Senior Life Since 2005
No-regret decisions at home, assisted living, hospitals and nursing homes
2425 Clover Street, Rochester, NY 14618
585-424-2424


ARTICLES & ANSWERS

Senior Life and Jennifer Meagher RN are featured on the WHEC News 10 website: www.WHEC.com. Jennifer answers questions from people like you and writes an article as well. She’s been writing for News 10 since 2007.

The most common questions asked of Senior Life are about life planning; options, costs and decisions. These letters and articles outline some of the considerations. Need more information? Book a consultation for complete information for your situation.

DEMENTIA

  DEMENTIA: DIGNITY and SECONDARY CONCERNS
  DEMENTIA: A FRIEND’S DENIAL and WHY DIAGNOSIS IS IMPORTANT
  WHEN DAYS AND NIGHTS ARE CONFUSED
  DRIVING WITH DEMENTIA
 

LIFE PLANNNING

  DECISIONS and FINANCES
  STAYING HOME
  MOVING
  MEDICAID
     

FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS

  PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE MOM AND GUILT ARTICLE
  CRITICAL MOTHERS AND LAZY SIBLINGS
  PERSONALITY DISORDER AND BAD PARENT VENGEANCE
  CRITICAL BROTHERS AND LONG DISTANCE FAMILIES
  SPLITTING UP PARENT’S VALUABLES
   

DRIVING WITH DEMENTIA

This month we are discussing dementia, a condition that affects over 5 million Americans. It is believed if everyone were tested the number would be 2-3 times higher.

Dear Jennifer,
My father was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. I want him to stop driving. He thinks he drives just fine. I can’t live with myself if anything happens to him or someone else. I called his doctor and he thought it was early enough in his Alzheimer’s that he is all right driving. I couldn’t believe my ears. I told the doctor in no uncertain terms that I wanted him to tell my father to stop driving. He said he would not do that and he can’t stop him from driving anyway. Is that true? The guy is a gerontologist, so I would expect him to know these things. What can I do? My father is mad at me for making a thing out of this.
Help.
Mary Lou




Dear Mary Lou,
The issue of driving depends on your father’s capability. Each person with dementia is unique. I cannot say whether he should be allowed to drive, but a diagnosis of Early Alzheimer’s is not enough. Take this quick quiz about your father’s driving:

1. How many accidents did he have this past year? NONE QUANTITY
2. Does he drive along at the speed of the traffic? YES NO
3. Does he drive in the center of his lane? YES NO
4. Has he gotten lost when driving somewhere familiar this past year? YES NO
5. Does he have serious problems with his vision? Is it time for an eye exam? YES NO
6. Does he become anxious in intersections or busy streets? YES NO
7. Does he drive through turns correctly? YES NO
8. Is he paying attention to cars and pedestrians? YES NO
9. 9. Does he obey traffic signs and lights? YES NO
10. Are most family members worried about his driving Skill? YES NO

If you are worried about the new diagnosis of Alzheimer’s but he seems to be driving all right, then take some deep breaths and let him drive. The key is for you to keep an eye on his driving and maintain open communication. Read on for more.

Warmly,
Jennifer



DEMENTIA AND DRIVING: TRUE OR FALSE

TRUE OR FALSE: A doctor can stop their patient from driving.
Not so. Doctors can recommend it, but they cannot take away their license. If, however, the person drives after their doctor told them to stop and gets into an accident, this person has drastically increased the liability for the accident and may be charged accordingly. The doctor can complete a report for you to take to the Department of Motor Vehicles.

TRUE OR FALSE: The police can take away his license.
Yes. If the infraction is considered a misdemeanor, the license can be taken, pending court proceedings.
No. If the infraction was not a misdemeanor, there will still be a police report, which creates a record and can be used at the DMV.

TRUE OR FALSE: It is all right to take away the car.
This is tricky. If the elder has enough concentration to file a complaint with the police, it may appear you stole the car. The best, is to go through appropriate channels and get the license revoked.

TRUE OR FALSE: The Department of Motor Vehicles can take away a license.
Yes. If you are very concerned about your loved one’s driving capabilities, go online to the NYS DMV Driver’s Re-evaluation Program. You will find a form for your doctor to complete or for you to submit or both.

If your loved one is adamant that s/he is a very good driver, another option is to enroll in the Drive On Program here in Rochester. This program will extensively test your loved one, and either recommend retiring from driving, or retrain to continue driving.



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2425 Clover Street Rochester NY 14618
info@seniorlifegcm.com
585.424.2424