QUESTION: I am in my mid-80s and my children are telling me I’m too old to drive. Can I be denied a license because of my age?
ANSWER: No. There is no age limit for renewing a driver’s license. However, as we age physical changes do take a gradual toll on our abilities and can make us less safe drivers.
Because your family is concerned, you should discuss the matter with them to determine why they don’t want you to continue to drive. Perhaps they see some physical changes that you aren’t recognizing as potential problems.
Most of the cues we rely on while driving are visual. Vision declines with age. Have you noticed a loss of ability to see fine details, lack of peripheral vision, changes in depth perception or difficulty with seeing at night? Your family’s concerns may be with your eyesight, not your age.
Aging also has a way of reducing our physical strength and reaction time. Both are very important to driving skills. Hearing is also an important part of safe driving and it’s common to lose some hearing over time.
Review the prescription and over-the-counter drugs that you may be taking. Many medications affect our systems which can and often do affect driving skills.
Many vision and hearing problems can be easily corrected and medical assistance may be all that you require. Talk to your doctor about these issues and ask his or her opinion about your driving abilities.
If you are reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles for conditions that appear to impair your driving ability, the DMV will contact you and likely schedule a behind-the-wheel driver’s test. This action is not based on your age, but rather on your ability to drive safely.
If you are required to take a road test, relax and do the best you can. It’s hard to give up the freedom of driving, but for your sake and others on the road it is best to be realistic about your driving ability.
QUESTION: I am just becoming aware that my balance is not as good as it was. Are there any classes that can help?
ANSWER: You are not alone. Many seniors find that their balance isn’t as good as it was when they were younger. But your question is very timely as the Simi Valley Senior Center is offering an eight-week structured group class that might be exactly what you are looking for.
A Matter of Balance is being offered from 10 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays, July 11- Sept. 5, and 1 to 3 p.m. Wednesdays, July 12-Aug. 30.
The class is free, but space is limited to 15 participants. To reserve your space, call 583-6363.
July 10-31: CSVP Boutique’s Christmas Sale: Stock up on holiday items and decorations from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. July 10-31 at Goebel Adult Community Center, 1385 E. Janss Road, Thousand Oaks. Inventory will be updated weekly. For more information, call 381-2742.
July 14: White & Blue Dance: Simi Valley Council will hold the dance from 7:30 to 10 p.m. July 14 featuring live music by the Aristicats at the Simi Valley Senior Center, 3900 Avenida Simi, Simi Valley. Tickets are $7 per person and available at the center. For more information, call 583-6363.
July 15: Stars and Stripes Social: Live entertainment, ice cream treats and more will be offered from 2 to 4 p.m. July 15 at Simi Valley Senior Center, 3900 Avenida Simi, Simi Valley. For more information or to reserve a spot, call 583-6363.