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Elderly drivers

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8 years 4 months ago #80558 by residentmom
I once had a patient transfer to another provider when I refused to authorize him to drive (the state I was in, a DMV report involved me then doing a 6 page driver competency paperwork). He was an alcoholic, demented 80+ guy who could not even walk without falling down. The next doctor refused as well, and as far as I know he then proceeded to have no physician at all and my staff saw him driving all over town anyway. Family intervention would have been helpful, for sure.

ResidentMom<br /><br />"If you bungle raising your children, I don't think whatever else you do well matters very much." --Jackie O.

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8 years 4 months ago - 8 years 4 months ago #80561 by megboo
Just keep in mind that sometimes an accident is an accident is an accident, even if you're 80. You sound like you're a little on the fence about this patient - if you find out you can report her or have a part in taking away her license, make sure her age is the factor. Talking with the family will help a great deal. My grandmother had an accident at age 82, when she mistook her gas for brake and rear-ended 2 cars in a pile-up fashion. Family was notified, and they made the decision with grandma to shuttle her around and have her stop driving. Approach to the situation is key.

Too bad they can't take a teen's license away for a while after a series of wrecks...

"Some of it's magic and some of it's tragic but I had a good life all the way."<br />- He Went to Paris by Jimmy Buffett
Last Edit: 8 years 4 months ago by .

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8 years 4 months ago #80566 by English
Thanks, everyone, for the comments & good advice. I live in a state which has voluntary reporting & I did check out the AAFP web site for resources, but the article I found was from 2000 & did not provide me with much helpful info. Megboo, you hit the nail on the head of what I am struggling with. This patient is forgetful, late to appointments, no-shows, goes on tangents, etc-- but I have 40 yo patients that do this as well. I don't necessarily think age should be a factor in taking someone's license away as much as competence & cognitive ability should play a role. I think most elderly drivers limit their own driving once they notice their reflexes aren't as sharp or their vision starts to fail. What I worry with this patient is that her insight is lacking & she lacks that discernment-- again, not something that is strictly age related. I will talk to her family since she is new to me just to see if this is just a one time occurrence or a pattern of down hill behavior. Thank you, ladies- as always your advice is invaluable & please keep it coming.

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8 years 4 months ago #80568 by residentmom
Let me check my file on Monday at work, I saved the article, maybe it was from another source... I'll try to link it.

ResidentMom<br /><br />"If you bungle raising your children, I don't think whatever else you do well matters very much." --Jackie O.

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8 years 4 months ago #80571 by residentmom

ResidentMom<br /><br />"If you bungle raising your children, I don't think whatever else you do well matters very much." --Jackie O.

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8 years 4 months ago #80581 by megboo
Good luck English. You are very thoughtful about this matter, and I'm sure you'll make the right decision, whatever that may be.

"Some of it's magic and some of it's tragic but I had a good life all the way."<br />- He Went to Paris by Jimmy Buffett

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