ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The all encompassing life decision

Updated on April 9, 2015

One of the most difficult decisions to make when aging is do we stop driving. First, driving has been an expression of independence and financial status. The baby boomer generation it became more of a statement of independence. We could drive and many of us owned a car prior to moving away from the home we shared with our parents. America has had a love affair with the automobile since it conception.

The independence afforded us has also given way to every aspect of our lifestyle. Automobiles gave us the ability to travel further, quicker and in comfort than ever before. The ability to travel gave way to more choices in education and work, while also embedding itself into our concept of family. I am sure you can see the ‘road’ we are traveling down. So now the question is how can we voluntarily give up a part of our being? Giving up the automobile is like asking us to give up inside plumbing and electricity. They are built in to our lives just as sure as bathing and breathing.

Just as we contemplate this extension of our life, it is also quite apparent that the automobile and our lives have come to a crossroad that must be taken. This column is not the forecast of our towns, cities, atmosphere or the influence of our ability to become financially independent. We are focused on what happens when in the due course of aging our reflexes slow down, our eyesight is diminished and our memory is slipping. Does this happen to everybody? Yes, to one degree or another and each person will experience a difference in the enhancements in quality of life. Some will remain strong while losing their eyesight while others will experience diminishing memory and still others, will find significant disruption of quality of life and yet, another will experience none of these.

This column is focused on our independence to make a very important decision that is almost as important as the decisions regarding our medical care, a decision that has clearly decisively importance on our lifestyle. Many of us have never used mass transit and have reached a time in our lives when a ‘new’ method of getting from one place to another is in fact a major undertaking. When we are in our 70’s and live in interurban America, we think more of personal safety than ever before.

Okay, for all the years we were working and paying taxes the money going into mass transit was (in our minds) for the other person. Even when living in very large metropolitan areas, we used parking lots and continued driving. Now we are seeing the urgency of government to provide more mass transit and taking away the need for driving from point “A” to point “B”. We can still justify our driving as point “B” is still within a comfortable distance of Point “C”, our distention.

Here is the flaw; we don’t want to give up our automobile. And when our health is the reason to give it up, more often than not there is a major depression that follows the relinquishing of the keys. The problem frequently is the safety of those around us and/or our own safety. We know we should give it up driving but this is a hard decision. And certainly no one else should try to tell us to stop driving. The problem with this is many times that is the only way for us to stop. And it is so much better if we stop driving before an accident (driving through the wall of a business, is an accident) or we become so frustrated when we cannot find our way that we have a medical ‘episode’.

So what is our family supposed to do in this instance? Support us, would be the most loving way. However, we are threatened and frequently react as angry and threatening back, we need time to think all of the decision through. Family needs to provide support and problem solving suggestions to guide us through this decision (remember many of us have not used anything but our auto to go from here to there). Certainly our country has not kept up with this evolution; community transit, mass transit and the population are not tuned to each other.

Here are some thoughts to possibly help make this decision a little easier:

  1. Let another authority figure make the decision or suggestion (Doctor, police, etc.).
  2. Take the time to go to local transit and inquire about the services.
  3. Many times seniors and disabled will have the access to ‘door to door’ service.
  4. Check into services offered through paid help, after all our seniors and disabled are owed some services in the communities they have built.
  5. Make sure we (the adult children) realize the great sacrifice our family member is making. (Effectively they have amputated a limb from their own body.)
  6. Show respect for a decision made which was one of the most difficult ever required of the person.

Next week: We have all seen the slogan “Getting old isn’t for sissys’. How can we approach this juncture of our life with grace and pride?

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)