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Thu Nov 29, 2012, 04:12 PM

Older parents who have to give up driving - how did you handle this

to allow the parents to remain in their house? Has anyone had experience with paying for a contract taxi service to provide transportation to the store, church, doctor, etc?

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Reply Older parents who have to give up driving - how did you handle this (Original post)
hedgehog Nov 2012 OP
Mr.Bill Nov 2012 #1
MineralMan Nov 2012 #2
NV Whino Nov 2012 #3
hedgehog Nov 2012 #8
NV Whino Nov 2012 #13
The Velveteen Ocelot Nov 2012 #4
Siwsan Nov 2012 #5
Turbineguy Nov 2012 #6
Laurian Nov 2012 #7
hedgehog Nov 2012 #15
Warpy Nov 2012 #9
frazzled Nov 2012 #10
onethatcares Nov 2012 #11
TrueBlueinCO Nov 2012 #12
onethatcares Nov 2012 #21
bluemarkers Nov 2012 #14
jtuck004 Nov 2012 #16
Speck Tater Nov 2012 #17
hedgehog Nov 2012 #18
Cleita Nov 2012 #19
dembotoz Nov 2012 #20

Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 04:16 PM

1. Contact the local Senior Center.

Some of them have volunteer networks to help get people to Dr. appointments, go shopping, etc.

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 04:18 PM

2. Haven't faced it yet here in the Twin Cities, but there is

a dedicated on-call transit system for seniors here. They have a bunch of vehicles, most of them wheelchair capable. The person calls and sets a time to be picked up, and they show up. The fare is like $3.00 or something like that. They do door-to-door service anywhere in the metro area. I see their vehicles everywhere.

You have to have a disability that prevents you from safely using the Metro Transit scheduled buses. It's not too hard to qualify, though.

There's a long list of other senior transportation services, too, from volunteer to private enterprise. The Twin Cities takes care of its seniors pretty well.

Oh, yeah...there's another service that works very well. My wife and I live just 5 minutes from her mother's condo. If she needs a ride to a place she's not comfortable driving, she calls us, and one of us takes here where she wants to go, helps her with the shopping or whatever, and then brings her home. Since we work at home, it's not a big deal. It's a free service for as long as she lives.

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 04:19 PM

3. When my mother lived in LA she bought a book of discounted passes from the cab company

In the Napa Valley we have a volunteer service called Hapi Rides.

See if your area has senior support services or organizations.

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Response to NV Whino (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 04:34 PM

8. i think he would be most comfortable with the cab company. How did that work out for your mother?

There are grandchildren in the area, but i think he'd prefer not to feel like he's being taken care of.

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Response to hedgehog (Reply #8)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 05:00 PM

13. It worked great for my mother

Cab for doctors and hairdresser. Mostly her neighbors took her to grocery store or picked up things for her.

Don't rule out volunteers. They do it because they enjoy it. Your parents might enjoy meeting and being with new people too.

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 04:21 PM

4. My dad's driving was getting kind of scary and finally he had a little fender-bender

which rattled him enough that he reluctantly decided on his own that he should stop driving. My brothers and I were wondering how we should handle the situation but fortunately he made the decision himself so we didn't have to. It would have been awfully difficult - he really loved his car.

After that, we'd run errands for him as much as possible, and he also had stuff like groceries delivered. When he got to the point where he needed full-time in-home care, those folks usually got him to the doctor and other places he needed to go during the day. The senior apartment complex he lived in also had some transportation services - as I recall they had a shuttle bus that took people to a nearby church (which Dad didn't go to), as well as to some concerts and other outings.

It is not an easy situation to deal with. There are various transportation services, depending on where you live. Still, it's better if your elderly parent can get out rather than sitting at home all the time.

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 04:31 PM

5. After 3 fender benders in less than 3 months, we removed Mom's car keys from her house

Two happened just after either I or my sister had offered to take her shopping and she said she didn't need anything. Once we left her house, she took off. Fortunately the damage, both of those times, was extremely minor. Once we found out what had been happening, we yanked the keys. It was not a pretty time. She threatned to call the police on us. We suggested that might be a great idea. She could take THEM for a ride to demonstrate her driving skills. At 85, she still insists she will drive again but it won't happen.

For a couple of years we just made it a point to take her shopping, on the weekends and after work, and made her appointments at a convenient time for someone to take her. Now my brother has moved in with her because he's just working part time so taking care of her earns him room and board.

Her license has to be renewed, in person, in February. I have zero doubt that the eye test will do her in and they will be officially taking her license. She will not take that with grace, I can assure you.

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 04:32 PM

6. I take my Mother to her Doctor appointments

She shops using public transport for seniors (Dart). For family events we pick her up and drop her off.

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 04:32 PM

7. Yes, it's easy to do in a small town. My mother grudgingly gave up

Last edited Thu Nov 29, 2012, 05:26 PM - Edit history (1)

driving when her vision deteriorated due to macular degeneration. We contacted the local cab company and kept money on account with them for her. They said they'd gladly pick her up anytime and take her anywhere she wanted to go, but she didn't use the service much. I think she really missed the flexibility of being able to just pick up and go out on a whim. She felt she had to always plan ahead and that took away a lot of the pleasure of going out.

Giving up independence is so difficult, but sometimes necessary.

