How do we take away my father's guns and stop him from driving?


My 82 year old father has hallucinations seeing people in his house, is forgetful, accusations of people taking things, has parkinson symptoms, and paranoid. He has two loaded guns in the house and still drives. Sister #2 lives with him and she has MS and is forgetful, doesn't take care of the house or cook. I don't think they bathe. Sister #2's daughter lives in Rhode Island and we are in Illinois. Sister #1 found out from niece that sister #2 drove into the front window of a gas station because she forget the car was in drive. Sister #1 told my brother and I. My brother brought it up to our dad and sister #2. My dad had a fit at sister #1 about her talking about taking away his guns and told her to get out of the house. So far, I'm the only one that my dad hasn't had a fit with. I was thinking of taking his side and then slowly trying to convince him to get a power of attorney, etc. He mentioned something to sister #1 about having sister #2 take over everything. Also, when my brother tried talking to him about a power of attorney, he had a fit. Do you think that gaining his trust would work? Sister #1 and brother have given up.

Also, can we be held liable if he shoots someone or hurts/kills someone in a car accident? I don't even know where to begin.

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we had to take the guns out of the house my husband was disabled and was always threatening suicide we told him he could no longer drive and since he could not get in the car by himself or out by himself and no one would get in the car if he was driving -he gave up pretty easily. Have your brother take the guns out of the house and disable the car or remove it from his house you may have to remove your sister with MS for her safety-if something were to happen with the car or the guns and you all were aware of his mental problems you could be responsible-usually DMV can not stop a person from driving unless stoped by a police officer for a reason and then having them take a driving test and if they pass they keep their license. Who is helping with getting food to them-maybe both need to be placed. At the very least take away the guns and car and go from there.
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Thanks to all of you for your help. Unfortunately, my dad and sister #2 don't leave the house. We have tried to get them out for dinner but even if they say yes, they cancel at the last minute. Sister #2 is of no help as the two of them are covering for each other. Right now I think I'm the only one that he's not mad at and have the best chance of getting info. My dad has never told us when something was wrong or when he's sick. Every time we ask he says he's fine. It's only from sister #2 that we found anything out at all but now that she knows we know she drove into a gas station window, she's clamed up. I think she's worried about what will happen to her if we put dad in a home. If we take the guns from the house, he'll know it was us because my brother and sister #1 already tried talking to him about it. Also, none of us knows about how to handle guns and he checks for them frequently. He also said he was going to put everything in sister #2's name. I plan on trying to get the name of his doctor and send him a letter/fax/email. Hopefully he can contact the dmv, otherwise I will. I would also like to get sister #2 to the doctor for an evaluation also. My dad has not been diagnosed with anything that we are aware of, however, it's probable that he won't tell us. I will be doing what I can to get his doctor's name and get the guns removed from the house or at least emptied of bullets.
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Regardless of who could or couldn't be held liable, and I am sure you would absolutely devastated if your father shot a visitor while having an hallucination. If he drove through a stoplight and ran into a young mother pushing a stroller, I'm sure that vision would haunt you forever.

Do I think that gaining his trust and then making changes would work? No, I'm sorry, I do not. If he is currently in paranoia the chances of that working are iffy at best, and would take a long time. Here is what is critical: Remove access to loaded guns, now. Stop his driving, now. This won't be easy, and it will be a huge source of distress for him. It can't be helped. It is necessary.

Whatever it takes, get those guns out of the house or render them inoperable. Weapons should absolutely not be accessible to persons with dementia.

I am of the opinion that healthcare professionals should step up on the driving issue. Shortly after his diagnosis, my husband's geriatrician told him, "I'm sorry, but I am required to report this diagnosis to the state, and they will revoke your driving license." This was EXTREMELY stressful to my husband, but at least he did not blame family members. If you cannot get your father's doctor to cooperate, use Jessie's suggestions to get his license revoked. Of course, that may not be sufficient to stop him from driving, but it is a critical first step.

The Parkinsonisms and the Hallucinations early in the disease make me think of Lewy Body Dementia. Is that the diagnosis he has been given? That is what my husband has had for nearly 9 years now. It is not any more pleasant than any other form of dementia, but on the plus side it does respond better to certain drugs than other forms do. There is no cure, but there is hope of some improvements. I hope that he is being followed by an experienced dementia expert.

Good luck to you!
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I you have a family member you can trust, I would have them take your father for an outing while you remove the guns. If that is not possible, I would contact Adult Protective Services. This is not a time to be timid because you do not want to hurt your father's feelings. Over reacting is better than under reacting!! Tell Adult Protective Services about the guns and they will advise you. Even if you have to involve police without him being charged because of his health issues. Stand strong in your beliefs, and remember your concern is about his safety as well as others.
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Perhaps he would not notice if you took away the bullets or removed the firing pins. A gun is not dangerous unless it has both of these things.

If you feel he should not be driving, but he will not surrender the keys, alert Public Safety about having him retested to see if he is safe. If he is not able to drive, they will not renew his license. I hope that you can do it in a way that he does not know that it was family members involved. Personally I think that people need to be retested when they are older. I hope I have the wisdom to hang up my keys when it comes time.
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