Q: I’m in my early 80s, and my children say I’m too old to drive. Can I be denied a license because of my age? A: There is no age limit for renewing a driver’s license. As we age, however, physical changes take a gradual toll on our abilities and can make us less safe drivers. You should discuss the matter with your children to determine why they don’t want you to continue to drive. Perhaps they see physical changes that you don’t recognize as potential problems. Most cues on which we rely while driving are visual, and vision declines with age. Have you noticed a loss of ability to see fine details, a lack of peripheral vision, changes in depth perception or difficulty seeing at night? Your family’s concern may be with your eyesight, not your age. Aging also reduces physical strength and reaction time, both important driving skills. Hearing also is important to safe driving, some hearing loss is common over time. Review the medicines you take. Many affect driving skills. Many vision and hearing problems can be easily corrected, and medical assistance may be all you need. Ask your doctor for an opinion of your driving abilities. If you are reported to the DMV for conditions that appear to impair your driving ability, the DMV will likely call you into the office, and a behind-the-wheel driver’s test may be required. This is not based on age but on the ability to drive safely. If you have to take a road test, relax and do your best. Q: At the start of each year, I get confused about the Medicare Part B deductible. I have several doctors and never know which one I should pay. Can you provide a simple explanation? A: The key to understanding the puzzle can be found in your Medicare Summary Notice. The Medicare Part B deductible is applied on a basis of first claim received, first claim applied to the deductible. This means that when a new year starts, Medicare will apply your first claim or claims received to your deductible until the full deductible has been satisfied. Keep in mind that the first claim Medicare receives may or may not necessarily be from the first doctor you saw in the new year. Your summary will show which provider’s services Medicare applied to the deductible, the amount of the deductible owed to that provider and how much of the deductible has been met for the year. You will receive a bill from the provider for the amount owed. Once the deductible has been fully satisfied, the subsequent summary will say your deductible has been met for the year, and Medicare will start to pay its portion of new claims. Your provider may request the deductible amount at the time of your visit, but because the status of your deductible may not be known at the time of your appointment, I suggest you wait until you receive your summary before paying anything. Better still, wait for a bill from your doctor. HAPPENINGS Wednesday: “Elder Abuse — “Could It Happen To You?” seminar. 1:30-3 p.m.; Westlake Village Civic Center, 31200 E. Oak Crest Drive. No reservations required. For more information, call the advocate’s office at 495-6250. Fridays: Healthy Living Series. 1-3:30 p.m. March 22 through April 26; Goebel Senior Adult Center, 1385 E. Janss Road, Thousand Oaks. For information and registration, call Brenda at 495-6250. Betty Berry is a senior advocate for Senior Concerns. The advocates are at the Goebel Senior Adult Center, 1385 E. Janss Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91362, or call 495-6250 or email email@example.com . Please include your telephone number. More …
No age limit on renewing driver’s license
About the Author: Betty Berry
Betty Berry brings a deep understanding of senior issues to her position as Senior Advocate for Senior Concerns. She has advocated for seniors since 1993. Through the Health Insurance Counseling Advocacy Program, known as HICAP, she is registered with the State of California as an Insurance Counselor, a Long-Term Care Insurance Counselor and a Community Educator. She has served on the Area Agency on Aging’s Advisory Council as a member and Chair, has been a member of the Financial Abuse Strategic Team (FAST) and currently serves on the Conejo Senior Volunteer Program (CSVP) Advisory Board and authors the Senior Advocate column that appears in the Ventura County Star. Betty completed her undergraduate degree at California Lutheran University and earned her Juris Doctorate degree at Ventura College of Law.