My dad is 83-years-old, has Parkinson’s, and won't give up the keys to the car. How can we get him to stop driving when he really shouldn’t be driving anymore?

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He has no feeling in his hands or feet. He can't walk; he uses a scooter, yet he will get in his truck and go to the store.

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This is a tough for lots of caregivers. Most states now have a procedure through the department that issues driver's licenses to have driving privileges withdrawn. Check with your local driver's license office to find out what the requirements are. In some it merely takes a note from a doctor describing the patient's diability to have the license withdrawn. In others, the note forom doctor or family member triggers a re-testing. The one piece that you'll have to face up to is his anger if he finds out that you've been the source of the loss of driving privileges. There's no magic wand for dealing with that, but one thing you may want to consider is removing the car once he's not allowed to drive. Out of sight, out of mind can be helpful. On the other hand, if he's really upset about losing his license, he may want to retain control over what happens to the car, so you'll want to let him decide when and how to dispose of it. Is there a grandkid who might need it?
Blessings, Joanne
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Mzn, It's a terrible thing to have to give up your independence. My in-laws doctor told them both over a period of two years, that they both needed to THINK about not driving anymore. He was very kind, and understanding towards them. But to hear my mother-in-law re-tell that story, it is totally different. She said that the doctor asked to see their drivers license's then literally ripped them up in front of their eyes. At first when I heard her say that, I asked her how they got home then? She didn't remember about that part, cause it never happened that way in reality. But to her it was exactly that way and she'd swear on a stack of Bibles. So which ever way you decide to stop the driving, it'll be bad. No two ways about it. Be understanding, but be firm. Someday it will be your turn to hand over your keys. Getting old isn't for sissies.
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Sorry guys, I miss-posted the thing about awards, it was meant for another thresd. Carry on.
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Remember "Tough Love" with our kids? Treat him the same way. Take the keys away from him before somebody gets killed! Then take the car and park it at your house or a friends house or storage. Tell him you, or other siblings, will run his errands once or twice a week and for him to make a list of what he needs. I know it's a hassle, but at least you can pick the times to run his errands and still have an alive Father!
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Take the car keys away from him, and assign to him a DRIVER.
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Okay guys, we're in year two, the 10-20K stretch, and we just witnessed a seemingly small but profoundly important success by Ladeeda. What d'ya say we start issuing an annual award? (With the blessings of the Captain, of course)
We could go by most stars given over the year, or just a flat nominee/most votes thing, or catagories, or something.
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This happened to an elderly friend of mine that i was caring for. While he was napping we took his keys and replced them with other keys to whatever. He didn't seem upset that he could sit in his vehicle but, could not start it. After I offered to take him to his appts. and go to the park every weekend for lunch , he decided I was his taxi driver and did not want to drive....''TOO MANY CRAZY DRIVERS OUT THERE'' he would tell me.
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Driving safety is one of the biggest concerns that families face as their parent ages. As a social worker who specializes in geriatrics I’d advise you to remember that it’s very emotional for someone to give up their car keys. You may want to speak with your father’s doctor or a social worker like the ones at Care.com to plan or mediate the conversation with your father. The National Parkinson’s Foundation has also been a great resource for others who have had to have that difficult conversation with their parent about no longer driving. Good luck in helping your father transition from driving to using other means of transportation.
Sincerely,
Carol
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Your Dad's physician can allert the DMV to medical problems and they will handle. This is the case in Georgia but it may be different in your State but it's worth a try.
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Call or visit your state dept of motor vehicles to request that your dad be called in for retesting. Please do not hesitate to do this. He is a great danger to himself and innocent people in the other vehicles. Do not expect him to understand your actions nor to cooperate willingly. But, that's life. Your responsibility is to the unsuspecting innocent people on the roadways with him.
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