My mom's need to want to drive.

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I think I just need to vent.

A little background: I'm 30 years old and I'm taking care of my mom that is 67, For the most part, she takes care of herself. She can do almost everything by herself that includes her personal things like taking showers, giving herself her own medicine, dressing herself, etc. She can even prepare simple meals like her breakfast cereal or lunch. But I do everything else like drive her places, grocery shop, laundry, cooking dinner, preparing her medicine boxes etc.

I'm pretty stressed out right now because my mom keeps bringing up how she wants to drive. She's a strong woman, independent and vibrant. She's not used to be depending on people to get her to and from places.

The reason she can't drive is because she has neuropathy that makes her feet numb and her feet don't move correctly due to diabetes. She can't step on the pedals without lifting/guiding her leg to the brakes/gas. She also sees pretty bad at night. There's no way I'd let her drive at night or period. I would feel terrible for the rest of my life if she ended up killing or hurting herself or someone else.

She tells my brother that she won't bring it up to me and that she'll drop it. But a month or two goes by and without fail she argues with me about driving. It happens when I tell her that I can't stop what I'm doing at the drop of a hat and take her to the store or take her somewhere when she feels like it.

The thing is - she has her own car, her keys are in her purse and she still has a license. There is nothing stopping her from driving if she truly wanted to. But she asks me and I give her my answer, which is no, she gets mad and starts arguing about how she can do it - how I won't let her do anything - and she goes on and on and on.

It's extremely stressful - this one thing that makes my mom and I not speak for a whole day. I'll do something for her and the entire time we're not talking. I cook her dinner and the entire time we're giving each other the silent treatment. And then we both cool off and we're fine, until she brngs up driving again.

I explain to her about how I would feel terrible if she ended up hurting herself or others. I try my best to come up with the best arguments, but she still won't drop it.

I can't imagine how hard it is for her to not be able to do the things she could do anymore, but she can't imagine how stressful it is for me either to go through this with her. Her not being able to drive is not just affecting her. I wish she could see this.

Thanks for listening to my rambles. I'm sure others have gone through this or are going through this or something similar.

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Another thing you could think about is she could always get a taxi if she wants to go now and doesn't want to wait until you're ready to go. Sure it will cost her, but at least she will still have her freedom to come and go whenever she wants. Or check to see if there are senior transports available in your area. That might be a little cheaper. Good luck!
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Thanks! I think that's a good solution. I looked into it before and they said it would cost $2000. The reason why we didn't do it then is we didn't have the money to do so at the time and insurance wouldn't pay for it. But now I think we can do it now. So, I'm going to bring it up to her and maybe get this ball rolling.
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Poor Mom! I'm 67 and I hate driving, but I know how terrible, awful, ugly, and very bad it would be not to be able to. (I read your note and immediately took my insulin shot I had forgotten before dinner. There is a reason to manage diabetes!)

Poor JennyD! I know from experience how awful, terrible, and very bad it is to have to be the one who keeps saying No. But you are doing what you have to do, for you Mom's safety and the safety of innocent bystanders. So maybe you'll just have to live with not speaking to each other every once in a while.

Or ...

Since it is Mom's feet that are the problem and there is nothing wrong with her mind, why not look into a specially modified car for her? People without legs drive. This is not impossible. Whether it is feasible is another thing, but looking into it would show your mother that you are on her side. What would modifications cost? Are there any charitable or government programs that help with costs? Where would she have to go for training?

A modified car is not an option for persons with dementia, who also must give up driving. And if Mom were 87 I wouldn't be suggesting this. But ... 67? Hey, I say it is worth at least looking into.

Good luck!
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