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I live 1 1/2 hours from my Mother. I have an older brother that lives down south in Florida(I live in NY). Within the past 2 weeks my Mother while driving has gotten lost 2 times. Once during the day after going to church the other at night when she insisted on going to a Ladies meeting, This later time she got lost for 3 hours. I confronted her via phone and had her keys taken from her. My Mother has trashed me to anyone who would listen. I have found out that she has "tapped" other cars in the Fire Dept Parking lot while at meetings...as told to me by the ladies.My Mother's car bumpers have scratches all around. She drives at 5 miles and hits the breaks hard and stays near the right side of road near the curbs. I have gone this past week with her every tactic to get her keys back...calling her friends to try to talk to me, been so stubborn and not willing to realize that driving is out of the question. I gave her 3 options, 1 work work with me half way...A lady lives with my Mother(win-win situation...lady needs a place to live while she get herself back on her feet and my Mother is not alone) 2. Take a driver's test by the county police or 3 call my older brother who I know has been verbally abusive to our Mother since our Father passed 3 yrs ago. Last night the lady living with my Mother called me that my older brother was called and she was told to tell me "The pecker better give back the keys" I want to add that my older brother has not visited our Mother in 2 years. I have been working with my Mother in putting together her taxes(she was audited for a past year and did not pay the IRS until I came for a usual visit) She has fallen down the first floor to the basement---at first refused to go to the Hospital with the lady staying with her...I gave the choice go with her now or I am driving 1 1/2 hrs then bringing her myself. My Mother thinks there is nothing wrong and why am I treating her this way by taking the car keys. I am afraid my older brother will come to NY and be verbally abusive to the lady staying with my Mother AND be physically abusive. I have heard that children are responsible for the Elder parents and can be legally fined for neglecting their parent care. I love my Mother deeply yet she has refused my help or help from others. The lady staying with my Mother and I have found rides to all the things my Mother needs...food shopping, bowling 2 times a week, doctor appointments, night meetings a and weekly Church. I even called her Priest to ask for the parish help for my Mother..which they are willing. People WANT to help her yet she does not want to loose her independence. I tried to explain that she will not yet this is about dealing with change and she is not alone. I have been trying to work with her on Power of Attorney (her's is outdated before 2007), no health care proxy, no living will or a clearly defined will. My Mother ignores me or will not listen to any sense of reason. She turns the oil heat up to 80 degrees, she will not open windows to let fresh air in for fear someone will come in and rob/mug her. When she had fallen and went to the Hospital I was able to get a copy of the reports...she has anemia and they found a severe leg infection which my mother just ignored. The doctors at ER said she had another infection around her genitals from not cleaning herself after going to the bathroom. My Mother has lied to me numerous times when I am there or even to the lady that lives with her. I also need to add that I am gay living with my life partner for 10 years...when our Father died 3 yrs ago my brother at the funeral home said i had desecrated our Fathers grave by adding my Life Partner's name to my Fathers obituary and when I was kneeling at my Father's casket, my brother said out loud that "let him stay there...he needs to workout alot of stuff with my Father." I am at my wits end. I know there are too many issues here. I have been keeping a journal for everything that has happened including events, situations, names, etc I am at the point...Do I divorce myself from my mother...if she dies I know i will be in probate court for years. I have numerous health issues to deal with and this is not helping me. I love my Mother yet she does not want my help. PLEASE...what do you think? Suggestions?

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Appears that balanced has not posted in over a year. I really hope all is well with him.
I remember reading an Ann Landers column (think it was Ann, otherwise it was Abby), from a young man who was badly injured and permanently disabled by an oldster who should not have been driving. Oldster had caused a number of accidents previous to this young mans. It led to a trial and when one of his kids was why they did not take the keys away when it was obvious he was a horrible driver, the answer was 'Oh, we couldn't bear to do that...". The trial cost oldster everything he had, and any inheritance the numnut kids could have expected. They also never learned the lesson because the following year, oldster took out a family of four. solved the problem because oldster died as well.
Never a good answer, never a good situation.

