My Father and His Driving Test

(This post was written by Hali, our Director of Client Care).

I am so thankful my career path wound its way to my becoming the Director of Client Care at Right at Home of Central New Jersey. All of us here including Beth Sholom, the Owner/Executive Director and my boss and mentor, understand the needs of adults with aging parents. I was able to take some time to spend with my father on one of the most important days of his life. He was summoned by letter to appear to take his driver re-examination tests (both written and road).

The drive to the New Jersey Department of Motor Vehicles, whether you are 17 or in your 70s, is always a nerve-wracking experience. In your 70s it is more so because you are fighting to keep the independence that you have had for over half of a century! The standing in line to wait to take the test is grueling. Watching the others that have gone before you pass or fail leaves you imagining what your results will be in end.

I watched my father struggle a bit with the vision test but he finally got through that step and was given a testing cubicle. As I left the testing room I saw another man peering over to look at an elderly gentleman who was in the process of taking the written test. I asked him if it was his father. He informed me the man was his client and that he was the driving instructor. He then shared that he hoped the gentleman would pass the tests so that he and his wife of 73 years could continue their weekly trips to the grocery store, doctor offices and so forth.

We both paced the hallways, hoping for the best results. It was a thumbs up on the first round for his client and for my father as well!

My dad and I then buckled ourselves into my car, which had been his practice vehicle for the road test because my car has the center hand brake that the DMV requires. Off to the road testing center!

Once at the center I watched as the 91 year old gentleman start his road test. After handing over his credentials my father started his road test as well.

I found myself holding my breath as my father aced parallel parking and a few other driving maneuvers. He pulled onto the road and drove out of my sight. My fingers were crossed! The 91 year old driver had just completed the course and his instructor turned to me and gave me the thumbs up. The client passed the test! My hopes where rising!

My Kia Soul cruised towards me and pulled to a stop at the curb. My dad was flashing the biggest smile I have seen in a long time! Another thumbs up!

What a great day! My dad still has his independence and so do I!

If you find yourself or a loved one or friend is in the position of having lost your drivers license, Right at Home of Central New Jersey can be of assistance to you. We can provide you with one of our home health aides or a companion aide to continue to provide you with the ability to live an independent lifestyle. Please call our office at 732-967-0900 or contact us online.

Hali Figueroa
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