Elderly People Who Go Missing

@worldwise1 (14887)
United States
August 6, 2007 9:38pm CST
I just heard the announcement of yet another elderly woman who has gone missing. She has Alzheimers Disease-as do most of the ones I frequently hear about. What I don't understand is why these people are allowed to continue driving. It would seem the proper thing to do would be to pull their licenses as soon as they are diagnosed with this problem. There should be a system set in place where their condition could be reported, thereby denying them driving privileges. A member of my family has had this disease for a few years and was still driving until a few months ago in spite of the fact that he would get lost and not be able to find his way back home sometimes. His family tried in vain to stop him from driving. He kept refusing. This makes no sense to me.
4 people like this
11 responses
@Feona1962 (7527)
• United States
7 Aug 07
They are not only a danger to themselves but others as well. I don't know that they could put such a law in place, because of other people driving that have certain conditions, like epilepsy.
@worldwise1 (14887)
• United States
7 Aug 07
Well, Feona, in my opinion, people with epilepsy should have their licenses restricted too. I have seen people have epileptic seizures and there is no way they would be able to control a car in such a situation.
2 people like this
@Feona1962 (7527)
• United States
7 Aug 07
That is why I mentioned it. It actually happened to someone and he killed a woman..It is very sad and I do agree with you but I don't how they would work it..These are surely valid reasons..People will argue, if they are taking medicine then it should be okay. This guy had medicine but he didn't bother to take it that day.
1 person likes this
@sid556 (30989)
• United States
7 Aug 07
In my state drivers licences are pulled for epilepsy as well as alzheimers. I was just talking to a young man of about 21 who was just diagnosed with epilepsy and even tho he only has occassional attacks, his license was revoked. He was ok with it because when the attacks occur they come on without warning and as he said, he would hate to be behind the wheel should that happen.
• United States
7 Aug 07
I would think that generally speaking the ones who still have their license are in their first stages of Alzheimers. Plus, legally, as long as they can pass the test in HOW to drive they cannot pull their license unless they seem to be a threat to others. Usually it's the family who asks for the license to be revoked. My great uncle had Alzheimers and in the beginning stages still drove. They thought he was just "forgetful" for a while until it happened over and over that he would park his car and forget where it was, often walking for miles.
@Aurone (4757)
• United States
7 Aug 07
Makes no sense to me either. I think people should have to re-take the driving test at a certain age. There is no way some people should be driving. And if you have Alzeheimers then you should not be able to drive either. We have to think of the safety of the other drivers and of the elderly people themselves. Of course, if we took better care of our elders, then perhaps they wouldn't feel it necessary to drive.
@worldwise1 (14887)
• United States
7 Aug 07
What you say makes perfect sense to me, Aurone. They did refuse my mother a license after she reached a certain age. I think it was due to her poor vision though. You are also right about the fact that many of the elders are neglected in our society. I have reached the age where I am considered a senior and I find it hard to get places sometimes since I don't drive. Nobody has the time to do anything any more. I do have one daughter that really looks out for me(my baby) although she doesn't drive. She will come over and do all kinds of nice things for me.
• Malaysia
7 Aug 07
You will understand the situation once you are in it. I think I understand why people with alzheimers refuse to stop driving. It's about dignity and the issue of survival for oneself. We can't totally depend on others to move on. As long as we can be independent, we should do things by ourselves. Most of the time people who takes care of alzheimers sufferers only said to ban them from driving because they do not want to get into trouble. But i think if we start to understand how they feel inside, we will let them drive. What we have to do is equip them with an address book and a reminder so that whenever they forget their way home, they will be able to find it through the reminder. Life is great, and we should value each and every moment of it with love and care.
1 person likes this
@naty1941 (2336)
• United States
7 Aug 07
In California a Doctor or relative can contact the Dept. of Motor Vehicles and have their license suspended.
1 person likes this
@crazynurse (7489)
• United States
7 Aug 07
I agree with you, we all need to ban together to keep this group of people safe. I too think that physicians should have to send the names of those diagnosed with Alzheimer's to a central data base with the highway patrol and their license should be taken. Families should hide car keys. It seems cruel, but by doing this we could perhaps save their life and the life of others whom they are liable to get into an accident with! Our government should fund more day centers for these folks so that they would have a place to go and be with others and kept safe rather than spending so much on foreign need. I best stop here, or I'll get on my soapbox and still be here at midnight ranting about government spending that is not prioritized the way I would like for it to be!
1 person likes this
@Nardz13 (5059)
• New Zealand
7 Aug 07
Hi there. Why elderly go missing, the elderly simply go walk abouts usually when they're in resthomes, or hospitals, old peoples hospital, most of them will have a degree of Alzheimers Disease... I saw alot of this happening, as a pt time caregiver local resthome years ago...
@weemam (13377)
7 Aug 07
This is really quite hard to do , wgen my dad was first showing signs of Alzheimers , long before he was diagnosed , He stopped at a road end and forgot for a moment how to start the car , I tried to tell him he would have to give up his licence , I was worried for him and MUm bur I was worried too he could cause an accident and kill someone else , I contacted our doctor made an appointment with him for my Dad , the Doctor explained ant told him to go home and hang up his car keys , it was really sad as i had to do all the paperwork , but it had to be done , for his sake and for others , he loves going with me now though xxx
@Calais (10899)
• Australia
7 Aug 07
Gee, thats so sad...I really do not understand why they are still driving also...Why didnt their family help them, if they knew what their situation was..
@wisedragon (2330)
• Philippines
7 Aug 07
It is very sad how Alzheimer's Disease can devastate a person's mentation. I agree that they shouldn't be allowed to drive. But then again, would that really stop them from going out of the house? They can still walk or take a bus. So it's really up to the family or facility staff to make sure that these poor elderly are well taken care of and protected from harm. It is very difficult because Alzheimer's devastates relationships with other people as well, but it must be done. It's really sad. I wish there could be a medical treatment for this disease.
@3lilangels (4639)
• United States
7 Aug 07
i definately believe there should be a certain age either they get cut off from driving or they have to retake the driving test.especially if they have illnesses like parkensons etc.because not only are they risking their life,they are risking everyone on the roads life.