We took away my 85-year-old mother's car keys and she is no longer speaking to me. What should I do?

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You did the right thing. Of course she's mad! She's lost her independence. You had the courage to intervene and that is hard.

Please try to make sure she has transportation to where she wants to go, either from family, as senior van or other means. Eventually, she will get over it if she knows she can't bully you. But she needs to know she can go places.
When I arrived to care for mom for the final three-6 months of her life EIGHT YEARS AGO, I wanted one of the sisters to play "good cop" to my bossy one. I would be the one to have to manage all her loss of control. They all refused. I wanted someone mom could dump on, to complain about me and have an ally, one who would mostly show up with fun stuff to do. I had to be the one who would get on Mom's case about throwing away her glasses, underwear, dentures, and it's hard to switch roles to "let's go to a movie, that would be fun." Of course, I do both roles, but it is like trying to roll a hippo into bed, the hippo being my overworked and stressed self. When I want to switch roles, I don't want her along, I want to escape into a movie theatre by myself.

So, if you have other siblings or your spouse, you might discuss approaching this through playing roles in your mother's closing dramas. She's doing a "dependency resentment" act on you, just like a rebellious teen who is still under control of her parents. You have just put your mother under house arrest, violated her privacy, and taken her freedom. If she's still able to make phone calls, have her arrange her own paratransit taxi rides.. Perhaps she'll make friends with the drivers.

This is another thing you can do WITH your mother, which is to go off various medications for a few weeks as a test. My mother's mental abilities plummeted because of Ditropan, a bladder control Rx. Who can go back in time, but when I took her off it, she came back to full consciousness, as if awakening from amnesia. That may have been ten years she was zombified so she wouldn't have an accident. Other drugs that caused dementia in my mom were Zocor (the doc and I did on/off/on/off/on/off over many weeks), Seroquel and now Ativan. When the patient has dementia, the doctor's slant is toward adding a drug to control the latest side effect. I am sick of the whole thing, frankly.

So, see about drug side effects. It could be that your mother will come to enough to be alert enough to drive again, AND either way, she'd be involved in the process and can chart her own results. Assuming you'd do some memory and other tests to chart this.

we just LOST my dads keys on purpose. I dont know how that is going to play out or if he is even interested in driving. hmmmmmmmmmm
Man, this is hard. I am going through the same thing with my soon to be 89 year old mom. Her license expired last Nov. and she is insisting she will get it again. She has dementia, so that is not going to happen. Everything we try to do for her is a fight. She sees it that we are trying to take over her life. We got guardianship over her and she was beyond pissed. Fortunately, she sort of forgot about it. The judge asked us what gave us the right to intervene with her life, even if she was not safe, if she chose to live that way. Good question. In the end, he agreed she needed to be protected. Now we have to wrestle her into a very nice assisted lving apartment, which will be enough to send ME to assisted living. God grant me the grace to age without being a complete pain in the ass to everyone around me. ( :
If your mom isn't speaking to you, take it with a grain of salt and keep on keeping on.

Just the other day I was going into the market. An elderly woman driving a blazer called herself parking. She pulled into the "handicapped" spot, jumps the speed cement piller, goes right over it, and runs right into the wall of the market. It made a horific BOOM!!!!. A lot of people went over to the car to see if she was OK, however I remained back because no telling which way she was gonna go after that crash. She rolled down the window and said she was OK, attempted to back up, then went forward again, and hit the wall AGAIN. She backed out of the parking spot, and held up traffic for about 6 minutes doing so. She then went to another spot and parked. It was another "handicapped" spot, got out and went on into the store.

Elders should NOT drive, they are a danger to themselves and others. Don't feel bad because you took your moms keys, feel good that she will now become eligible to become "DRIVING MISS DAISY".
Pamela, your story says it all. I live in FL and I think about 10% of the population should have stopped driving years ago.
I would believe the specialist and if you feel she should not drive you have to tell her that and not let her drive before someone or she gets hurt-of course she will lie if it suits her needs-they are better at it then teenagers.
Even though she was saving a bundle by not having the car expenses, much more than the cost of the taxi rides, my mother hated spending the $ on the cabs. If your mother is like that, maybe you can sell her car, or put the money that she would have spent on gas into an envelope, and she can see that she is way ahead by using car services. If she has that control, she might feel a little better about it.
julie - If your mom's birthday is coming up soon I would give her back her keys and when she goes to the secretary of state to get her license I would put a bug in the secretary of states ear before you go that she shouldn't be driving and that way they are the bad guys.
Or you could talk to her Dr. before an appointment and have him tell her she shouldn't be driving any more. Hope things work out for you. Dane
That Judge should have been reported if his judgement is so off maybe he should not be driving my mother's doc thought it was great a 91 yr. old was still driving if I was there I would have asked him if she could take him home that day any elderly person who has an accident should have to give the name of their doc who knows that they drive. Where I live you have to live near a bus line to be able to use paratranist.

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