Papa had not driven in VA; in fact, he had not driven since we left Arizona. He woke up this morning and decided today was the day; Papa was going the to Golden Arches for breakfast. McDonalds had been his hangout in Sun City, he would frequent the restaurant several times a week just to have a cup of coffee and shoot the breeze with other old timers. While I informed him that the clientele in our local McDonalds would probably be different we figured it was a close trip, what could happen?
McDonalds is only 2.6 miles from our house and is a straight path once he left our subdivision. I had already put both McDonalds and our home address in the GPS, I had also written turn by turn instructions both to and from the restaurant. We discussed bringing his cell phone and how to use the contacts in it. I reminded him that he has our phone numbers on a business card in his wallet as well and he could call us at any time. Papa thanked me and said he had his coupons and was ready to go.
Papa did not make it for breakfast that morning. He drove over 50 miles and ended up at A McDonalds, just not THE McDonalds we had given him directions to. He walked in, ordered lunch and sat and chatted with another gentleman in the restaurant while he pondered how he was going to get home. Fortunately he lucked into a more direct route home and realized how far out of his way he had taken to get there. (He insists he followed my instructions home, but considering they were for another address I am not sure how that is possible.)
I arrived home from work early that afternoon anxious to hear how his outing went. Imagine my shock when I heard how far he had driven, and after he finished his story I calmly asked him why he hadn’t used the GPS. His reply was I don’t know how to use it, Nana operated that. WHAT!?! We had discussed that it was programmed and he thanked me. Again I made the mistake of assuming he knew how to work the GPS.
Luckily we had a free afternoon. Papa and I got back into his car and we started with the basics. Plug in the GPS; turn it On; wait for it to turn on; push Where To; push Favorites; push the location you want; push Go; wait for it to register your request; then once the map shows up follow the instructions. We drove to McDonalds and back listening to Garmin give him directions. This is pretty easy. Papa currently has two items saved in his GPS favorites, and he now knows how to use them. He also has written instructions for the Garmin just in case he forgets. He has his freedom.
Two important lessons were learned today. First, Papa is not going to offer information, I will have to work at asking very specific questions; and second, his coupons should be kept in an envelope on his dashboard so he doesn’t forget to use them.