Categories
Senior Living

When is it Time to Put the Brakes on Elderly Driving?

Family Conversations with Older Drivers

senior driving

Our nearby senior community, Somerby of Alpharetta, invited me to a seminar they were giving titled “We need to talk… Family Conversations with Older Drivers” one of several excellent seminars they were giving. This is a good service they are doing and the meeting room was full. Didn’t hurt they included dinner, but the seminar was very professional and included speakers Thomas Corrigan who is a Geriatric Consultant, Mr. Jim Swain an elder care attorney, an Alpharetta police officer, and Ms Deann Young the Somerby representative.

The stop driving seminar was excellent and here are some of the highlights from my notes.

Ms. Young pointed out age alone is not sufficient to make the decision to stop driving.  Their is a post man in Birmingham Al who is over age 90 and still drives his postal route and has never had an accident. Many elderly drives are fine despite the jokes about old drivers.

There was a resident of Somerby who got up to talk about his decision to stop driving.  He and his wife had been living up at Big Canoe when he started having mini seizes, just going blank a couple of seconds.  He got better, then off on on he might have one.  He said he always had a practice throughout his life of arriving early for an appointment and to do that, he had to leave early. So in his mind he certainly didn’t want to hurt or injury anyone, and although he might could continue to drive until something happen, he would stop now. It was not about him, but about other people and their children.  Just like leaving early to keep his appointments, he would stop driving now, maybe early but the safe route.

Elderly Driving

Mr. Swain pointed out most people have been driving longer than they have been married, or longer than their career. It is difficult decision for them to make, to stop driving.

Some facts were presented.  You can’t say when a safe time of time to drive is, accidents happen all the time. An elderly driver has a 66% chance of dying in a vehicle crash. When you are young you can bounce back, but vehicle crashes are more serious to older people.

Age related conditions like macular degeneration and cataracts can interfere with driving.  Your field of vision really goes down hill fast after age 75. Medical factors which impact driving include diminished eyesight and hearing, prescription medications, decreased reaction time, physical flexibility, impaired judgment, dementia and memory loss, increase use of alcohol or OTC medications.

So how do you being a conversation with an older person about whether it is time to stop driving?  Begin collecting information.  Take a ride with the driver. Ask yourself would you let your 5 year old grandchild be in the car with them?  Get a driving evaluation (cost $300-$500)that will test cognition, reflexes, vision, flexibility, and visual attention. Has the Senior been in “close calls” or got lost while driving. Take a walk around their vehicle and look for dents and scrapes. Seniors have may difficulty turning to check over their shoulder while backing up or changing lanes. Has the Senior received multiple traffic tickets or warnings from law enforcement offers? All of these could be warning sign tells about driving problems.

It was pointed out that Seniors are a tough generation and don’t know quit, stop or give up. Later Officer Howard offers that you should talk with Seniors about Retiring from driving -not quitting.

Discussion About Driving

It is good to have the whole family on board before having conversations with the Senior about not driving. Discuss in a private setting. Then maybe the least confrontational relative or friend should begin the conversation about it maybe time to stop driving. Try to be non-confrontational. Encourage the Senior to express their concerns about their driving. Realize but remove the emotion from conversation. Then the whole family could reinforce the conversation.

Maybe give the Senior socially acceptable reasons that they could tell their friends why they stopped driving, like a hip replacement or medications for example. They need to explain why they stopped driving.

Offer up solutions

Other options for getting around could include take a taxi, using senior center vans, home care agency, senior service agencies, public transportation, and family members or neighbors and friends.

New Activities

Some new routines for the Senior that do not include driving may be gardening, spending time with grandchildren, travel, senior centers, family activities.

Positive steps Loved Ones Can Take
Schedule an eye exam with an Ophthalmologist, ask physician if there are assistive devices which could help with driving, have senior undergo a complete physical examination, consider neuropsychological testing if dementia is a concern, review all medications and side effects which could affect driving, arrange for the Senior to take a driver education refresher course through AAA or AARP, offer to pay for a comprehensive driving evaluation.

Professional Help

Doctors can help but it was pointed out they are not going to tell the Senior they can’t drive anymore.  Geriatric Care Manager can assisted as well as counseling professionals, Senior Realtors and certified driving instructor.

