35 MILLION….

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Thirty five million drivers over 65 years old and in 35 years at least 35 million more.Listening to that statement gave me chills. IF you have ever driven with an elderly driver who is not quite up to parr with all the rest of us you know what I mean. We had to finally disable my dad’s pick up to keep him from breaking away from home when we were gone. The neighbors did their part by watching out for him, but after several mishaps.. it was clear.. he needed to be taken off the streets. We tried everything. Taking keys away, pulling spark plug wires, telling him there was no gas. Nothing worked. Running over curbs and several near misses while driving did not deter him. He just didn’t realize what was happening.  Don’t get me wrong.. I am  not saying all elderly drivers are a hazard on the roads. I am saying though, that some really shouldn’t be out there driving.

I will be one of those older drivers in the future, and I hope I have the sense left to remember what it was like in that car with someone who just couldn’t stop. Working with the elderly for so many years I have put myself in harm’s way more than once. One time I ended up in the back seat floorboard praying for my life. One time I had to stand  there while the police officer looked at me in disgust because I didn’t tell the woman that she needed to GET out from under the wheel and let ME drive. Hey she wasn’t a relative.. I just worked for her.  One time I watched a woman back up into the guard rail and nearly put her car into the fast-moving river. One time I sat in the ER waiting to hear if the driver’s arm was broken from running their car into a parked car. I decided in about my 10th year working  to just insist that I do the driving and that was what I was PAID to do. Money talks!! It seemed to work. I watched an old woman drive her  Chrysler station wagon all over her own property just to be able to get under the wheel.  She was a dear woman who at least was not putting anyone at risk while she drove around. There is a freedom we are talking about here. Once that freedom is gone you lose a part of yourself that you have had since you were a teen. It is a very hard thing to do. “NEVER GET OLD”,  I have been told so many times in my life by so many patients! Guess there is no miracle to keep from getting old, but we can sure try. Maybe the powers that be should make anyone over 70 do more testing before giving out a license. Guess it is up to each city and state to make that decision. Our seniors now days are much more aware of laws and regulations and are more alert, smart, and living  a lot longer than ever before.  Someday in the future, maybe there will be no problem with  elderly drivers, by then cars will be driving themselves around and all we have to do is tell them where we want to go. Don’t laugh it could happen..maybe…  
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About CAROL

I was a caregiver for the elderly on and off for over 30 years.I am now retired and enjoying a new life. I love blogging and have kept a personal journal for 40 years. I enjoy the freedom of being creative and interacting with the millions of other bloggers in the world.I love learning the new things that the computer world has to offer. I have made friends that will last a lifetime blogging, something I never ever thought would happen. I hope you enjoy my blog,and will continue to visit me in the future.

6 responses »

  1. I’m sure everyone’s had encounters with old people on the roads… they often drive way too slowly, obstructing traffic flow, or they pull risky maneuvers like changing lanes randomly (minus indicators) or braking suddenly for no apparent reason. I’ve also seen old drivers bashing other cars in parking lots and at intersections.
    I think that either: 1) Licences should be revoked after 65 or thereabouts (in most cases) 2) There should be a mandatory competency test at 60 and every few years after that, testing vision, reflexes, parking, etc.

    I think the first option might cause a lot of issues, and there also isn’t much infrastructure to provide public transport for unsafe drivers.

  2. And yes, option one would cause a massive uproar, as well as be a whole lot of unfair. I know some oldies, I mean real oldies, like 85, who can driver perfectly well, so no need to penalise the majority just because some fools are getting a bit senile. 🙂
    Regular tests after 65 sound good to me. And hey ….older ladies should get drivers to take them shopping on Sundays!

  3. I should go easy on older people cause I am getting up there in age and one day the DMV may demand my . Why? Cause I am old dammit!

  4. I have experience with both sides of this equation because I’ve both had someone who’s elderly drive outlandishly and because I saw my grandpa (both of them) deteriorate to the point where they couldn’t drive. I guess it’s a thing that needs some mercy and wisdom. I understand both sides but don’t have a perfect solution in spite of that. Mandatory testing I guess isn’t a bad thing but on the selfish side I think of myself eventually being on that end of things…who the heck wants to put up with that all the time? Sheesh! I hate aging!

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