Elderly drivers - what can be done to protect public while providing a degree of mobility for homosexual seniors?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 16, 2013 3:28 PM GMT
    Ten year since Russell Weller mowed down the Santa Monica Farmers Market killing 10 and injuring 63 others. I was there going to an appointment in 1299 Ocean (the Maguire Building) and had just walked through there not less than a minute before this happened. I had no idea what had just happened until I got off of the elevator and my clients' entire office was running over to the south side windows.

    More recently, I had a bunch of trouble getting my dad (before he passed on March 17) out of the car and now going through the same with my mom.

    I was in Dayton for the last few days at the POCI (Pontiac) annual meet and my sister was supposed to keep my mom until I got back. She threw yet another fit and my sister brought her back here for two days. She managed to take part of the garage door off trying to drive. She denies (as always) that she touched the car. I have now disabled the car (relay for the fuel injection fuel pump) to avoid the fight of taking her keys or driver's license. She has zero memory and if she hit a bunch of kids or something she'd have zero recollection of it five minutes later.

    Since I'm one of the oldest RJers, I've beginning to wonder what will happen when I reach that day given that I won't have nearly the family support my dad had and my mom has. Will autonomous technology be ready to take over and help seniors continue being mobile in communities where private transportation is the only way to get around?


    http://autos.aol.com/article/tragic-crash-elderly-driver-laws
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    Jul 16, 2013 3:47 PM GMT
    Not a homosexual issue per se, but given the percentage of homosexual seniors who remains single or estranged from family and now in their senior years, it is an issue.

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    Jul 16, 2013 4:57 PM GMT
    We are facing that issue now with an older in-law. I am glad I am an in-law and not one of the children who will decide.
    I hit 70 this year and in DC I can no longer renew on-line. I have to go in for an eye exam, which seems far, though it is a pain.
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    Jul 16, 2013 5:09 PM GMT
    I think it would be rather cruel to take Art's ability to drive away....
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    Jul 16, 2013 5:12 PM GMT
    Take their box of kleenex out of the rear window.
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    Jul 16, 2013 5:13 PM GMT
    We sorta have that issue right now. Several times over the last 3 years my 79-year-old husband hasn't been able to drive for periods of time, for instance following his blood clot when he almost had his leg amputated, his stroke, and his open-heart bypass surgery. He drives short distances now, but most times I drive him.

    It's one reason I sold our second car a few years ago, to reduce the temptation to drive himself. He doesn't drive poorly, his reactions are good, eyesight 20/20, adequate hearing, and his mind's as sharp as ever. But I do worry about another stroke (he fully recovered from his first, no residuals whatsoever), or some sudden heart issue, although he's getting excellent reports from his cardiologist, as recently as last week.

    Fortunately he's pretty cooperative about letting me drive, I think he enjoys being pampered. *I'm* the one who often hates driving him, because he's a dreadful backseat driver, and gives the worst traffic directions of anyone I know. icon_rolleyes.gif

    LOL! Still, he's good company overall, and we have nice chats in the car, so I really prefer his company to driving alone, MOST of the time. So to answer the OP's question, I solve the problem by doing all the driving for him. Which the luxury of my being retired, and his constant companion, allows me to do. I suppose other senior gay couples would do the same thing.
  • Fable

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    Jul 16, 2013 5:16 PM GMT
    jmusmc85 saidI think it would be rather cruel to take Art's ability to drive away....



    genuine lol
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    Jul 16, 2013 5:16 PM GMT
    antelope saidWe are facing that issue now with an older in-law. I am glad I am an in-law and not one of the children who will decide.
    I hit 70 this year and in DC I can no longer renew on-line. I have to go in for an eye exam, which seems far, though it is a pain.


    That's the only issue I'm noticing so far is my night vision, but I'm sure I have more to come.
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    Jul 16, 2013 5:28 PM GMT
    ART_DECO saidWe sorta have that issue right now. Several times over the last 3 years my 79-year-old husband hasn't been able to drive for periods of time, for instance following his blood clot when he almost had his leg amputated, his stroke, and his open-heart bypass surgery. He drives short distances now, but most times I drive him.

