jwise27 Asked July 2010

My mom thinks she can drive but the doctor said no: where can I get an evaluation to see if my elder mother can drive?

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jvackine Jul 2010
Losing their car is one of the biggest blows and elder can experience, but you can help her through it when her car "breaks down" by calling or stopping by every day to see if she wants to go somewhere, or lining up friends that may want to help, so she never feels like she's stranded.

My mother had a hard time at first, but commented the other day that she "feels like a queen" with everyone driving her around. I think we're over the hump. It just takes a little time, persistence and patience.
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LynnPO Jul 2010
Contact your local division of motor vehicles or drivers licensing agency to see what they recommend. I suspect that they will defer to her doctor. Of course your mom won't agree that she can't drive anymore - who wants to admit that their capabilities are dwindling? Did the doctor say specifically WHY she can't drive anymore? Is it a vision problem like cataracts that may be corrected? It is seizure disorder or out-of-control blood sugar? If it were my mom, would also defer to her doctor. If you don't want to do that take a drive with her yourself and see how she does for yourself; be sure to go on narrow roads, highways and ask her to park in several different locations - lots and parallel parking. Keep in mind that if she causes an accident (god forbid) that her insurance company may refuse to pay any claims if they learn her doctor told her not to drive. If they learn this, they are likely to cancel her policy and then she could be in even bigger legal trouble.

If you wish to prevent her from driving, remove the distributor cap or pull the spark plug wires off it. (Be sure to mark each wire and where they were connected to the cap or getting it running again will take time to correct!!) Also flatten a tire or two then tell her the car is broken down. Tell all her neighbors, relatives, the local garage - anyone she might call for assistance - that she can no longer drive.

I don't envy your situation. Telling a grown adult their independence is limited is really hard. Best of luck to both of you.
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