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My 83 yr old mother with AD( was told it is significant by dr after testing her) has been living with me since June '10 and hasn't driven on her own since May '10 as we have changed her car key out and usually drive her where she needs to go. She has got lost on different occasions near her own home and I had to direct her home on the phone. Once she got to the other side ot town. Due to this I knew it was coming soon to talk to her about driving even the dr said she shouldn't be driving. I have been rpeparing for the deaded talk for the past months and it finally had to happen as she was trying to go out on her own around my house and I sat and gently talked with her that I was concened about her safety and others. I tried to be gentle and explain my concern for her and she finally got mad threw her keys down and stormed off to her room. I know in my heart I did it like I have been reading to do it and feel it is best due her AD and other medical conditions but it still doesn't feel good to have your mom storm off mad at you. :-(

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The not being able to drive anymore will get better. We took my mother-in-laws keys, then just disabled the car so she can't drive. She has finally consented to selling it. We patiently explained that she didn't know where she was (we had moved her into her own home, attached to our home), and she always countered that with an argument of how good a driver she is, just give her a map and she can drive anywhere........we just decided to remove the temptation.
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I have found that looking at the situation from the view of a parent of a toddler helps. I actually have to maintain my composure and not laugh because when looking at it that way, my Mom can be so cute when she's mad!

Hang in there!
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DEEJ:

She knows you're right. Let her sulk and throw tantrums for a while. From now on, watch her carefully when she's "mad" at you, and you'll realize she's just pretending to be mad until you give in and hand her the keys. Stand firm! As Naheaton said, you might be saving her life.

-- ED
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You are being way too hard on yourself as if you are responsible for your mother's emotions which you aren't. I'm glad that you contacted the DMV. When they send a letter saying that she can't drive anymore due to information that they have from her doctor, let her be mad at her doctor. Even if she is mad at you, the best thing to do is validate her feelings but don't give into them or take responsibility for them by absorbing them into yourself and then mirroring them to everyone around you which is very burdensome. There are still times when my mother talks to me as if I'm her little boy again operating out of the training she gave me to make sure she was happy and if she wasn't then it was all my fault. That's a trap and an emotional/mental pitfall.
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As painful as it is, you are now the parent and dealing with a child. As much as you want to keep things calm,unfortunately in these situations you cannot be her friend. The doctor said no driving means no driving.
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You did what you needed to do to keep her safe. Don't knock yourself down. These are very hard issues to deal with. As most here can attest. Best wishes and take good care of yourself...
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Personally I would remove the car from her SIGHT and tell her the car is 'in the shop' It would be tragic if she got hurt 'looking under the hood'.

When you are out of her sight, she may very well have a mini-panic attack, (my mother did) and feels like she has to 'get home' or somewhere that she feels she should be.

You stated that she does this at a 'certain time' of the day. Sundowner's is likely, but think about what she would normally be doing at that time of day. Would she be picking up kids from school? Driving home from work? Drive TO work? I got to the point where I could ''predict" when my mother would get anxious. So I tried to get her engaged in some activity BEFORE this anxious time. Sounds like a rouse, but it works!

Be creative, be careful and be prepared!
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Update on mom. A few days ago she goes out to her car with the "fake" key and gets frustrated that it won't turn in the ignitition. She tries and tries. Later I see her hood up and she is in the car looking at her owners manual. I go ask her and she is trying to figure out why her car won't work. I said we will take it to mechanic but he was out for the day etc..etc..... a day goes by and once again she is trying ( usually in afternoon when she does this maybe sundowners?) only this time she comes in and walks up to my husband and in an angry voice says...." YOU WERE THE LAST ONE TO DRIVE MY CAR AND NOW IT WON'T WORK!" I had to quickly intervene as my husband would tend to argue with her and I said momma I WAS the last one to drive your car and we will have it looked at!!! Well couple more times she has tried to get it to work and usually it's when I am not around as much like working in other part of house where she doesn't see me or if I am out running errands. Has something to do with me not being around and in her sight.

Any way to update I did call our DMV and they told me to fax them a short written note about her condition to which I did and now I am awaiting them and I know even if they take her license away she might STILL try to drive but least I will have LOTS more ammo to tell her how much trouble we can all get in if she dirves with out a license.
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You did the right thing, she will be mad for a while, but it is better for her to be mad than to hurt herself or someone else. Thank goodness my mother never drove, but I also take care of my brother that has brain damage from a car wreck, and it has been horrible to deal with. You just have to stay strong in your decision and know that you made the right one. God Bless
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Deej, I hope your mother has gotten over it now....the fact that she can't drive any more. You wrote your post on Oct. 5 so some time has gone by. Usually it is the tincture of time which calms things down again. I also went through the same difficulty about my parents' driving that you did. And it was uncomfortable and painful for me too. Yes, you did the right thing and you should feel good about that. The fact that your mother lives with you can make situations like this more trying for you, because you have a harder time removing yourself from your mother's presence, and hence her bad moods or reactions. The fact that you ( we) are willing to make hard decisions to keep our parents safe, even in the face of stormy reactions, shows how much we love our parents.
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