florylk Asked February 2011

How do you deal with a person who insists on being independent, drives (and shouldn't at 93-years-old) and is incontinent, but refuses help?

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lynmac1 Dec 2011
This is a very difficult situation, one I am dealing with now. My husband, now 57, has early onset of Alzheimer;s. Driving means freedom to him. He has done well until recently if I was with him and was his second set of eyes. Then two weeks ago he lost all reasoning, attempting to race three semi's. I thought our lives were over. So now the keys are hidden. It's tough because he's not giving up easily. You have to do what you have to do.
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Kirkswife Nov 2011
My mother n law has alzhemers dementia and we contacted the sec of state and told them the problem. They sent us papers (that can be done anonomously) and we had to have her tested. By the doctor, and by the sec of state. She failed of course. Now she only has a ID card. SHe talks about driving and going to the store, we just remind her that she cant.
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Katydid Nov 2011
I learned something new that I was not aware of with elderly parents. Generally when they fall and break their hip, it was not the fall that did it. Orthopedic Surgeons told me the hip was already in the process of cracking and when they stand up, it breaks causing them to fall. I always thought the fall did it, but 80% of the time it was already starting to break. My 93 year old mother was resisting on taking her Calcium pills regularly like her doctor instructed her to do. Mom just didn't want to take anymore pills! Gee Whiz!!! She had stopped taking them 8 months ago. I often wonder it she had stayed with the pills, would this have prevented her hip from fracturing and breaking.
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195Austin Nov 2011
You have to do whatever you need to do because sooner or later they will have an accident and think how you will feel if they kill someone or themselves-you may have to take the car and put it somewhere she will be mad as hell for a while but that is better thean what might happen.
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Katydid Nov 2011
My 93 year old mom was sliding into Dementia and was still driving and had incontinence. All I can say it the easiest part to tackle is her car. Disconnect battery cable, misplace her keys (she probably won't remember how she lost them) The incontinence part is no fun. I bought Depends for my mom. She wouldn't wear them, so when she was not looking, I removed all her under pants and put the Depends in her chest of drawers instead. In cases like this, I was instructed to do 'Creative Fibbing' by my doctor and Dementia group. She never asked me, but just in case I was ready to say, I remember you putting them in your dresser drawers mom. Don't stand there, leave that room immediately while she is trying to figure out when she did that. Hate to say this, but she started going without underpants or Depends, messing up her carpet and I discovered she was stuffing washrags in her long pants. Needless to say, 2 of them got away from her and was flushed in the toilet. This caused the commode to over flow and we had sewage water running all through her house! She had stopped sleeping in her bed (quiet common with Dementia folks). Sometime during the night or early morning she got up from her couch go to the bathroom and fell.....broke her hip. Breaking their hip will cause a Dementia patient to go backwards in recovery and also with the Dementia, according to the surgeon and her doctor. She is now in a Skilled Nursing Facility. No she's not happy about it, but she is safe, well cared for and has the best treatment ever. It has taken 90% of stress and worry off my shoulders. DO GO TO A GROUP ON DEMENTIA!!!
You must read up on all the changes that you will be facing because your will still be startled at some of their changes, but better equipped to handle it. My sincerest thoughts and prayers are with you. I understand.
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My suggestion is to have her doctor tell her she cannot drive any longer. She is clearly exercising poor judgement, surely must have severely compromised reflex ability at age 93, and putting herself and others at risk. You have to put your foot down and take this particular decision away from her. It's hard to do, but it is justified and I'm sure the doctor will be willing to work with you on this. When my Dad started showing clear signs of dementia, we just hid his keys, distracted him onto another subject for awhile, and he soon forgot he wanted to drive somewhere. Other times, we would say, I feel like driving this time, or you can drive on the way back, then hop in the car and get behind the wheel before he remembered it was his turn to drive back home. His mental decline turned out to be quite rapid (very sad) and it wasn't long before he forgot all about driving anyway.
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Loretta2 Sep 2011
Need to know the laws on an elderly driver involved in a fatal accident in the state of Virginia.
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Emerald4Me Feb 2011
Does this person have a valid license? If so my guess would be the only thing you could do is ask the police to follow him/her. Report a weaving driver going south on Main Street. Maybe then they will see that person blow through a stop sign or side swipe a car.
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My Grandmother just turned 94 and she was living alone. She quit driving in July 2010. Only after my uncle disconnected some stuff on car so it wouldn't start. Afraid that she would call local mechanic, my uncle replaced her keys with similar keys that wouldn't start car. He called local mechanic and told him that if she called not to fix her car. My grandma was furious!! She was driving on expired license, is hard of seeing and not to mention could no longer see over the wheel and could barely walk without walker. She would only drive here in the community, so locals would watch out for her. However, she almost caused a serious accident prior to my uncle taking control of her car. My grandma is a spit-fire. In August my grandma got sick. So my uncle seen the opportunity to check her in the local personal care home. She fights with the aides everyday. but she is off the road and is properly being taken care off. So now our family don't have worry about her safety.
No matter how independent they think they are, your main concern is there safety and well-being. They might get angry. But what will happen if they cause a serious accident? Knowing that you could have prevented it? Thats how my family felt. So my uncle did what he had to do! Cause grandma would have never given up her car on her own!
Try to talk to the person first and explain what could happen. If it don't work than do what you need to do!! GOOD LUCK!!
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