Hope this points help if you are concerned about a Senior continuing to drive.

Senior Community Guide

Originally posted 2010-11-08 08:55:35.

Categories
Small Town Living

Small Town Living For All Generations

I usually write about retiring to a small town but there are other groups attracted to small town living.  As John Mellencamp says Some people are born in a small town, live their life in a small town and die in that same small town.

Then there’s a group interested in “lifestyle” that living in a small town appeals to,  brought to my attention by David Carse’s blog post “Small Business – The Solution To The Worlds Woes“.

In the post he touts small living as well as small business.  When you think about it, they kind of go together.

David says  “We made the decision to start our own business as a lifestyle choice. We had come from a big city, where we would commute to work, drop kids at day care, work for some boss in a company culture we didn’t believe in, then off home again, repeat. All so you can buy that expensive house, pay for those child care fees, maybe buy a trinket to put in your house on the weekend.

It all struck us as a bit of a hamster wheel and not really satisfying. With a young family we wanted to spend time with our kids and each other. We also thought – we only have one life, we didn’t want to wake up at 50, finally owning that house and lots of other crap but not knowing our kids.”

Big city living working at a big impersonal corporation and spending your time in the traffic getting to your cubicle was not the kind of life David wanted.

David continues “We started this business in early 2009 after the first GFC. We saw a need in the region and built up the courage to go out on our own. It has been hard, but in 3 years we now have over 115 websites and some wonderful clients.

During these 3 years of business I have been involved with many other businesses, discussing what they do, who they employ, who their customers are. The vast majority of my clients are small/micro business, under 20 employees. The thing I have noticed is these businesses are the lifeblood of their towns and communities. It is these, commonly family run, businesses that create an income for themselves, employee others and create something of value in their community. I really respect these clients, and some of them are 2nd and 3rd generation businesses.”.

So out of the big city to a small town community and from the big corporation working for the man to your own small business that is part of your town and community is more to David lifestyle likening.  He points out that shopping locally with real people and family businesses is giving back to your community.

Finally David says “You could take it a step further, if you are employed by a large corporation, consider downshifting to a rural community and contributing to a smaller local business. You would be amazed at how affordable housing is and what a pleasant lifestyle these rural towns can provide.”

It is clear that small town living appeals across generations for the same reasons that we tout small town retirement living.  Thanks for our insight David.

Originally posted 2011-11-20 11:22:51.

Categories
Vermont

Towns and Communities in Vermont

I will to going to Burlington VT next week to seek the leaf foliage.   I know Vermont has a lot of small towns that would be a great place to live and would like to visit some.  We plan to do a lot of driving, maybe up hwy 100 and then one day up to the North toward Montreal.

If you know of any good small towns that I could review while in VT, please let me know. If you have retired in VT, let us know where you live and what the area has to offer.

UPDATE:  Well I did visit Vermont and really liked it.  We staying in Burlington and liked everything about it.  It has a University, a great small town for walking, many restaurants, many sites to see like the Vermont Teddy Bear factory, Lake Champlain, and others.  We did Stowe, the ski resort up in the mountains were I took that photo at the top of the post.  Side trips up to Montreal Canada and over to upstate New York were great too.  I see from our site that there are several 55+ communities in Vermont so I need to take another visit.

 

Originally posted 2012-12-06 18:55:22.

Categories
Small Town Living

Are Small Towns Safer?

It is suggested that living in a small town would be safer than living in a city or urban setting.  With coronavirus there is more risks in living closer together, that’s why there is talk of people moving out of cities to the suburbs and smaller towns.  In a small town you would be far removed from city gangs or crime waves.  You would probably know and respect your neighbors.  You would probably be living a more self sufficient lifestyle, maybe making or growing some of your food.

If things deteriorated in the city, people would start leaving and relocating to small towns or other locations.  That is what is happening in Mexico right now, with the drug cartel crime wave and killings, Mexican citizens are relocating to Texas or Arizona to get away.  Just pulling up stakes and leaving.  The same thing could happen here in the USA.  Where would you go?

Knowing your neighbors and respecting and relying on each other, certainly has it’s benefits if things get tougher. Helping each other out and watching out for each other is more likely to take place in small towns.

