sometimes Alzheimer's can be liberating

  1. My old mom has a bit of dementia. Sometimes it is a good thing. Her neighbor, who is also elderly, just ran over her other neighbor's dog today. The elderly gent has no business driving according to my mom. She ran onto the porch and shook her fist at him and CURSED him. She screamed, "GD you Harry, you could hardly drive when you were a young man and now that you are old you can't drive at all. Sell that car and give up driving before you kill a kid". Then she turned to the neighbor whose dog had been hit and said, "Mary Ann you call the cops and tell them what he just did so they can revoke his license". I was standing behind her in complete shock, my jaw was on the ground. In the old days she would never say peep about anything, always so concerned about being a proper lady and not causing trouble. Sad to say the little black dog is dead. In case you think to condemn the owners I must say these people have always super caring dog owners. They have two dogs and they never, never let them out. How in the heck the little black one got loose I'll never know. I am so used to seeing the collie and the little black dog sitting at the gate watching the neighborhood. It will seem strange not to see that sight. When I was leaving I looked back over my shoulder and saw the collie sitting at the gate alone. He seemed to be confused and I got the impression he expects the little black dog to return soon. I did not see the accident. My mom said that most people would have seen the dog and stopped in time. Not Harry though, who she claims is as blind as a bat and can't drive. Do you know that no one said a word to her, not even Harry. Then of course there is the incident with the breaking and entering but that is another MOM story.
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   passing thru
    "Do not go gentle into that dark night."


    Dylan Thomas
  4. by   hiker
    Anyone can notify the DMV in your town about this old blind guy, and they will require him to come in for an exam. Old demented or otherwise unfit drivers of ANY age are a pet peeve of mine. So please call, the life you save may be someone you love.
  5. by   Mkue
    Originally posted by hiker
    the life you save may be someone you love.
    well said hiker
  6. by   dianah
    Feel sad for the collie, I've heard/read that animals, if allowed to examine (sniff, etc, if you will) the body of a buddy who has died, accept that death has occurred. They then don't pine and sit waiting for the buddy to come home.
    Agree w/hiker - report!
    BTW, my mom has gotten much more ornerier as she's aged - has never minced words, really, but is much more blunt and "up front," does what she wants, e.g., if she doesn't want to drive to my sister's for Thanksgiving, she just stays home and has a quiet day to herself.
    "When I am old, I shall wear purple . . ."
  7. by   pickledpepperRN
    We had a neighbor for over 30 years. She was in her 90s before becoming forgetful. Once she told a mutual friend, "You did not introduce me to your friend." (We had known each other a quarter century)
    She drove the few blocks to church and the store. SCAREY! She looked through the steering wheel, stopped at a STOP sign, and then drove through the intersection without looking for pedestrians or traffic. The only good part was that she drove slow. We notified the DMV & LAPD. Amazingly she lived to be 103 without having an accident.

    This lady would give partys when in her 70s & 80s with kids, parents, food, and lots of messy art projects for kids. She let them use her garlic press to make play dough 'hair'. Paint and glue. She said, "I have plenty of time to clean up tomorrow."
  8. by   night owl
    Ya know, someday we will all be like this. So when do you give up your driving privleges? I think it should be a given that anyone still driving at say 70 should be tested again. If your reflexes are too slow, it's time to pack it in. If you can't see, it's time to pack it in, if you're too short and can't see over the steering wheel, it's time. It's one of my pet peeves also and some older folks just do not need to be on the road, and that goes for some younger drivers too! Report him! You may save his life or someone elses.
  9. by   Tweety
    It's scarey how many elderly people here in Florida are still driving. It's also the difference between dependence and independence. But if they are dangerous, then they need to not drive.

    I think the elderly need to be tested more frequently and pass a road test and eye exam. Here in Florida an 80 year old can renew and get a license for six more years. A lot can happen to an 80 year old in six years.

    Sorry about your neighbors dog though. Sad story. Good for your mom!
  10. by   gwenith
    The elderly ARE tested more frequently here but teh eye test is a letter form thier doctor. We had a fit some years back when my grandmother was to have her cataracts operated on and she stated that it would be a relief as she was seeing double out of one eye and the other was cloudy - she was still driving AND her stupid doctor was happily signing her liscence requirements each year!!!

    We got together as a family and organised for her to have cab vouchers. She kept her mobility and it was not any more expensive than runnign a car, for her at least.
  11. by   nowplayingEDRN
    Originally posted by night owl
    Ya know, someday we will all be like this. So when do you give up your driving privleges? I think it should be a given that anyone still driving at say 70 should be tested again. If your reflexes are too slow, it's time to pack it in. If you can't see, it's time to pack it in, if you're too short and can't see over the steering wheel, it's time. It's one of my pet peeves also and some older folks just do not need to be on the road, and that goes for some younger drivers too! Report him! You may save his life or someone elses.
    Bovine-ly put, Night Owl. I could not have moo'd it better myself

    Alas, my Pop fits this scenario all to well. And he is starting to get forgetful, too...which makes t scarey. Oramar, my Gram is starting to get like that too as she gets older. No Alzheimer's just more vocal and outspoken......sometimes it's very humorous, too!
  12. by   funnygirl_rn
    Both of my grand-mothers who have since passed...were respectively 95 & 96 years old...and yep still driving. We were able to talk (rather con) my Dad's mother to stop driving & give up her license...but my other grand-mother...sheeesh...she was so darn stubborn...finally my Mom & some of her sisters finally managed to get her to give it up. This grandmother would come back from church & there were always various colors on both sides of her car....she claimed that people side swiped her car while she was in church....I don't think so...we heard from other members of the church that saw her numerous times pulling too close to other cars in the parking lot..hence the fresh paint marks on her car.
  13. by   ktwlpn
    Originally posted by oramar
    They have two dogs and they never, never let them out. How in the heck the little black one got loose I'll never know.
    I'd call it Divine Intervention--a slap up the side of the head for the old man.That little dog very well could have been a kid-or a car full of a whole family...
  14. by   Quickbeam
    I am a nurse for a state DOT/DMV and my job is overseeing licensing for anyone with medical impairments that might impact safety. And yes, that includes older drivers. My state has over 40 drivers over 100 years old with active licenses. Not saying that is a good thing or not, just a fact.

    It is incredibly complex to try and tease out the bad drivers from the demented from the "so many health problems its hard to pick one" drivers. I can tell you that the MINUTE you make any noise about aged based restrictions or testing, you have class action suits. Every day I get letters from irate older drivers who are sure they got a ticket because they are older. In reality, older drivers get far fewer tickets because the police are told it is good public relations to simply help the older driver get home and warn them verbally. I had a case last week of a woman who plowed into a stopped school bus with sign out and flashers on...she didn't even get a ticket because she was 75. If I had done that, I'd be in jail until the Cubs won the World Series.

    Every state deals with the older/health impaired question differently so it pays to know what your states does. Many health care professionals make a lot of assumptions that aren't true. For example, many of the MDs who come to practice in my midwestern state trained in states where there is mandatory reporting. They assume that is the case here which it is not. There are only 6 states which require MDs to report seizures or other debilitating illnesses to the DOT/DMV.

    Anyone have a specific question, please feel free to PM me. Or reply here. It's what I do!

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