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Response to Laurian (Reply #7)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 06:00 PM

15. I'm thinking that auto insurance is $700 a year. Toss in the cost of gas and tires,

and I think the cost of a taxi is a wash. But as you noted, taking a taxi does call for some planning. i think my dad likes to go grocery shopping several times a week. Having to call a cab to take him there and then waiting to be taken home would be a pain.

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 04:37 PM

9. I was lucky. My dad drove up until his final illness

and even managed to drive to and from his cataract surgery. It's a good thing because he picked a place with no cabs and no public transit to retire to.

When I have to give it up, I'll be in decent shape because I learned from their mistakes and moved to an area with buses and cabs. OK, the neighborhood sucks but at least it's convenient.

There are services available (and were in my parents' area) to transport old folks. What you need to do is put in the application before it's needed and then schedule the trips in advance--some require 48 hours, some 24, and some a full week. Cabs are usually cheaper, but the transport services are handicapped friendly.

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 04:41 PM

10. We were unsuccessful

At getting my Dad to stop driving last year. My sister and I were having a discussion about it (she'd already discussed it with our brother) when the phone rang, and I noticed it was my mother. "OK," my sister said, "answer it and tell her we insist that Daddy stop driving." I answered the phone and my mother said, "Oh, we just got back from the DMV; your Dad just got his license renewed."

Holy cow. I was honest and told her we think he should stop. We said we're worried he could kill someone. She said she knew, and was keeping a close eye on it. She said she was going to make him stop at the first sign of trouble.

My Dad turns 96 this weekend. I give up. His independence is what keeps him going. Frankly, he's not that bad a driver, even at his age. That is, if he just goes a short way, never gets on a highway, and doesn't drive after dusk. He drives only a mile or two from home on uncrowded, familiar routes, and only in the daytime: to go to the gym four times a week, and to go to the grocery or Costco. Or the doctor. (My mom has a license, but she's legally blind in one eye and hasn't driven for a long time. So that's not a help.)

I wish I could be more helpful about this. My parents still live in their house, still go out in the car, and won't listen to a thing we say. They are fiercely independent. Both are very mentally competent, and they have someone who comes to help clean every other week, and someone to do the yardwork. I can't really say they NEED to move into a different situation. But when one of them goes, the other will not be able to live at home. Together they form a functioning unit (one can hear and one can see; one does the bills, the other takes out the trash). Without each other, they will be lost. It's going to be a huge fight at that point. I dread it's coming, which it inevitably will.


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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 04:56 PM

11. just remember. It's not your parents driving

you should worry about.

It's that guy in front of them that might slam his brakes on and take everything

they own.

My dad drove without insurance and a licence for 3 months. My sister took his car, my other sister
took it back to him. Finally he got his licence re instated but in that time I was a nervous wreck just
thinking about the other idiot drivers that could ruin him.

He's passed now so that part is over. My mother on the other hand is blind and will not drive. (go figure)

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Response to onethatcares (Reply #11)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 04:59 PM

12. I'm confused by your post

 

Whose fault do you think it would be if your dad had hit another driver from behind? There are many non-idiot reasons from hitting the brakes hard. All drivers need to be prepared for the vehicle in from of them to come to a sudden stop.

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Response to TrueBlueinCO (Reply #12)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 04:49 AM

21. don't be confused. picture this.

your parent is number 2 at a red light. light turns green, car in front pulls out, parent follows. Car numero 1 stops suddenly gets rear ended by your parent. Driver/passengers(s) of car number 1 complain of severe
soft tissue injury, lawsuit ensues.

Hell, that type of crash has become a money maker in south florida.

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 05:03 PM

14. difficult transition

good luck.

I have been thorough this, and church members volunteered for that part. My MIL used to make piggy back appts with a neighbor and they would ride together. She didn't particularly like grocery shopping like this though. They did have a standing outing. They cruised the local mall. lol

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 06:04 PM

16. We moved M-I-L in with us. Now we do the driving.


Then again, she was hitting parked cars and curbs that really hadn't done anything to her, so it was time.

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 06:21 PM

17. I moved my 90-y.o. mom in with me so I can drive her where she needs to go. nt

 

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Response to Speck Tater (Reply #17)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 06:34 PM

18. My dad lives in the house we grew up in - there are grandchildren in the area,

but i live 3 hours away and everyone else lives farther away. One of my sisters assumed he'd move in after my mother passed, but he wants to stay in his community. I think he is planning on moving to smaller quarters, so this problem may resolve itself. It's getting to be a common problem as people live longer but away from close relatives. We need to start asking whether we're safer spending our money on anti-missile defenses or on making it easy for elderly people to get around!

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 06:49 PM

19. A lot of municipalities have shuttle services for a really small fare like

$3 so they can go shopping or to the doctor. In my town, they accommodate seniors and handicapped in wheel chairs. Contact your local bus or transportation service. They often can help you find what you need or senior citizen centers as well.

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 07:11 PM

20. decent public transportation is something folks around here give up when they move to the burbs

mom turns 92 on sunday.
to her the car was a symbol of independence.
Macular degeneration made the decision to stop driving easy.
i pretty much live at my mom's now to help her maintain what independene she has left
or perhaps my wife kicked me out.....
Either one is true.
Please do not rely on neighbors--have seen several instances where the occasional trips to the store turns
into a unpaid caregiver. Family should be doing this not neighbors.
The neighbor is also less likely to keep a strong eye on the parent concerning
deterioration. The neighbor (rightly so) has no authority to step in if things are not going well.

My solution works for me and my mom
if is actually had a life it would be harder
but sadly i do not

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