Last Thursday I battled against the wind to get to my hairdresser’s appointment. The wind was very strong and gusty so it was a real struggle to walk the three hundred yards. I have short straight hair which only needs a ‘trim’ now and again so I can fit one in during my lunch hour.
I arrived a few minutes late but it did not matter because Lucy who cuts my hair had not quite finished with the client before me. This client appeared to me to be a very small frail elderly lady. As she went to the door I warned her about the strong gusty wind. Taking my seat in front of the mirror I heard a shout and saw people rushing to the door. Unfortunately the frail lady was lying on the pavement outside the ‘salon’ having been blown over by the wind. She was brought back looking dazed with a big lump on the back of her head, an ambulance was sent for. A para- medic arrived very quickly and asked the frail elderly lady to go with him to the hospital for a check up. The elderly lady was certainly not ‘frail’, she completely refused to go with him to the hospital and said that she was going to drive home. Nothing that anyone could say would persuade her to change her mind, she was going to drive home and no one was going to stop her. This ‘frail’ lady with a large lump on her head, obviously shocked, is ninety one years old, and no one, not even the para-medic could legally stop her from driving home, no matter how much of a danger she was to other people. She also refused to go home by taxi. I had to go back to work before the situation was resolved, as I left the para-medic was still trying his best to persuade the patient to accompany him to the hospital.
I know that I am talking about a ‘touchy’ subject for many us, I have absolutely nothing against older people driving as long as they are completely competent but I could not see that this was the case on Thursday. I myself gave up driving when I moved from the ‘country’ to the city, I did not feel that my reactions were quick enough. I now have a bus pass. I do not know what happened on Thursday after I left the salon, or how it was resolved, but I will find out and let you know..
I would appreciate your views on this subject