two cents ¢¢
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Just POSTING, I mean...
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Just ousting on this discussion because it looks fairly recent. I wanted to post a tip for those who'll need to deal w/their parents and driving privileges. In California, our DMV has a power of attorney form to be completed in order to handle auto-related transactions. You might want to print out, fill out, and sign now, to have handy when the time comes.
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My Mom lost her license 9 mos ago because she stopped to ask the cops for directions and they coud tell by having a conversation with her that she had issues. She really didn't drive much anymore and she hadn't had any accidents but she was 84 and very frail. She has dementia and she carried on about the keys for months. She would call me and my sister and scream at us to give her keys back-we didn't and it was difficult because she isn't usually so nasty but this was nasty. DMV sent a letter saying she needed a checkup and a drivers test if she passed the checkup. She refused to go to the DR.(thats a whole other battle we deal with). All these behaviors and struggles with reasoning are the dementia. They just don't have the skills to reason this out anymore. They are like kids-its all about what they want to do not about whats best. My Mom has all her affairs in order etc but it is still very difficult. I think the hardest thing for me is making the decisions to give her as much independance that is safe . I have 5 other siblings and my sister is 1 hr away and she helps Mom too but I'm the "manager and POA" and am an RN. Just take one day at a time-I also recommend a support group ,I found one at a local hospital .It has been helpful because no matter how awful your situation is someones is worse.
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Great mom you have got. Well balanced life. May your mom drive her car up to 100 years.
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Update to this situation:
I sent in a complaint to the DMV back in July 2012 about my Mom's driving (that alone i felt guilty) finally after 6 months DMV sent notice for my Mom to go to the DMV and take a driving test...Mom was so angry with why she has to to this and who would do such a thing to her. Friends were refusing to go with her since the DMV requires a lic. driver to go with her. They did not want to deal with her anger issues and emotions if she fails. SHE FAILS THE DRIVERS TEST! and now Mom is how am I to get food How am i to go to doctor's appointments(some unnecessary). Friends from bowling and the fire dept came to help. By the end of the week THE DMV RETURNED HER DRIVER'S LICENCE TO HER. I don't understand why...she knew she failed...admits she missed making a turn when requested...so NOW she believed the DMV knew they made mistakes and SHE HAS HER FREEDOM BACK...The latest situation is for her to complete filing her tax return which she has an agency complete yet she has to organize all the necessary information to give this tax agency....I spent 3 days last year shredding garbage...organizing all her paperwork not just the tax return...I set up a plastic 3 draw filing system...all she had to do was put the required paperwork in the folder....Mom calls me January 30 2012 at 9PM (I am up 4:30am for work) asking when she is going to get her taxes completed they due on January 31st. I try to explain when taxes are due and she finally realizes not until April. I had mentioned 3 times before January that I was not going to help finish prepping her taxes this year..I told her she need to ask my brother to help her.I don't have 3 days from work to do this. I am finding it hard to talk with my Mom over the phone and have been recording our conversations...on speaker with wireless phone recording with cellphone...Mom keeps asking for me to organize her taxes yet she still maintains she has her freedom back...I know she is not eating well, not drinking enough water. My brother from Fla came up to NY for Christmas picked her up, was with her for 4 hours or so brought her home and that is the most he has seen her in over 2 years besides talking over the phone. The lady and now friend has moved out to a much better situation which my Mom at bowling (lady worked there and has since quit working at the bowling alley) kept asking her when she is coming back to live with her...The lady has told her time and time again she is moving on and not coming back. So, I am not getting calls from Mom since February 12th...I am angry with her and yet I am very worried...she will not confirm if Power of Attorney is done nor health care proxy...I know does not exist and I recent told her I do not want a legal mess trying to work with a homophobic brother to settle her estate...there are wonderful assisted living near me(about 15 min)--yet she will not leave Long Island...I am about 2 hours drive time or about 200 miles away from her. I am a public school teacher with 1 1/2 years till retirement yet with all the new teacher evaluation system now in place...I don't have the time, energy to deal with my Mom. At this point I am actually thinking of walking away from my Mom...sending a certified letter to my brother that is needs to be the primary caregiver and just walk away. I am the son who has always been close with my Mother yet I know I will feel guilty. I feel my brother is just waiting for her to dye to get the house which I don't want nor any of my Mother's money. Add to this my own health concerns of diabetes, food allergies, psoriasis and now mold growing in my system from my workplace (I have been working with a doctor mold expert for over a year to get the mold out of my body) Over the last 2 weeks I have been getting panic attacks in the middle of night...once I went to the emergency room cause I thought I was having a heart attack. My blood pressure is near hyper tension range and glucose levels are up and down even when watching what I am eating. Has anyone every walked away from their parent and not felt guilty? How far do I go trying to talk WITH my Mother? I having been hoping the last years with my Mom would be close, fun, loving, open and making her life happy. She loves my life partner as a third son yet we have talked about my Mom and I can't let this change our relationship due my stubborn irrational Mom(we will be together 11 years and now in NY we can marry...yet it is on hold partially due to my Mom) You can't make this drama up! HELP!!! Please!!!
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Call adult protective services. She is a danger to herself and others. Your brothers views are endangering her and others. You were smart to remove yourself as her primary caregiver. She should not be living independently. The social worker for adult protective services can determine her abilities for the type of care she will need. Do not move her into your home, the dynamics of your family issues will do you more harm then good.
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This may be a long shot- but do you know when her license expires? We did not tell MIL hers was about to expire. When it does, the driving test is mandatory. I felt bad for forcing the issue like that, but not really. MIL is very narcissistic. The welfare of others rarely enters into her thoughts. We did what we had to do . . . .
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Take the keys, all the keys - better yet, drive the car away and work out the sale price later. This is what I did to my dad and 3 years later he thanks me. He was falling asleep at the wheel and this was witnessed by neighbors and friends who told me (only child.) Once I knew this was happening I felt I had to put a stop to it. I would never forgive myself if he hurt someone else, let alone himself. This is not exactly like your situation but could deteriorate into it. My dad and I together stopped my mom from driving but she had early dementia (and was getting lost in familiar areas) and so she couldn't put up much of a fight. This is tough but falls into the category JUST DO IT and deal with their anger etc. as it comes but know you did the right thing.
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Call your Mother's doctor and request an evaluation. He will send a Home Health Care Provider and they will do the assessment at home (if getting her to the doctor is a problem). From this they will determine what services she is eligible for. Medicare takes care of all these charges. Her doctor can also advise DMV and your Mother that she is unable to drive.

