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Dad drives somewhere everyday. I'm worried about when we have to take his driving away from him. How he's going to feel and how he'll be isolated. To him it's freedom.

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That is what's the toughest thing about insisting someone quit driving – the feeling that you are taking away their independence.

Since it sounds like you have time, you should start slowly. If he goes somewhere like a club every Monday, try to get him to let you take him and pick him up for that one thing (or go with another friend, or take senior transportation). Then he can drive the rest of the week. Eventually, he'll see he can still go places. Maybe then you can move to two events a week, and so forth. Obviously, this is if he's still capable of driving at all.

The main thing to that you need to research how he will get where he wants to go if he can't drive and slowly let him know that he will be able to do so. It's hard, and he won't like it.

I tell nearly everyone that they will need the third party help of a doctor or good friend or spiritual leader - someone outside of the family that the person respects. It's easier for an adult to hear this message from someone other than their "kids." That's a general statement, of course, but is nearly always true.

Some people, because they have done everything else and still can't get an elder to quit driving even after they've been tested and shown they can't drive, have gone so far as to disable cars. It can get ugly.

If you have time, start discussing this with him. Go to The Hartford Web site and AARP. They both have good material on helping elders be safer drivers for as long as they can, and help with driving cessation. Good luck with this. Your kind heart shows through.


Carol
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Mine wants to drink and then because we told him no more he wants to go get it himself. He has dementia. So we took his keys as we were worried for his safety and others.
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Mom caused an injury accident resulting in a lawsuit and week long jury trial after a long year of legal wrangling. THAT can cause emotional issues worse than taking away his driving time.
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Mine wants to drink and then because we told him no more he wants to go get it himself. He has dementia. So we took his keys as we were worried for his safety and others.
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1234michele, there are plenty of innocent people who want to keep him off the road. Whose rights are more important?
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This a a really tough one. My mom drove for a couple of years beyond her ability to be a safe driver. She wacked the passenger side mirror off her car at least six times - that we know of. One time the passenger side of her car was dented from bumper to bumper - she side swiped something, claimed to have no idea how it happened. Scary as it is that could have been as easily true as her knowingly hitting something, leaving the scene and lying about it. I shutter to think about the costly damage she most likely inflicted on others property. We tried her doctors and even turned her in to the DMV. After several attempts we finally succeeded in getting her license suspended. She tried multiple times to retest but always failed. So she continued to drive on a suspended license. I finally worked up the nerve to actually take her keys away from her. The only thing that kept her from just reordering new keys was when I told her she could be arrested, fined and ultimately sued for every dime she had if she hurt someone in an accident while driving on a suspended license. This finally got through to her. Three years later she is still extremely bitter about giving up her car. She has whitewashed her accidents and test failures - she blames everyone else and feels we all hateful and with malice ganged up on her. Please start now as the other poster suggested. Start laying some ground work for when it's time. Start getting dad use to not making daily drives and having others drive. I don't think we could have handled my mom any way that would have made any difference in her accepting the situation - but not handling it was a fair worse prospect with much more dire consequences.
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It occurred to me that I should mention my dad. Daddy had CHF and the last 18 months of his life he deteriorated physically pretty quickly - although he stayed mentally sharp almost to the end. Dad had purchased a new card right before he started to fail. He drive once in a while but usually had my mom drive. His doctor sent a letter to the DMV and his licence was suspended. Daddy was physically weak and had a hard time breathing and accepted the fact his driving days were over. While it depressed him for a bit, it became the least of his worries as he became sicker. Since my mom was still driving he didn't feel the loss of freedom that so many elders go through - but how he managed to get in the car with my mom was beyond me. I guess he'd rather had faced death than travel restrictions! Regardless - he did take the loss of his own licence fairly well - which could happen for your dad as well.
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