed with you:)

Your ability to look at the reality of some troubling incidents and take the bull by the horns to be safe AND still live your life by enlisting services available is beyond inspiring to me.

For all of us who have had to be responsible for dealing with “the driving issue”, this is a true breath of fresh air. After years of dealing with the opposite of you:), my DH and I have worried that - for all of our good intentions - we will let foolish stubbornness and pride take over and ruin our relationships and the goodwill we have with our children and friends. It has seemed inevitable to us. I am not sure if that makes sense. The years of 24-7 caregiving of 2 people who don’t feel like they should have to change anything to accommodate their growing limitations has been unexpectedly demoralizing. It is nice to see that others choose differently.

It gives me so much hope to know that I *could* make wise choices about driving, that I *could* utilize the options available to me, that I *could* be flexible enough as I move through the years to adjust to the changes I experience. (Of course, we already know this is possible. However, we haven’t gotten to see very many good role models in this regard, lol.)

So today, thanks to you, I am able to see a different model. It has helped greatly in releasing some of that fear. I know this is a hard time... please know I am not trying to minimize it or idealize it. Like most challenges in life, no one can quite walk the road with you. But, that is what makes you even more impressive. You are a person moving into another phase of life with such wisdom and grace.

I know this is beyond the scope of your question, however, I just had to verbalize the positive impact you had on me this morning. I suspect that there are many more on this site who will feel the same when they read this.

As far as moving to a new form of regular transport, doing it now gives you time to acclimate to it so that it becomes part of your routine. Also, you are completely bypassing family tension if there is concern for your driving. That is a whole lot more time spent enjoying family and friends than dealing with unpleasantness.

And, for what it is worth, my teenage boys think you are the coolest 80-year-old on the planet because you use Uber:)
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Reply to 499HopeFloats

Arleeda - A BIG THANK YOU for recognizing when you should give up the car key. You should see some of the posts here where family members have a h3ll of a time trying to convince their loved ones that they can no longer drive safely.

Yes, I agree with you on Uber and Lyft. I also see other people mentioned Gograndparents or something like that.

My mother had a friend who used the city busses to go around town up untill she was in her late 80s. She walked to/from bus stops to the stores and friends' houses. It helped to keep her in good health and her mind sharp. And it cost very little because she bought the monthly passes which I think was less than $15/month at that time.

Since you can get on this site, you are internet savvy. And you know how to use Uber, you are app savvy. Keep up the good work. May you have many more years of good health physically and mentally.
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Reply to polarbear

Brava to you for being wise enough to know when your safety and others is a concern and you decided on your own to quit driving! We had to pry the keys out of mother's hand--and my 88 yo MIL is still out banging up everything in sight. My DH will NOT have the "you can't drive" talk with her b/c she will then expect him to take her everywhere, and that is not ever happening.

My grandmother lived in a condo after she lost granddad. She worked a few more years, then retired. Kept her car for a while but felt it was just kind of a nuisance. She sold it and took the bus everywhere, or got rides. She lived close to a grocery store and took a little wheeled cart with her, rain or snow. She walked every single day, kept up an active social life and lived life with gusto. I know had there been Uber's back then she would have used them!

Her independence made us WANT to help her when she needed it. She NEVER called me for anything, but if I called her and said "hey I am going"...she'd be saying yes, she wanted to come before I even got out the name of the place I was going.

She is my hero and the person I really hope to emulate as far as going gracefully into old age. She lived 37 as a widow, she was brave in the face of trials and she was funny and friendly (and kind of sass pants, to boot).

Bless you!! I hope you work out transport issues w/o using up your family, and remain their beloved grandma, not a burden!
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Reply to Midkid58

Arleeda, for grocery shopping check to see if any of the local grocery stores are in partnership with an on-line service. I've been using on-line for 4 years now as I really hate to shop. Then the groceries are delivered to your house, there will be a delivery fee.
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Reply to freqflyer

Arleeda, little "dinks" are a good hint. An unmistakable hint would be something like your car being written off and you in hospital in traction, and why would you want to wait for that before you stop driving? Especially if it isn't something you enjoy for its own sake, or have no alternative to.

When you add up tax, fuel, maintenance, parking, insurance and everything else that goes into running a car, that's a heck of a lot of Uber trips and even internet delivery charges. Make yourself a "regular" with one or two drivers and I'm sure that before the year is out you'll be pleased and relieved to be rid of your car.
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Reply to Countrymouse

Thanks for all of the encouragement! The public transport in my city is not very convenient and in any case wouldn't work for grocery shopping or going somewhere at night. I hate to always be bumming a ride somewhere, such as to my weekly bridge game at the Senior Center. I live in an apartment building with limited access, but I have seen pizza deliveries take place in the building (he has to know a code to be let in by the tenant). My son lives about 30 miles away, but seems to think it is okay for me to drive (as long as he doesn't have to do it)! He does have a wife and two teenage daughters to worry about. My single daughter is closer but works nights and sleeps days, and is busy with daily visits to her father (my long ago ex-husband) who has dementia and is in a nursing home. She says that compared to him I am in great shape! Learning to use Uber wasn't exactly easy, but now the airport has a specific spot for pickup that is well marked and not just found out from asking folks. I even used it in Amsterdam last year! I just wasn't sure how it would work for grocery shopping--I guess I would need 2 drivers, one to take me and one to drive me and my purchases back home. I would have to take my shopping cart with me, which would somewhat limit my purchases so might have to make two trips per week. Also, sudden trips to pick up things I may have forgotten would be out. I have read about the new services that deliver things for meals for two, but there is only one of me so I would have to eat the same meal twice a week. I guess if it is good that is okay.
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Reply to Arleeda

Dear Alreeda,

I hope things work out. I'm not sure if you are interested in looking at Amazon or Wal-Mart as another option for deliveries to your area.
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Reply to cdnreader

Arleeda. There is a post on here about giving up driving not being such a bad thing.
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Reply to shad250

I will see how much Kroger charges to deliver. I know that you can order online and then pick up your order, but that sort of defeats the purpose. My purpose, anyway. I am within walking distance of Sprouts, but they are expensive and don't carry anything but food and flowers and vitamins. No soap or cleansers or that sort of stuff. Also I can walk to Walgreen's, which has most of the non-food items I might need, although higher priced than Kroger's.
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Reply to Arleeda

I am the driver for my mother. I had to set strict boundaries, and she was not happy. I would suggest you NOT depend on your children for rides. What is wrong with ordering groceries online and having them delivered?
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Reply to CTTN55

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