    It's one reason I sold our second car a few years ago, to reduce the temptation to drive himself. He doesn't drive poorly, his reactions are good, eyesight 20/20, adequate hearing, and his mind's as sharp as ever. But I do worry about another stroke (he fully recovered from his first, no residuals whatsoever), or some sudden heart issue, although he's getting excellent reports from his cardiologist, as recently as last week.

    Fortunately he's pretty cooperative about letting me drive, I think he enjoys being pampered. *I'm* the one who often hates driving him, because he's a dreadful backseat driver, and gives the worst traffic directions of anyone I know. icon_rolleyes.gif

    LOL! Still, he's good company overall, and we have nice chats in the car, so I really prefer his company to driving alone, MOST of the time. So to answer the OP's question, I solve the problem by doing all the driving for him. Which the luxury of my being retired, and his constant companion, allows me to do. I suppose other senior gay couples would do the same thing.


    One wonders when we get to the point that a little dementia sets in and we don't have the clarity of mind to know we shouldn't drive .... as I'm experiencing with someone in the house right now ... who are we going to lean on?

    You're very lucky that you're partnered, but what happens to those who are single or partner is deceased? I never will be married or partnered again so I guess it's a sign of my very advanced age that I'm thinking about these sort of things. I'll never anywhere near the family support that my parents have had.
  • AMoonHawk

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    Jul 16, 2013 5:39 PM GMT
    images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRvtOac_DvIua6tFbH2n5v
  • kevmoran

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    Jul 16, 2013 7:15 PM GMT
    jmusmc85 saidI think it would be rather cruel to take Art's ability to drive away....

    Just downright cruel!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 16, 2013 7:25 PM GMT
    Move to a city that has good public transportation or cheap taxi service.
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    Jul 16, 2013 9:04 PM GMT
    dumb said
    jmusmc85 saidI think it would be rather cruel to take Art's ability to drive away....

    Just downright cruel!

    Thanks, but no need for concern, if that was your meaning. A guy like jmusmc85 and a few others here have so little credibility & respect that their personal slams actually become badges of honor for the guys they target, and their nastiness only backfires on themselves.

    As for my driving, it actually has been suspended at times, for my epilepsy. There's a medical protocol for when I can drive, and when I can't. I'm allowed at present.

    And I finally had to give up motorcycling due to my spine, something I was told in 1996 but refused to accept until recently. In defiance in 1997 I rode 4700 miles solo from Key West to Seattle, the greatest single-line distance you can ride in the lower 48 States. And rode another 5000 miles through the northern tier States & Canada 3 weeks later.

    Sure my driving days are numbered, they are for most of us if we live long enough, as I hope to do. Nobody likes to preside over their own body's decay, and the depressing consequences thereof. All you can do is accept aging with good grace, and make the best of the hand that's dealt you. And I hope I will resist the temptation that my Father could not, to keep driving years after he should have quit.
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    Jul 16, 2013 9:15 PM GMT
    freedomisntfree said
    You're very lucky that you're partnered, but what happens to those who are single or partner is deceased? I never will be married or partnered again so I guess it's a sign of my very advanced age that I'm thinking about these sort of things. I'll never anywhere near the family support that my parents have had.

    I am more than lucky, I'm blessed, if I'm allowed to say that. I found my first partner at 53, and after he died, my present partner at 58. And he was 73.

    I don't see why age has to be a limiter, though I'll admit it can present some unique challenges. I know living single is a great fear of senior gays, the specter of spending our last years alone truly frightening.

    Whether this issue of driving, or a hundred other matters related to ADLs (activities of daily living), many senior gays realize they aren't going to do well living alone in their final years.

    So don't! I see lots of single seniors every day, handsome men for their ages (and you're not bad), vital & active, financially secure, and looking. If you can't find a partner at 60 I would contend you're really not trying.
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    Jul 16, 2013 9:15 PM GMT
    freedomisntfree said


    One wonders when we get to the point that a little dementia sets in and we don't have the clarity of mind to know we shouldn't drive .... as I'm experiencing with someone in the house right now ... who are we going to lean on?

