Can a doctor stop my step-father from driving?

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My step father blacked out at home and fractured a disk in his back and a month later he blacked out again. My folks are 92 and my mother’s memory is slipping. They were somewhat self sufficient and my step father was still driving.

Two weeks ago we moved them to an assisted living facility. They continually say they are moving back home.

How long will it take for them to realize they can no longer live at home and he shouldn’t still be driving?

Is there something his Doctor can do so he won’t be allowed to drive? He recently renewed his license.

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Top Answer
we are facing similiar situation and spoke to a lawyer friend about the driving issue. He had his family doctor tell his mom, in the doctor's office, to call someone to bring her home. That she could no longer drive without grave risk to herself and others and took away her keys. Of course this was prearranged by the family. It saved the lawyer son from being the "bad guy" and mom accepted the decision better from a respected third party. afterall, doctors must know what is right! hope this helps, but yes is the answer. good luck. my parents are 90 and 91 and dad still drives.
In Michigan, I believe the doctor is required to fill out and send in a State form if he deems the patient unsafe to drive. I'm thinking that is probably a nationwide requirement?? You might have to get your father to the doctor for an evaluation so the doctor can proceed with the paperwork. That way the doctor is the "bad guy" instead of you. I wonder if the doctor might even do the paperwork just on your say so without having an evaluation. Dad needs to get off the road before he hurts himself or someone else!! Good luck!!
You need to find out what provisions exist in your state. When it came to my late father and then my mom, I discussed the situation with my siblings and we agreed to all take a part in being the bad guy. Surprisingly, after we laid out our reasons, our parents agreed to give up driving. Of course, we have to make arrangements to transport my mom to church, shopping, doctor visits, etc. , but it's better than worrying about her being on the road.
A doctor, lawyer, anyone can report a risky driver to DMV, and after testing the DMV can revoke and remove the license, but that's a long way from stopping to drive. My demented parents would swear that they were legal because they had a medicare card, took the keys away and disabled their vehicle and Mom called AAA who came out, got the car going and gave them new keys. Had the police stop them locally three times ($1000+ each time in fines and impound charges) -Finally got formal guardianship and removed their vehicles entirely. Now my wife and I provide all transportation, but still here lots of threats re: them buying their own car. This is a tough problem particularly for people with dementia.
Giving up driving is hard for an individual because it typically means giving up a sense of freedom. One way to approach the conversation is by reframing the idea as more of a retirement from driving -- this is the next chronological step in life. Remain empathetic and come up with strategies to help maintain the individual’s independence like finding other ways can they get around without a car. You can also involve the doctor in this conversation as your step-father is less likely to take it personally when it is presented as a medical concern. Speak to the doctor ahead of time to get them on board so you are not the one to bring it up at the medical appointment. Lastly, try scheduling a driving assessment. Remember, taking away the keys should only be used as a last resort as it can cause conflict, but the safety of your loved one and the safety of others has to take priority if the situation puts people at risk. Good luck!
Sincerely,
Jill

There's a program in my town where an elderly person can sign a form agreeing to take a driver's test, and if he/she fails the test, then he/she agrees to relinquish the car keys and the driver's license will be revoked. This lifts the burden from the caregiver and/or the doctor. This particular program is part of the eldercare services offered through the local hospital. That is a good place to start when looking for resources. One question I used to ask my mom was, "If there were even one chance that your slowed response time could result in hurting another human being, would that be worth your insisting on driving?" Find some level where you can reason with your loved one without seeming to be threatening. Hope this helps, Karen.
We found a local rehab center that works with handicapped to teach them how to drive. They also do comprehensive driving tests for any age to determine safety. We needed a doctor's referral. There are three components to the test cognition, peripheral vision, range of motion and 45 minute behind the wheel. All of this was covered under medicare except the behind the wheel. If they had found something they could teach and help to re-learn they would do so otherwise they send documentation to the referring doctor for him to sign and send to the state for removal of license. Dad tried to drive again the next day and the day after that we sold the car. Very tough decision and not a fun situation to be in but the consequences of doing nothing are far worse.
In one case, local police reported a senior driving poorly to the Illinois Secretary of State. A written and road test were then required and the elder's (who had a series of unfortunate collisions) license was revoked. This way, adult children are not blamed. A physician may report the driving-impaired elder.

Michael Froman
Try contacting your step-father's insurance company. Perhaps they can require a driving evaluation. That way you are not the "bad guy" (hopefully) and you are protecting your step-father, other people, and your step-father's financial security. People might consider your step-father's age a reason to take legal action. My mother is VERY defensive about continuing to drive, so you have my sympathy and best wishes.
For 2 yrs I was working on this issue then my 94 yr old Dad, came home from the store and 20 mins later suffered a major stroke that serverly disabled him; no more driving. I hope no one has to have this happen to them in order to save them or someone else but we can imagine the tragedy that could have occured on the road, tho it could happen to anyone, any age but can't help but feel that for our family, it was devine intervention.

My plan was to ask his primary Dr. for help, Mom was in agreement but getting Dad on board was not happening. I was coordinating with the our city's Senior Social Service Dept to utilize their transportation service for Dr's appointments, grocery shopping etc in between me doing the same and the rest.

Dad had driven for 74 yrs! How hard it must be to give up this long held independence. I understood, I got it, I get it! But health, welfare and safety comes first and had it not been for Dad's own health superceeding the removal of the car keys, I would have followed thru with my plans and just be the bad daughter.

With all that being said, If your Paren't will not conform, get a Dr, Lawyer, DMV involved. I wish you all the best for all concerned.

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