Dear Amy: How can I convince my motorcycle-riding mom to wear a helmet? She wears an armored leather jacket and other protective gear, but she says that a helmet is too inconvenient and takes away from the joy of riding.
She said that if anything happens to her, I'll be well provided for. Even if that's true, I want my mom around for a long time. Could you give me an answer that I could show her?
Dear Terrified: Worse, perhaps, even than dying from a motorcycle accident would be the prospect of your mother surviving a motorcycle crash with a traumatic brain injury.
No amount of providing for your family in advance could possibly prepare family members for the years of devastation (not to mention expense, etc.) in caring for a family member with a traumatic brain injury.
I checked statistics compiled from more than 100,000 motorcycle crashes published in 2009 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/pubs/811208.pdf). Share this chilling report with your mom. As motorcycle helmet laws change and are relaxed from state to state, statistics show that deaths and injuries from crashes rise proportionally.
Motorcycle crashes and fatalities are rising each year, with the most dramatic increase being in the over-40 age group. Helmet use is directly related to fatalities and brain injuries requiring long-term medical care.
I hope your mother has purchased not only life insurance but also long-term care insurance.
Dear Amy: This is for "Granny," who lived across the country from her young grandson and was looking for a way to connect with him.
Our son and daughter-in-law live 900 miles away, but they FaceTime us almost every single evening. Nothing warms the heart more than when our grandson hears our voices and he crawls over to their iPad and smiles!
This has truly made their living 900 miles away tolerable. We are blessed that our son and daughter-in-law have made the commitment to keep us connected with our grandson.
— Happy Gran
Dear Happy: Technology has enabled far-flung family members and friends to enjoy one another in unique and wonderful ways. I should have suggested a regular FaceTime session to "Granny," and I hope she and her family adopt your great suggestion.