    You're very lucky that you're partnered, but what happens to those who are single or partner is deceased? I never will be married or partnered again so I guess it's a sign of my very advanced age that I'm thinking about these sort of things. I'll never anywhere near the family support that my parents have had.


    After the death of my Mother I thought about that a lot.

    She had me to rely on 24/7. My brother or sister? Lol... it took my brother the blink of an eye to collect her jewelry and cash...after that, his comment?, "I don't want to be bothered." How convenient. A parent growing old and becoming dependent is not easy. A reminder that we, too, will someday die.
  • Suetonius

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    Jul 16, 2013 9:18 PM GMT
    At 60, you probably have quite a few years before that is a real problem. If night vision becomes a problem, don't drive at night. It helps if you can rely on friends or neighbors to drive you on occasional necessary trips, but that means you have to cultivate these relationships so that they are there when you need them. There is always the possibility of a houseboy, if you can afford one. Or just renting a room to a responsible younger guy (student?) in exchange for his driving you here and there and getting the groceries. It may come to the point for single men, that they cannot live in the boonies in their own homes, and simply have to move to urban areas (where there is public transportation and taxis) or to "retirement" communities. One hopes that in the next 10-20 years there will be more retirement living options for gay men. Unfortunately, today, since women live so much longer than men, most retirement communities for the very elderly are mostly inhabited by women - often in a ration of about 10:1 I don't think I would be comfortable living in such a place.
  • Suetonius

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    Jul 16, 2013 9:20 PM GMT
    ART_DECO said
    freedomisntfree said
    You're very lucky that you're partnered, but what happens to those who are single or partner is deceased? I never will be married or partnered again so I guess it's a sign of my very advanced age that I'm thinking about these sort of things. I'll never anywhere near the family support that my parents have had.

    If you can't find a partner at 60 I would contend you're really not trying.
    Maybe the OP doesn't want another one?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 16, 2013 9:32 PM GMT
    Suetonius said
    ART_DECO said
    freedomisntfree said
    You're very lucky that you're partnered, but what happens to those who are single or partner is deceased? I never will be married or partnered again so I guess it's a sign of my very advanced age that I'm thinking about these sort of things. I'll never anywhere near the family support that my parents have had.

    If you can't find a partner at 60 I would contend you're really not trying.
    Maybe the OP doesn't want another one?


    Even so, one of you will die in the not so distant future and you will be left alone. Don't be smug.
  • LJay

    Posts: 11612

    Jul 16, 2013 9:47 PM GMT
    I am not joking when I say that I hope we are able to have automated cars in the near future. Wouldn't it be wonderful to have the car programmed to go to the grocery store and return safely? In the meantime we should be looking at public transit service very seriously.

    I am already taking thorough advantage of mail order pharmacy services. Even apart from needing to drive, it is a great savings to not have to buy gas or worry about the weather when I need things.

    This is not only a safety issue. It is also an important aspect of the social functioning of many folks. Any of you young guys keep an eye out for a chance to offer a ride? You could be doing a great practical favor as well as providing a little company to someone who needs it more than you know.
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    Jul 16, 2013 9:52 PM GMT
    turbobilly saidA parent growing old and becoming dependent is not easy. A reminder that we, too, will someday die.

    I was spared that, except for a brief period just before my Father's death. And that was actually a loving experience, odd as that may sound.

    He had a heart attack at 84 here in Florida, me almost 48. I flew down from Seattle to be with him, because my sister told me he was terminal, from prostate cancer that had spread, and inoperable heart disease. The doctors wanted it all kept secret from him, hence my fears about full disclosure when I developed my own prostate cancer 2 years ago.

    Released back home he finally admitted he was too weak to drive his car, so I took him everywhere. Often it was to the local American Legion Hall, his favorite hangout with other WWII veterans, where he introduced me as "my son the Colonel." I had to hide my tears, because I had never known him to appear proud of me.

    He couldn't easily cook for himself at that point, and I know little about cooking, certainly not enough to have satisfied him. Plus restaurants were a challenge, something we could only do when he was feeling well.

