My dad and his driving.

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my dad has dementia. he is very forgetful and his short term memory is gone. I have taken the car keys away because his doctor has advised this... My dad is very angry at me... he says " You are killing me", by keeping him "locked" in the house.. My sister and I have both explained we will take him anywhere that he feels he needs to go... but, he wants to drive himself.. How do I handle this.. I don't want my father angry at me...

2 Comments

Ellenshep,

I am sorry to hear that you and your sister are having difficulty taking away the car keys and dealing with your dads dementia. Unfortunately you are not alone. This is a common issue with many loved ones that caregivers care for.

My 90-year-old grandfather just bought are car, and he should not be driving. After a few days he decided he didn't like the car and tried to return it. Let's just say he won't be driving much anymore since he doesn't like his new car.

Anyway that's my story. Our experts here at AgingCare.com wrote some articles on this topic to help caregivers like you.

I hope these help.

Is It Time to Take Away The Car Keys?
https://www.agingcare.com/Articles/Is-It-Time-to-Take-Away-the-Keys-112306.htm

and

Taking the Keys: What To Do If Mom or Dad Won't Give Them Up
https://www.agingcare.com/Articles/Taking-the-Keys-What-To-Do-If-Mom-or-Dad-Won-t-Give-Them-Up-112307.htm

Best of Luck :)
Karie H.
AgingCare.com Team
This issue is one of the hardest for an elderly person. Giving up driving is giving up a huge amount of independence. By reassuring him you'd take him anywhere he needs to go is a compassionate answer. My husband and I faced this issue with my mother in law. I was in the car with her prior to us realizing how bad her dementia had become, and she almost ran over someone in a parking lot. I said didn't you see her? In which she denied she had even come close to hitting someone. My MIL had an accident after that and within 1/2 hour of accident she forgot it ever happened. She was also getting lost, another danger sign a person is in trouble. We had tried to take her keys away she was so angry. Then somehow she was able to have an extra set of keys made. We even told her she may harm others and she said she didn't care, she was not going to stop driving. We had her doctor order a driving test which she failed. The state took her license away, and she continued to drive. We also realized that since my husband is POA, with him knowing of her not stopping to drive if she hurt someone he could be held liable. We ended up putting the "Club" on her car. She continued to go out to her car and try to drive it. My best advice if anyone notices memory problems in a loved one to have them evaluated as soon as possible. Since we often are not around our loved ones 24/7, we may not know the extent of their problems until a crisis happens. Plus getting a loved one on a memory medication sooner can prolong the dementa/alzheimers. We had to take measures to keep my MIL from harming herself or others.
Jill

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