Life Advice

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Health & Spirit

Neighbors want to get elderly woman off their lawn

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: My family lives next to a very sweet elderly woman, who lives by herself, and also still drives. She appears in good health, but has trouble seeing and hearing. She's 94 years old.

A few months ago, she drove onto our front lawn. The car stopped a few feet from hitting our house. She was shaken up, but unhurt. There was significant damage to our lawn, several bushes and a fence post.

After the incident, I saw her son visiting her house, so I went to ask how she was doing. I recommended that she not drive anymore, and he grew very defensive, and said that was her decision, not ours. He said that she needs to be able to drive herself to run errands and to go to doctor's appointments, and that he lives too far to be able to drive her around daily.

She is back to driving herself again. She backed into her own mailbox about a month ago.

I am terrified to let my kids play in our front yard for fear she'll have another accident. I just can't seem to bring myself to call the police on her.

What do you recommend? How can I get her son to take action?

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-- Worried

Dear Worried: When your neighbor damaged your lawn and almost drove into your house, your own insurance company might have gotten the ball rolling.

The son will not act. You should report your neighbor's unsafe driving to the DMV.

When I checked at my state's DMV website, I found a very easy-to-file "concerned citizen's" form for a "request for driver review." This form asks for the individual's name, address, make and model car and license plate number. It also asks for your information, and gives you an opportunity to explain your concerns. Presumably, this information is not revealed to the driver. The form also has opportunities to list others who will verify your concerns.

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