    So I contracted with a private meal home delivery service. Not the county's meals on wheels program, his net worth being too high. And every day a lunch and dinner would arrive at the front door, and I'd take them and enhance them a bit, and make a proper presentation. I was so happy he was pleased, him being a demanding food critic.

    I took care of all his needs, with him all day, like I had never been before in my life. Occupied with his business when I was young, and then I spent 25 years in the Army, I had never really spent quality time with him. Now I did.

    In the next 6 weeks he suffered 4 more heart attacks. Each time I phoned 911, and once I had to keep him alive until they arrived, thanks to my Army training. Now THAT is emotionally draining, giving your own Father CPR.

    His 6th and final heart attack came in the middle of the night. I never heard it, though sleeping in the next bedroom. I found him in the morning on the floor, when he didn't come out for breakfast.

    Tragic & grim though this all sounds, I actually think of it as a happy memory, the best time I ever spent with my Dad. Me helping him for once, making his last days pleasant, sharing them with him. I wouldn't have had it any other way, a gift for which I'm very grateful.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 16, 2013 9:53 PM GMT
    Retest anyone over 65 yearly, not just for driving but cognitive ability.
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    Jul 16, 2013 9:57 PM GMT
    Your disclosure means a lot to me, Artie....I saw the descent of my Mother as something beautiful, too. She was loved. She turned 84 four days before she died. She was never old to me, she was always beautiful.
  • seafrontbloke

    Posts: 300

    Jul 16, 2013 10:18 PM GMT
    My father is 79 and my mother 75. He is aware of the physical issues having been an amateur rally driver before I was born. He has said that it is difficult to see adequately over his shoulder when he is pulling out of a side road. But he lives in the deep countryside (from an English perspective) and so meeting someone else on the road isn't that likely.

    My mother however lives in the suburbs of London and so the slightest glitch in her driving would be in front of someone else. She also drives an automatic, so the likelihood is she won't stop driving for physical reasons.

    As far as other ADL are concerned, I'm already living in a city centre so I will be able to walk to the corner shop. I shop online, and my groceries are delivered, so when I'm old and grey, my younger sisters wont have to waste their visits doing the shopping. I'm sure we will be doing the shopping similarly for our parents.
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    Jul 16, 2013 11:15 PM GMT
    ART_DECO said
    freedomisntfree said
    You're very lucky that you're partnered, but what happens to those who are single or partner is deceased? I never will be married or partnered again so I guess it's a sign of my very advanced age that I'm thinking about these sort of things. I'll never anywhere near the family support that my parents have had.

    I am more than lucky, I'm blessed, if I'm allowed to say that. I found my first partner at 53, and after he died, my present partner at 58. And he was 73.

    I don't see why age has to be a limiter, though I'll admit it can present some unique challenges. I know living single is a great fear of senior gays, the specter of spending our last years alone truly frightening.

    Whether this issue of driving, or a hundred other matters related to ADLs (activities of daily living), many senior gays realize they aren't going to do well living alone in their final years.

    So don't! I see lots of single seniors every day, handsome men for their ages (and you're not bad), vital & active, financially secure, and looking. If you can't find a partner at 60 I would contend you're really not trying.


    You got that right!
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    Jul 16, 2013 11:20 PM GMT
    turbobilly said
    freedomisntfree said


    One wonders when we get to the point that a little dementia sets in and we don't have the clarity of mind to know we shouldn't drive .... as I'm experiencing with someone in the house right now ... who are we going to lean on?

    You're very lucky that you're partnered, but what happens to those who are single or partner is deceased? I never will be married or partnered again so I guess it's a sign of my very advanced age that I'm thinking about these sort of things. I'll never anywhere near the family support that my parents have had.


    After the death of my Mother I thought about that a lot.

    She had me to rely on 24/7. My brother or sister? Lol... it took my brother the blink of an eye to collect her jewelry and cash...after that, his comment?, "I don't want to be bothered." How convenient. A parent growing old and becoming dependent is not easy. A reminder that we, too, will someday die.


    In the six months or so before my father's death and seeing/experiencing what little he could do on his own made me aware of my mortality and finally start thinking what to do about it. My sister helps alot, but my brother is mostly MIA.