Russ M. and his son Wes are good friends and always have been. Russ, age 90, values his son’s great sense of humor and the trust they have for one another. But their relationship faced a significant challenge when Wes raised concerns about his father’s driving.
“I was resenting his intrusion into my decision making, and he was resenting my stubbornness,” Russ said. “I’m a very independent individual, and the thought of having to depend on other people and other resources was abhorrent to me.”
They were at an impasse – neither would budge. With the help of an online program (see our “Have You Had the Talk” online resources) they were better able to see each other’s point of view. And while the program resolved the family conflict, it didn’t make Russ’ decision to give up the keys any easier.
“The experience of giving up my car was one of the two most traumatic events I’ve ever had in my life,” Russ said. (The first being the death of his first wife!)
Having his son’s understanding and support helped as did the knowledge that community resources were available to help him maintain his independence. Resources like Via.
In the midst of the conflict with his son, Russ participated in Via’s travel training program, partially to explore his options but also to placate his son. Learning that he could use public transit to visit his life-long companion, Ginger, in Brighton, helped him to see that he was “free to live my normal life.”
Since giving up his keys, Russ has also used Via’s door-to-door bus service for occasional medical trips. And he’s learned about other community resources available for seniors who don’t drive.
“It took me several months before adjusting, but I have emerged, at last, with nary a blip on my life-style,” he said.
Via needs your support to provide transportation and mobility options for seniors like Russ who have made the decision to give up keys. Make a donation today.