Being more self sufficient is a trait most people living in small towns have.  They don’t have all the services and trades available to pick up the phone and have someone come over to do the job.  So they learn to do it themselves.  Many people small town residents have gardens so they can grow their own food.  They are close to farmers where they may be able to purchase fresh produce if transportation to the grocery and cities break down.  Growing a Victory Garden is now “in”.  I have started my Victory Garden with Heirlooms seeds in my Square Foot Garden.  These Square Foot Gardens can be grown just about anywhere, but having a bit of land sure would be nice.

Many people living in small towns have hunted and fished at some point.  Those skills may come in handy.  Just as important is being close to the forest where game live.

Real estate values in small towns could hold their own or maybe even increase as more people look to move out of the cities if this crises escalates.  Some people already are moving to ‘the country” who have lost their jobs and are looking for more affordable housing.

Of coarse as I have written about before, their are other Advantages of Living in a Small Town.

Arizona senior centers  Seattle senior center

Originally posted 2020-08-12 14:27:00.

Categories
Texas

Small Towns in Texas | Best Places to Live

Cuero
Cuero Texas

Texas is one of the largest states in the U.S. Due to this fact; it stands to reason that Texas has a variety of different cities and townships that operate in a variety of ways. The state of Texas has many metropolitan areas that attract hundreds of thousands to millions of inhabitants to the metro area. Texas is also made up of a large number of small, unique towns.

Some small towns in Texas are the epitome of the American experience. Small town living has many advantages, and at the top of the list is the feeling of being one large family. Small towns in Texas often have families who have been in the community for decades or more. It is also easy to get to know new -comers in a small Texas town. If you are looking for a homey, family feeling community, small towns in Texas are a good place to start and here are some we like.

Originally posted 2020-09-01 05:16:37.

Categories
Active Adult Georgia

Anticipating a Move to a Small Town

Anticipating a Move to a Small Town

After having lived in an urbanized suburb of Atlanta for 40 years, this is the year I will be moving out to a Del Webb community Atlanta in a small town. Granted it is on outskirts of the metro area, about 15 minutes from a major mall and commercial district, but it will still be plenty different from my current location.

There are groceries stores, UPS store, some restaurants, liquor stores, banks and others around my new community. A biggie is a brand new 100 bed hospital at the entrance to my new community. That is actually closer than my current hospitals.

What is also closer is recreation amenities right in the community, plenty of sidewalks and trails for walking.  There are daily activities, a gym and indoor and outdoor pools at the clubhouse which is within walking distance from my new home.

Our current friends will be about 45 minutes to an hour from our new community so we can still stay in touch and meet for lunch.  At the new community there will be plenty of opportunities to meet new friends who will live in the same community and be available during the week, not just the weekends.

After a month or so at the new community I will have to do a post with my observations about how living in an active adult community in a small town is different from what I am used to.

We are thinking all the community offers will more than make up for any dislocations of living in a small town.  Part of what scares people moving from a metro area to a small town is the people – will they be accepting and what kinds of cultural changes will be faced. Most of that concern will be alleviated by moving to an active adult community with almost two thousand residents coming from all over the country and the world.

Of course my old friend the Internet will be with me. There is high speed Comcast cable and the cell phone reception is reportedly good for several carriers. Small towns these days have very good broadband and cell phone coverage

So this year will be an interesting one for us as we take life by the horns and transition to a new life in an retirement community. We have waited long enough and at age 67 and retired we look forward to making new friends and being active in our new community on a daily basis. We are avid Bocce players and they say we will fit right it. That is the first club we will sign up for, along with coin collectors club, day trippers, travel club and hiking club.  That will be a good start.

As far as the town, exploring the several nearby small towns, visiting the dairy, the winery and maybe the outlet mall up the road will be on the list. The Road Atlanta sports car track is nearby and a group from the community visits the track for several races which I will probably join them. Fort Yargo Park is nearby with over 1800 areas with a 260-acre lake that offers a large swimming beach, fishing and boat ramps.  Maybe it’s time to take up fishing again. I will keep you posted.  -Robert Fowler

Village at Deaton Creek

Originally posted 2020-08-01 04:27:23.