Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Mom driving update (1)

Some of you will remember that my mom (age 84, pictured above carrying the torch in the Florida Senior Olympics) totaled her car about one month ago (no injuries involved).

Here has been her progress. If I had more time, I can see the article/book now “The 4 stages of Car Separation,” as received by email from my mom.

“I will enjoy life more now that I don’t have to worry about driving.”

Accommodation (my mom is very social and sociable. She was able to get herself rides quickly).

“so far is it going well, I have a woman who will pick me up for golf and we will go to lunch after it or eat inside which is lovely. Tonight I am going to a party whereby I will ask one person that lives a little distance from here but goes to the club once a day to take me one day a week and bring me home. I met a lady from my church and she will arrange for me to get there and return from the early service, or I could go with Ada my neighbor that goes weekly to the ll o-clock service.”

Reality Sets in
“I figured out if I use the drivers I have, it will cost me over three hundred dollars a month which is a lot of money. I have a friend from the club that says he will take me twice a week …and a friend that will take me to golf, and… the lady that takes me to church will let me off after church. It still adds up to that much money. It is five dollars a trip. I can use the Council of Aging but I know there is waiting for them”.

And my reply to her:
“Mom, I know $300/month seems like a lot to you, but that equals $3600 a year which is a deal,and cheaper than owning your own car. Really! Don't let the price stop you from going where you need to go.

Insurance $1200/year ??
Gas $40/mo? -- $500/year
Maintenance -- $300/year
Depreciation ($20k for a new car, lasts for 10 years)-- $2000/year

Total: $4000k/year --- if not MORE. The average per car per year is $8000. This is really what you were paying. You just didn't notice it because it dribbled out little by little.

You are paying LESS than you did before. Enjoy the rides. You can afford it. You were already paying that.”

And so my mom, is exactly like the rest of America, and like myself, who can hardly believe what we really are paying to get around with our own personal cars.

Can we all get to the fourth stage?

Happiness & Satisfaction


Overmatter said...

Oh, thanks for this. I'll plan on reading it to my mom, who, starting recently, can't drive anymore due to macular degeneration. (She's only in her early 60s.) She, too, has been good at arranging rides to work, church, activities, etc. It's not clear if the necessity to share rides has made her more social or her social nature has made it easier to arrange rides, but it's interesting. I don't think she has looked at her situation from a green perspective. I thinks she'll like that.

-- Carmen

Celine G said...

The older people get, the more they see their car as a mean of independence (just like teens really!).

I see the difference between grand-dad, whose licence allows him to drive around, see people, do things...while grand-ma is stuck at home, bored. I am sad for her.

At the same time, I am getting more and more worried for grand-dad who has not wrecked his car yet, but whose driving is getting worse and worse over time. At 84 years old, his reflexes and vision are not as good as when he passed his test and experience won't make up for it!

I shall remember when getting old, that I won't be able to rely on driving...I shall remember to seek interests from walking distance to my home - and become friends with my immediate neighbours!

Driving all your life is not sustainable.

If a situation is foreseable...

We need to plan ahead!