Follow
Share
We took the keys away. We made a rule within the family that FIL couldn't leave the house unless at least 2 family members were present to help transport (he weighs over 300 pounds). He is mostly homebound anyway and scooter dependent. We described for him the the last trips we had each taken with him, got his sisters on the phone and had them tell him, in detail things that happened that he didn't remember happening. Lights he ran, stop signs, things he almost hit, people he didn't see, cars he didn't see, people who cursed or flipped him off as he ran into their lanes. None of these things resulted in accidents thankfully...the last one did.

And that was the last time we let him drive. And even that wasn't "legally" his fault. But we know it was. He got rear ended. On a busy highway. But we listened to his story. He didn't have the guy file with his insurance, let the guy pay out of his own pocket to pay the damages to his scooter lift (I went ballistic and made him take the car to get it checked out - as he was just going to the scooter lift repaired and he didn't even consider that the lift was attached to the car and could have done further damage - thankfully that was the extent of it). But if you listened closely to his story and knew how he drove, you could read between the lines. While technically the guy that hit him was at fault....we almost 100% sure that something FIL did caused the accident in some way, either by not paying attention, cutting the guy off, slamming on his brakes with no warning, or pulling over into the guy's lane and giving him nowhere to go. Or all of the above. Every single one of us had seen examples. When pressed he changed his story depending on who he was talking to. And the reason he let the guy pay out of pocket? "He's a spy, we don't want to get him in trouble with the government." Sigh...yeah....time to take those keys.

He put up a real fuss...we were holding him hostage. We couldn't hold him hostage. He was a good driver. He's an adult. We have no right. He can drive if he wants to. He has a license. He pays for the car. He pays for the insurance. We can't tell him he can't drive.

You know what...almost every bit of that is true. He still has an active license. He still pays for his insurance. The registration on the car is up to date. He is an adult. He pays for the car. The keys we took away. On a hook downstairs just out of sight. But do you know what else. In 18 months that fuss has died down. He has not once looked for those keys. His only complaint is that we don't take him out (Hello....COVID!!) But he has essentially grounded himself from driving. We basically talked him into believing he couldn't drive anymore. We removed the keys from his line of sight and he doesn't know where they are. He is so nearly immobile that it was more trouble than it was worth for him to bother looking for them. So he gave up.

He will every once in a while make rumblings about "well once this COVID thing is over" but the reality is that now that he hasn't driven in almost 2 years....he KNOWS he can't. He's too scared. He can barely get in the car to ride now. Deep down he knows he can't do it to drive. He needs help getting his seat belt on and can't put the scooter on the lift much less get into the car after it's done. So between the minor accident and COVID our work was done for us.

But we were lucky. I'm not going to lie. I had nightmares of getting a call that he had been in a terrible accident where he had been badly injured or killed - but what I think would have been worse is if he had come out unscathed and he had badly injured or killed someone else. Having to live with that guilt would have eaten us up.

I think the first option is to take ALL sets of keys and go from there. Misplace the wallet with the license. Then accidently replace the license with a state id. Make things happen very slowly.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to BlueEyedGirl94
Report

If she has a lot of assets and there is a victim who needs medical attention, her estate can see a lawsuit
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to MACinCT
Report

The POA isn't responsible, but if your mother has been told to not drive by her doctor and gets into an accident, the insurance company may deny the claim. This would make your mother liable for all damages and injury.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to sjplegacy
Report

No, the POA isn't responsible, per se, but if your job as POA is to do what's in the best interests of a person and you KNOW they should not be driving and you do nothing about it---you're kind of morally 'responsible'.

My mother fought (as most elders do) the loss of her privilege to drive. YB told her if she could show him how she planned to manuver her walker into the car, start the car and back it out, he'd consider letting her drive.

She couldn't even lift her walker into the car! Keys were immediately confiscated and there was no more discussion of driving.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Midkid58
Report

I think this has been discussed before.

We had a Policeman who knew his Mom with Dementia should not be driving but could not do anything about it because...she had to have an accident and Dementia had to be found the cause. In the meantime someone could be killed or hurt.

I don't feel that as a POA you can be held responsible. If you mean money wise. Your job is to make sure bills are paid and her finances handled correctly. With Medical, you just carry out their wishes. When the time comes, you take that money and place them where they are safe and cared for.

As a child, I don't think financially you can be held liable. But you should do whatever needs to be done to get her off the road. My Moms neurologist told her no more driving and she excepted that. If it had come from me would have been a different story. I had her sell the car. Out of site out of mind.

I would ask that her doctor tell her she can no longer drive and he contact DMV. It took 3 months for the State of NJ to revoke my Gson's license once his doctor contacted DMV. Now with COVID that would probably take longer.

My GFs father lost his pants that had his wallet in them. Mrs. S looked high and low for them. In the meantime, she told him he couldn't drive without his license. He excepted that. She found his pants under the mattress. She hid the wallet. The car he drove was too big for her so she sold it. He eventually adjusted to it.

Lose her keys, have someone disable the car.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to JoAnn29
Report

There are people from many different jurisdictions here and liability laws vary.

If your mother has been told not to drive by medical professionals, whether or not her license has been formally revoked and you allow her to drive, you could be held liable in a civil court. Additionally her insurance company could refuse to cover any expenses related to the accident, leaving her open to losing everything.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to Tothill
Report

I think this is a question for an attorney since it would probably depend on the circumstances, like if the senior had other accidents that the PoA was aware of and then the senior went on to cause a really terrible accident. I'm thinking that if it could be proven that the PoA did nothing to prevent the senior from continuing to drive (negligence?), there may be a case if the other party sued. But I'm not certain that PoA aren't completely protected. The laws may vary from state to state, so that's why you need to talk to an attorney in the state where your mother lives, if you are referring to a specific incident.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Geaton777
Report

No, not really, but given the diagnosis I know it is very clear to you that Mom shuld not be driving again, and I am surprised that her MD has not asked for her license; often MDs and eye doctors do just that and send to DMV with documentation, resulting in a license suspended.
It is time for you to disable or remove the car or the keys to the car. As she is diagnosed I am assuming she is under 24/7 care and caregivers should be informed she is not to drive.
All said and done, if you have made a report to DMV which you should do, removed car and keys and she STILL gets in a car and an accident you will not be help liable.
As her POA by the way, you are expected to give to her insurance company, her credit cards and etc the diagnosis that will lead to their revocation of insurance coverage in care, and the removal of credit cards for her own good.
The POA has a fiduciary responsibility to the person who assigns them to assist that person in carrying out their duties and financial bill paying, etc as the person wishes it done while that person is capable, and in the way that best serves and protects that person when they are not capable. If you need help understanding the duties of a POA do search engine, google or any other, on the duties of a POA, or see an elder law attorney for an hour of time that your elder's funds can pay for as it is a part of being POA.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to AlvaDeer
Report

Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter