The case worker told me to take Mom's keys, but I know I will be met with resistance. Has anyone had experience with this type of situation?

Follow
Share

I just got a copy of the letter the dr. sent to DMV asking that her license be suspended. The case worker told me to get the keys. I know I will be met with resistance and a big scene will ensue. The dr. then suggested removing the battery. I can go early in the morning and do this without them knowing but they may just think someone stole it. I am thinking of calling the police and asking for advice or help. Has anyone ever had experience with this type of situation?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
20

Answers

Show:
ALZH101 - Thank you, thank you. My youngest sister was killed by a driver who should not have been on the road. I believe your courage is saving lives. Thanks again and God bless you.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Ahh the time has come to end driving for your loved one. NOT FUN, but necessary. With my mom, I just took her keys and told her if she felt she was just fine and able to drive, which she did feel, then she should have no problem taking her driver's test at the DMV. I encouraged her to prove my decision wrong and to take the test. She backed off after giving me slack for all the time until her DMV appointment. Before we were set to leave to take the test, SHE decided maybe it just wasn't worth it after all and backed off harassing me about it. A year later it was time to take dad's keys. NOT FUN and because now that neither could go anywhere, In their eyes, I had become the daughter from H*ll trying to run their lives. Seriously, like I wanted to be responsible for taking them everywhere at their every whim????? I don't know a child alive who would be excited about being at someone's beckon call to be their personal Uber driver. Anyway, saracasm aside, taking dad's keys was a nightmare that I got to relive daily. I even had the police take my dad's keys the night he got lost and I had to go pick my dad up in some other city. Had to hear about government interference and such until my dad's scheduled DMV test. Long story short, my dad passed both written and driving test. Added to this, the "brilliant" DMV clerk told my dad he could have driving all this time because his DMV letter stated if he didn't take the test by a certain date, his license would be suspended. Gee, thanks DMV clerk. Make a difficult situation even worse! Anyway, 3 months later dad gets car hit on Fwy by a "big truck that didn't stop." 3 days later dad doesn't remember the event. Then my dad doesn't know where the car is and it's sitting on his freaking driveway that he literally walks by daily. Screw the DMV, my dad doesn't belong behind the wheel of a car. I take the keys again. I plead to my brother who has POA to take the car and sell it. My brother says, " you did the right thing. Just keep the keys". All H*ll breaks lose next morning when I enter my folk's house. My dad is going to sue me for stealing HIS car, I had no right to take HIS keys. I'm ruining their lives... you get the picture. Moral of story is, I would still take the keys again. No amount of my folks spewing hate at me compares to the horror that could have happened by my folks on the road and possibly killing someone from me having given in. So although I may not have a right to decide whether or not my folks drive, I have a conscience and social responsibility to not allow a dangerous situation to continue and put innocent people at risk on the road because it was easier then dealing with upset parents. It's been 2 months of constant strain with regards to the no driving situation, and the doctor supports the decision as well. We set up Uber for the folks and offered to even arrange the driver to show up wherever whenever. So it isn't like we stranded the folks, but it still was and is difficult. However, since every issue has been a battle, it's just one more time of having to be on the front line. Good luck to you!!!!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Tell your mom that the service station (use those words, they ring a bell with this generation) would like to get her car in for service and you are taking it in for an oil change! Hopefully you have a POA so you can now sell the car once it is out of sight. As has been said, once the owner no longer has a license, there can be no insurance. A place like Car Max will buy the car upfront, or you can make a private sale.

When she asks about the car, say you will check and see if it's ready, there were lots of issues that have come up. Eventually she will stop asking. We found that if a similar car was parked out front, mthr tried to climb out the windows to drive off in it, even without keys! So park *your* car where she can't see your car from the house. :)
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

This is tricky. My stepdad did not want to take my Mom's driving away, because that was how they got around since he had macular degeneration. She probably drove a year or two longer then she should have, somehow they managed to avoid wrecks. Something finally convinced him to hide the car keys, and she blamed it on the people working at the Assisted Living community they had moved into. They had a daily helper/caregiver who took them to doctor appointments, lunch, errands etc. My stepdad was pleased with the help, because Mom was not recognizing just how much help he needed for himself or for her own self.

