Mother is still driving her car at 83 years old.

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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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