Remove battery cables or disable the car..your Mother is a danger to herself and everyone else on the road. Can you and your brother live with the consequences if she causes a tragic accident?

Your brother is a jerk and really needs to get himself into therapy. How can he possibily be giving your Mother the care/advice she needs when he is so full of hate. Your lifestyle is none of his business. The only goal you two should have is the safety and care of your Mother. Sorry to be so blunt!

Good luck!
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UPDATE: Since I gave back the car keys 9/17/12, my Mother called that night to say "I made her day" I have not heard from her since 9/17/12...over a month which is the longest I have NOT talked with my Mother ever. My homophobic older brother made an unannounced visit to our Mother and he determined that "Oh her driving is perfect...ALL is OK, he will fix the car scratches in the spring yet will not be back till Christmas...changed his mind about visiting Thanksgiving(not coming now). He has told anyone that will listening that he disapproves of my lifestyle and I can't do a damn thing around the house which is far from the truth...bought her new shoes, taxes done, visited and cleaned the house, called her friends and her Priest..I have been keeping a journal and all receipts for everything I have done. The lady that has lived with my Mom for the last year is moving out TODAY, she has had it with my mother's verbal abuse, belittling and need to control her yet will accept her help nor others. The toilet chain broke a week ago and my Mother did not know what to do, she does not want my help anymore..."told me she is done with me"....the Hurricane Sandy is coming to Long Island...my brother called the other night and scared our Mother over the phone...how do I know all this...the lady that is leaving told me...she has become a great friend and even to say I consider her a new sister I never had...my Mother has become toxic with her head in the sand along with my homophobic brother who thinks all is OK and out of sight...out of mind. I really can't afford the expense to bring in a person to assess my Mother's needs nor do I think she will ask for any help. I have been told by the lady who stayed with my Mother that now Mom is speaking out loud to my Father who has passed on 3 years ago as if he is still there...asking for his help and what should she is to do. Mom has cut me off and older brother will not talk with me. I feel like I have to protect myself for the future mess that will happen. I am thinking again to send another letter to the DMV to inform them again that my mother should not be driving...more car scratches and another hub cap is missing. I feel like there are no more options for me to help my Mother. I am told by the lady that is leaving today that my brother has been poisoning my Mother's mind about me and she is believing it. Do I just walk away? Do I send a lawyer's letter saying I will not be responsible for neglect concerning my Mother? I am an optimist, I believe people can change yet how far do I go?
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Balanced~Does your mother have any contact with her siblings? It all depends on her relationship with them. If you do call or write to them, I would keep it simple and light. Don't share your feelings regarding your mother and just let them know that she is having trouble driving, can't live alone etc. I keep in touch with a cousin on my mother's side (I have never met her). I only give her health updates and I started doing this because my mother could not use her email anymore, she forgot how. I made contact telling her my mother has Alz etc. She does call my mother from time to time but I update them regarding her health and it has worked out fine.
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UPDATE: It is just waiting now till the DMV moves forward. @sharynmarie I know my Mom will take this the same way. Mom has not called me since she her car keys were given back. My brother and his wife now have been calling. Mom puts up the front like all is fine. The lady living with my Mom is just about all packed.Mom is not believing that she will leave. Keeps telling her...no you are staying. Alice(changed her name-lady living with my mom) told me that she found a turd on the bathroom floor and this week Mom has been urinating on the toilet seat. It hurts me that she is going through this. I have the names of Geriatric mangers that I need to call. Alice is having trouble finding another place to go to. Alice over heard that now my brother is not coming for Thanksgiving like he said he would back in July...he wont be coming until Christmas....he did this before years ago...he did not stay in my mom's home...came a day or two and that was it. I need to call an Elder Lawyer to protect myself from what the future my be. I have 3 years till my retirement. I can not have probate courts suck away anything that I have saved. I have distance myself from my Mom as the primary caregiver for her. What hurts the most is how my Mom is saying...oh your my favorite son(my brother), your the first born, Oh I love you so much, Yes Alice, I know it is all Me fault, he made you take the car keys away. My mom has been using emotional manipulation on Alice and me. Now Alice is seeing all this and wants nothing to do with my Mom...she feels very hurt how my mother has treated her. @karieh. I saw this list on the site also...my Mom can check off nine from the list...ignores or misses stop sign(she rolls through them) Gets easily confused in traffic, Brakes or stops abruptly, coasts to a near stop in the midst of moving traffic... so it is what it is and my Mom does not want my help. Mom is the youngest, there is a middle brother about 88yrs and the oldest sister who is 91years. Do i call them and let them know how their sister is? Is this going to get them too worried and cause more harm than good? I am not really close with my cousins. What are your thoughts all?
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Balanced~3 weeks ago my mother had to take a form to her dr. to fill out for DMV. She received notice today that her license is invalid due to an unfavorable review from her dr. beginning Sept. 24, 2012. She is devastated by this but it is for best.
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Check out our new article:

20 Warning Signs That an Elder is an Unsafe Driver

Here are some warning signs that indicate a senior might not be safe to drive, according to the NHTSA:
Drifts into other lanes
Straddles lanes
Makes sudden lane changes
Ignores or misses stop signs and traffic signals
Gets easily confused in traffic
Brakes or stops abruptly without cause
Accelerates suddenly without reason
Coasts to a near stop in the midst of moving traffic
Presses simultaneously on the brake and accelerator while driving
Has difficulty seeing pedestrians, objects and other vehicles

Read the other 10 here:
https://www.agingcare.com/articles/signs-elder-unsafe-driver-153264.htm
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Take a deep breath and exhale slowly. Feeling angry is justified. My parents planned everything out and it still is difficult because my mother fights everyone and anything that would make her life easier. She sees it as a threat. You will get through this!!
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Update: Received a call from EAP moving forward with a geriatric manager to find out what is happening to my mom. Counseling for me is ridiculous...yes the first 2 sessions are paid by EAP then I have to pay the first $500! The geriatric manager will cost 75-125 an HOUR....so as long as I am not climbing the walls...I'll save my money for the ger. manager. I called in sick today...I need to get my life in order...so much time talk with this person and that person. I have not heard from the lady staying with my Mom....just to make sure she is ok...I feel the "not knowing" what is happening there gets to me. I will follow up with Elder Law and Eldercare Lawyers. My life feels so fragmented and that I am on "catch up" I feel anger that my parents never took the time to plan all this out. Our relatives of the same age group have all this taken care of and are safe and happy. The good thing in all this, I have been keeping a journal for the happenings and situation with my Mom and for myself. I mediate daily to clear all the chatter out of my mind.
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Balanced~You have done the right thing in this situation. Let DMV decide if she can drive safely and bringing in a social worker to evaluate your mother is also right. A person can be certified as incompetent due to health issues such as a disability not just on their mental status. Has your mother always been difficult? I ask because if she has a history of being illogical she may have some mental issues going on. If it has only been as she has aged, it is probably because we do not want to lose our independence and have to rely on others. It is really scary to lose driving privileges because it is the beginning of the end to our independence. Yes, there is so much red tape you have to through to achieve safety for elderly people because the laws are set up to protect the elderly from abuse. You might want to make an appt. with an elder law attorney to get more information on how to help your mother from a distance. My mother has Alzheimer's but she also has a personality disorder which make her combative, distrustful and paranoid. I have to help from a distance or I would go nuts dealing with her distrust. It is hard enough as it is since she believes my sis and I are trying to steal from her. I have had an attitude change and treat everything with my mother as though it is Alz because both illness can cause paranoia. Educate yourself on elder law and your mother's illnesses so you are well equipped. Talk with an elder law attorney for more info regarding the laws for the elderly and any other concerns you may have regarding your mother's welfare. Keep us informed because what you are going through will help others going through similar situations.
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Update: I found the form in NYS DS-7 online filed it out and put I am forced to return the keys under duress from my older brother. I gave the keys back last night...NOW Mother is all back to normal and I am a loving son. In about a week Mother will receive a certified letter she must report to the DMV locally with her car, a licenced driver...all will explained and my name and the others are withheld...she will have to explained and pass an eye exam, and a drivers test. At first it hurt to do this to my Mother yet when I gave to letter to the post office worker...I felt a release. I called my EAP(Employee Assistance Program) to receive counseling for myself...this far from over, I will receive a call today to see if a Social Worker can go to my Mother and assess her. My Mother thinks now her keys back all is well and back to normal yet the lady staying with my Mom is leaving and I will not return calls to my mother. My brother, since he feels the need to give orders will have to be the Primary Caretaker for our Mother. The EAP counselor told me that this is not me taking her driving away...I am going to the experts (DMV & Social Services) to let them decide. The first thing my Mom did when the keys were placed on the table was to call my brother to let him know....then she called me and left a voice mail message that "I made her day" and how she "loves me so much" She has been so focused on the keys she is blinded by the realities in front of her...she lost a lady that wanted to help(she is moving out latest 2 weeks) and I will not work with my Mother...my brother is going to set up and help her AND the DMV and social worker will decide if she is safe at home. I know it is going to get very ugly yet I wanted to help her and I am STILL willing to help her. This is about accepting change...embracing change to allow people to help her. This entire situation has taken so much time and effort. Why do parents have to act like this?
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Balanced~My sister and I recently reported our mother to DMV. Mom had to take a form to her doctor to fill out and return to DMV. We are now waiting for DMV to contact our mother for a test. She won't pass, she has Alzheimer's. Good for you for filing the form!!
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My mother cannot see to legally drive - doctor says no - she is 93 - will not let me drive her car???? - probably a good idea to contact DMV - she insists on driving - I will not go with her.......
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I went online and filed a DS-7 Medical Review. County Police can not stop an Elder from driving. so my mother will have to go to the DMV and go for a driving test, L & R turns, 3 point turn, parallel parking... I hate to do this to my Mother yet I can not accept the liability. I also mentioned in the form that I am under duress to give the keys back by my older brother...who called me a "pecker"... and he is 57yrs !!
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Get mother off the road, whatever it takes. Have you contacted DMV regarding having her license revoked? Have you talked to her doctor about how unsafe she is driving? Can you have the car disable, or better yet, removed from the property.

There are lots of issues to deal with, you are right about that. But first, get Mother off the road!
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