Mom has dementia and drives! How do I tell her to stop driving when she gets around so well?

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She's 83 and knows her way around town very well. I've ridden with her and followed her in another car and she really is quite a good driver. Am I nuts or what. Her dementia is now in the aphasia stage that interferes with communication, and is beginning to show some impaired judgement. How do I tell her to stop driving when she gets around so well. Never lost, never careless.

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OK - aphasia, but never lost, never careless? This sounds more like stroke than dementia (dominant hemisphere); either way driving alone is hazardous for her though if she can't verbally communicate. Errors in judgement are behind a lot of accidents at any age.
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I would get an answering machine if you do not have one-and turn it down low and just check from time to time if someone you want to talk to calls and let the machine deal with the 30 calls a day-if you feel she should not be driving and is not safe to do so -you have to do what is right and stop her however it take taking the keys away-she might be able to get new ones-disabling the car-removing it from where she live-whatever it is better than what may happen-my husbands aunt was allowed to drive-her son lived near her-one day she way shopping and while she was checking out the counter someone stoll her pocketbook that contained her bankbooks and jewlry and money-she was so upset she had a bad accident on the way home -ended up in the hospital and died a few days later.
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hrachief, ask her doctor to double the dose, and then take half yourself. Oh wait, no, please disregard that ... first thing that came to mind.

I'd remove the car from the premisis. The note I'd put on the whiteboard is "Car in shop. Waiting for part."

I'd stop spelling things out for her. She can't remember. What's the point? Please become familiar with the common behaviors of dementia. You will learn that reasoning with someone who has lost the ability to reason is futile. Save your energy for talking about pleasant things, not why she can't drive.

I would definitely not take 20 to 30 phone calls per day from her. If it isn't safe for her to be living where she is without you being at her beck and call, change where she lives so she will be safe. It sounds like she may no longer be OK for independent living.

I think you are going to need to detach a bit, to save your own sanity.

Will it get better? Well, the dementia will definitely get worse, but whether it will be easier or harder to deal with her remains to be seen.

Continue to love her, reassure her, keep her safe. Give up behaviors that take a lot of effort, are frustrating, and accomplish nothing. You won't be able to change her, but changing a few things in your own behavior can improve your experience.
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I know I sound bitter but when you reach the end of your rope...you are done with people and placating others to keep peace.
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This sounds so familiar. My mother has Alzheimer's and a paranoid personality disorder. Her PCP who happens to be mine as well refuses to report her to DMV (only covering his own ass). I told him she is mentally ill but I really think he doesn't believe it because she is so normal when she comes in to his office. I believe he takes what I say about her as being Alzheimer's related and not mental illness.My mother accuses us of trying to steal her money, place her in a NH,make her think she is crazy, and most recently, accused us of plotting her murder. Finally I was able to get my sister to report her to DMV. She didn't want to do this because DMV won't guarantee confidentiality. I was more than willing to do it 6 months ago but my sister didn't want me to because she is listed first on the POA. and believes she should have authority over me. I am done with that too. I know when DMV notifies my mother all hell with break loose but I don't care.

Go on line and look up DMV in your state. Find the form for unsafe drivers and print it out. Confidentiality is guaranteed to a certain point (meaning that if you are reporting someone out of meanness they won't protect you). ]

I spend very little time with my mother now simply because I have other things to look forward to than dealing with her abuse and I refuse to accept that I am obligated to put up with it just because she is elderly and my mother. I put up with it the first 19 years of my life and I won't put up with it the last years of her life.
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My husband is 75 and has just had to give up driving. Yes it is hard on him and has diminished his freedom a lot. Yes he was mad. Yes it was very hard to tell him. and yes there are times when he looks and feels and is in such an alert frame of mind that I wonder myself if I should not give him back the car keys. " But" like jeanneqibbs said, I cannot count on that odd moment of poor judgement and put his life and the lives of others in danger. Emotions have to be put aside as far as I'm concerned when the safety of my husband and others are put at stake. He Has dementia, his judgment is impaired, I think it is my responsibility to make sure he does not harm himself or others.
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My 85 yr old mom has lost her short term memory. She's recovered from leukemia which she was diagnosed at 83 with and the memory problems started right after chemo. She had a mild stroke and then a TIA. She's been a recovering alcoholic for over 20 yrs but read in a health newsletter that a drink of wine at night was good for the elderly! She thought that was great and started drinking half a jug a day! We had no idea until one day I found it on her shelf. We took her to a treatment ctr to go thru detox but with her dementia - dr said there was nothing else they could do. She's not drinking because we took her keys away but she is driving me nuts with the 20 to 30 phone calls a day wanting her car keys back or wanting to know where they are because she forgets we took them away. Doesn't understand why she can't drive - "never had an accident"!! She can't remember that we tell her we have the keys and why and 2 minutes later she's calling again asking for her keys. When she does remember - we put a white bd up in her rm with it all spelled out - then she calls and chews us out for controlling her life! Someone please tell me this will get better! Looking for any suggestions on how to get through this without me needing help...she's on antidepressant and anxiety pills.
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This happened to me too. I had to call the BMV and have my Dads license revoked to get him to stop driving. He was never a good driver anyway. It has been a battle. He gave his car to his grandson, then turned around and ask for it back. He has even gone so far as to purchase a used car but then had to give it back when he couldn't get insurance because he didnt' have a license. This was 3 years ago and he still won't give it up. He is now trying to purchase a motorized 2 wheel scooter. He has very limited mobility on his left side and is almost totally deaf but he won't let it rest. We have called all the scooter stores in town trying to prevent them from selling him a scooter. It has worked so far. I wish you luck and hope your battle is not as hard as mine has been.
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My mother had passed out right before getting into her car in the garage. she ended up in hospital. That is when we discovered she had dimentia. My brother and i told her she could not drive anymore and took her car. unfortunately our sister told her she did not see why we did that(she visits 2 x's a year). So, we were the bad guys who ruined her life. My brother told her he would not be able to live with himself if she caused an accident and hurt or killed someone and he had not done something to prevent it. A year later we had to move her into assisted living. You are the only one who can make you feel guilty-as somone said to me several years ago-Get Over It! she is 93 now and still ocassionally mentions she should buy a car-she does it 1/2 jokingly. she no longer has a license, but an ID card that looks like one, so she thinks it is a license.
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I went through this with my father and had to be the "bad guy" and keep his keys. I told him he could be mad at me all he wanted but I wasn't giving them back because I couldn't bear the consequences if he hurt someone else. I will tell you that it was the biggest hit to his independence. He still lived alone with help coming in but he needed a social outlet. His wasn't dementia driven but more physical impairment and probably some cognitive. Please be aware of this with your parent if they still enjoy social contact with others.
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