When my stepdad passed away, and I was "in charge" and trying to pack Mom up and move her out, she somehow thought she was going to get her driving privileges back. I would say things like, "Let me drive, you are under a lot of stress and grief right now." One day she got really angry at me, so I emailed her doctor and asked her to write a note saying that she did not think Mom should be driving. The doc wrote it on a prescription sheet, but I never had to get it out. Once we moved, Mom realized she would get lost all the time and finally gave up the quest to drive.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

The MD in January told my MIL in person that she could not drive any longer - her health conditions, Alzheimer's and her getting lost constantly and inability to use GPS or even common sense was too much of a risk. MD also told her that he would report her to the DMV if she continued to drive. My MIL wasn't going to listen to him, and was going to keep driving, and I had to tell her that she's not allowed to drive, I was there in the room, and although she could hate me, I was taking the keys and the car with me to the airport (I fly in each month). It was awful, I have to admit, but it had to be done.  We sold the car with her cooperation (didn't need it, as I am POA, but it's better if they agree!) in May.  It was a tough couple of months, but we don't really have an issue now except the occasional complaint.

I was also told in an Alzheimer's group that if the MD did report the matter with the DMV to contact the police for advice and assistance. If it's a good department, they will help. I did talk with them prior to taking the car in case my MIL called the cops on me. They were helpful. I know of one instance where the family called the police (after they sought assistance in person) when the family member took the car. The police caught up with him, pulled him over, found the revoked license in the system, and brought him home and had the car towed to a friend's home. Yes, he was angry and horrible about it, but eventually it settled down.

I found it easier that the MD, as much as he didn't want to do it, became the bad guy. Caregiving is hard enough and I needed a third party - her own trusted MD - to make it clear it was a medical decision and would be reported if she didn't comply. No, the MD can't take the keys, but being in the room with your loved one and the MD as he/she tells them they cannot drive any longer could be helpful as a reminder of the "why" when you physically remove the keys and vehicle.

No easy or "right" answer, but I wish you luck and peace as you navigate through this difficult situation.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Take. The. Keys!! There will be a fight. Take. The. Keys!! We did it two years ago. (FIL is in late-middle stages of Alzheimer's. MIL physically cannot drive.) The fighting lasted about a year. It wasn't easy. And it's completely understandable!! Keys = independence. I'm sure I'll fight, too, when my day comes!

Have a plan in place to address their transportation needs. You can't just leave them stranded at home. One of our teenagers drives MIL to and from dialysis 3x a week. On the other weekdays, we hired a helper to take them to run errands, out to eat, etc. Husband and I do dr appointments. This seems to be working well.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Make an appointment with your mother's doctor and be in the room with her. Pull the doctor aside and tell he or she what is going on. It should be non confrontational and just come up in conversation whether she should drive or not. The doctor needs to then step in and say "NO" and explain why or even provide her a prescription not to drive. Most older people respect what a doctor says and will follow doctor's orders.

I went through this with my father. I took him to his doctor and sat there in the room with him. The doctor asked if there were any questions and I told her that he still wants to drive. The doctor responded directly to him and said "No" and then explained why. It has to be done in person and it has to be the doctor telling her she can no longer drive. After this meeting I got rid of his car and there was no further discussion about it.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Bambi, if your dad is in support of a person driving him around, who has dementia and a doctor has requested her to stop.....I'd wonder about his judgment too. Does he have cognitive decline? Because, reasonable people, who have good judgment would not be in support of that. Is he just scared that the two of them with have no transportation?

If dad is mentally okay, I might try to explain the liability that his wife and him have if she drives and kills someone. Consult with an attorney, but, in most jurisdictions, even if their insurance pays a claim, a victim's estate may go after the personal assets of the driver and her spouse. Check the laws in your state, but, it would be a big concern for me. If your siblings are concerned about inheritance, this might get their attention.

Regardless, the driving will have to stop if the doctor, Social Worker and DMV say so. It may be hard for them to deal with, but, they'll have to accept it. I'd work on getting them alternate transportation.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

We called our local drivers lic. bureau and told them, our mother has been diagnosed having dementia and needed assistance with her driving.
They in-turn sent her a renewal notice for her drivers lic. We didn't end up taking her to be re-tested because she missed the scheduled appt of retesting.
Did you know, in most states: You cannot get insurance coverage on a car, that the owner doesn't have a license!
Hope this helped!!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

dad is not understanding of the situation. he does not want me to "ROCK THE BOAT". he said I am always stirring the pot. my husband and I are taking him to breakfast on Saturday to try and talk to him. but I don't hold out much hope. I am just trying everything I can think of before having to get lawyers involved.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Related
Questions