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I had the same dilemma last summer. My dad's dementia was progressing & his reaction time was slowing. The doctor told me privately dad should not drive. We were at the drs when he told dad he could no longer drive. Dad was so mad, he did not understand why. The doctor & I both explained. Dad did not drive again, but was very frustrated. He even walked down to his attorney's office & demanded the lawyer call me. Dad said I refused to answer why he could not drive. Sigh. So the attorney called me, knowing I had explained. The attorney charged $175 for that visit, including giving my dad a ride home. It's tough, especially long distance. My dad did agree he did not want to hurt anyone else. He did not drive again, but would climb in his truck & start the motor. It got easier with time. He had a stroke & the Alzheimers has grabbed him. He now lives with us & is healthy & happy. Good luck!
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My father is 83 and should not be driving. My mother won't listen to me and lets him drive. I live with my parents do to my fathers heart surgery in Sept. I don't have a car at the moment and have to rely on them to drive me. It is horrifying driving with him. I tell my father not to drive my son any where but he still does. How can I get him to stop driving? I tried going to court but they said if he passed the dmv there's nothing they can do. I am afraid he will hurt someone else. Any suggestions would be great
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My brother who works for the drivers license office in Utah wrote this....In Utah we have a way for a concerned sibling to have them called in to be tested. We call them a 117. The problem is that if they ask you suggested that they have a special exam, we have to tell them. The process is that they come in and see a hearing officer and fill out an application. If there is any medical issues checked on the application we send them to a doctor to be profiled. If the doctor profiles them in a category and at a level they can't drive then we issue them a free id card and take away there license. If medically they are okay to drive we give them a written test and a driving skills test. Sometimes this requires several attempts. I have on a couple of occasions sent the driver to a driver education class for five hours of instruction and they have come back better drivers. If the person passes the driving skills test but we fill they really lack a lot of skills we ask them do they drive at night? Do you drive on the freeway? How far is it to your doctor? Church? Then we may give them a restricted license. This could include no freeway driving, daylight driving only, and a five mile radius from home. If they really are terrible and shouldn't be driving we suggest they give up their license and have a family member drive them. It is difficult because they see their license as a form of independence. You should have them contact the driver license division and see if they have something similar to what we have for testing seniors. I hope this helps.
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Good luck!!!!
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Thank you ! I'll give him a call.
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Avie, It is worth a try...I would probably make a call..it may be quicker and follow up with a letter. It was easy for me as we have the same Doc. He probably would like to know your concerns...sometimes they can fool the doctor...at their best when there...you know??:>)
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Hi Stuck,
Thank you very much! I agree with you. I could never live with myself if something bad happened and I knew I could have kept if from happening had I taken steps. I'm wondering though, I am not close by to go to her doctor with her. Do you think I could get his contact info and type of a letter and share with him my concerns? This way he'd have it in writing vs a phone call he could soon forget. .. . A letter also might urge him to write me after reviewing her file. Just thinking out loud. I'm open to try anything that will work. Thanks again.
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I had been concerned about my 84 year old Mother driving too. Finally the doctor told her not to drive anymore...she is on too many narcotics to be of clear mind and quick responses. She blamed me and thought I had been telling him all about her...yes we had discussed her, but it was his decision and he told her so. He also told her that he would not contact the DMV but he said he had done that with others. That way she knew he was serious. It was very tough for her and hard on me that she was so angry with me. There just is no easy way to take away their driving, but it has to be done. How would you feel if they hurt or killed someone? How horrible that would be to have to live with...for you AND your Mom. Good luck with your task...it ain't easy!
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Thank you Bill . . . I am just starting this process, this helps alot. It's hard when we are at a distance. I'm going to try and see if I can get connected to her doctor from a distance, by phone or letter and perhaps he can talk with her when he sees her again. If I can make plans to get up there, I can go with her to the doctor. That would probably be the best way. If they would only realize we are doing these things in their best interest, but it doesn't always work that way. I don't wan to wait til I get a call she's been in a horrible accident or worse. Thanks again!
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Avie,
My mom is the same age. I called her Doctor and we both went in for an appointment. He told her if she does not give me the keys he will be forced to notify the registry of motor vehicles to revoke her license. That Day I took possession of the car. It's been a battle, however I keep reminding my mom of what the doctor will do if the car is returned to her.
Bill
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Oh, I know it's got to be very hard . . . I am lucky so far in that my mom still has her mind, but I am seeing the beginning of little signs of forgetfulness and bits of confusion, but she is keeping up with her bills and never late on a payment. In fact, worrying about her bills (eventhough she complains about having to pay them) keeps her alert and gives her something to do. I am contacting her DMV today via email for starters and see if they can advise me on what we can do to get her off the roads. I can get her insurance co. name and maybe contact them as well. I have a start and so glad for all the helpful info here - this is a great site.
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After my mother's licence was suspended three years ago due to Alzheimer's / Dementia she continues to complain till this day about it.
She forgets that she sold her car and home. Claims every car in the driveway is hers and wants me to take her back to her house every night.
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Thank you all so much for your very helpful advice. Even though I am states away from mom, I can still make contact with her doctor(s) and the DMV and see what I can do. It is so hard. My father was driving til he died. he was hitting cars in parking lots and driving away. The cops even caught him once, he was almost clueless that he hit a car. It was a constant worry. he has since passed away, but this is a major concern no doubt. Thanks again !
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If your mother's doctor will be "the heavy" and tell her it's time to stop driving, that would be the easiest option for you. But some doctors either will not do this, or out-and-out admit they are uncomfortable doing this (This was what happened in our case.) Another option I heard of was is that you can contact your DMV and anonymously report the name of your mother as someone who needs to be tested. Then the DMV will send your mother a formal request in the mail to have her driving tested. Another option is to ask a a trusted relative ( whom your mother likes and respects) to present the situation to your mother and carefully handle giving her the news that it is indeed time to stop driving. This is not easy ......many of us have discovered this along the way. My father actively resisted stopping too, and my mother "blocked" us from stopping him. People were starting to come to me in concern over the fact that he was still driving, and we were seeing dings on Dad's car. You kind of have to finally take the bull by the horns and just get it done, if you know that it's time. I remember that "the grandchild test" was helpful to me.....When I knew that I would never put one of my kids in the car with Dad driving, that was the signal.
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You might also contact her insurance company to ask that they request that she be medically certified. If she can't get insurance, she can't drive.
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Contact the DMV and ask that she be medically certified by her doctor.
The police sent a request to DMV for me and my mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer's / Dementia and no longer allowed to drive.
Other drivers had began complaining about her unsafe driving.
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Maybe if you follow her while driving and video tape her driving...going to slow, too fast, not stopping etc. Maybe she will get the hint.
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Avie: have you had that discussion with her yet? I know that sounds funny, but sometimes we think of the remedy before asking those tough questions. Maybe she is waiting for someone to intervene. Mom drove until she was 80 and did fairly well. However, fate intervened and she moved out here to live near us and left her car behind. It was sad for her to say good-bye to the little car she kept spotless for years.
If she is becoming a danger to herself and others on the road you owe it to everyone to step in. You may try your local DMV website to see if they have any guidelines...they may be able to intervene on a legal basis. Also, can you assure your mom that her transportation needs will be met when she gives up her license....ya' know it's never about the driving, but more the loss of independence. An elderly neighbor once described it as a "little death" when she had to stop driving.
Good luck....let us know if you found a new way to approach an old problem...
Lilli
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