Rant and Rave
Driving with Alzheimer's: Public Transportation Needed
Penny Hillemann sent the following letter
RE: testing older drivers:
I agree with a lot that Tom says in his Rant. I have been a passenger in a car driven by someone in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease, and it was scary. This person was my father, who had always prided himself on being a good driver. Fortunately, he recognized his failing abilities and eventually stopped driving before anything serious happened. He recognized how important it was to put others' safety above his personal pride and convenience in driving.
It wasn't too hard for my dad to make this decision, because he lived in a major city with an excellent public transportation system. He could walk or take a nearby bus to get almost anywhere he would want to go.
Older people who live in the country, suburbs or towns without good public transport know that when they stop driving, a major change in lifestyle lies ahead for them. While I am so proud of my father for making the decision he made, I can understand why others would put off making such a decision longer than he did.
As a result, I do support some additional testing for elderly drivers, but I also think alternative means of transportation must be part of the solution to this particular problem.
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