I moved in my father from North Carolina one year ago to Florida to live with me and my family. Before he left North Carolina he had already totaled his car. 11 days after he was here he and I went to the medical supplies store and I allowed him to drive my car in which he rear ended the same car six or seven times by pressing the break and the gas at the same time. He is convinced that he’s able to drive a car in an unfamiliar surroundings and he’s depressed and almost angry. He is Diagnosed with sundowners and has cognitive and physical impairments due to stroke. I am his primary caretaker I know for a fact that this man should not be behind the wheel. And one conversation that I had with him his response was people with no legs drive cars. So that right there told me that he is not thinking with a full deck so to speak. He has an impaired gait when he walks and uses a walker and mostly a wheelchair when we go out for errands etc..He Makes me feel like I am doing this on purpose to him. A man that can barely walk 20ft unassisted thinks he can drive a car. It’s almost like he’s mad at me that he doesn’t have a car but I wasn’t with him in North Carolina when he had two car accidents and then finally totaled the car. Out of that conversation I found him taking pictures off down the wall and had a little pile of his belongings together on the table and I said what is that for daddy? He says” I’m carrying that home with me”. So he was thinking of renting a U-Haul truck and rolling up at his old building in Raleigh North Carolina and they are just gonna let him in to a government assistant building as soon as he arrives there. So I had to explain to him that that is never going to happen from this point on and unfortunately this is where he is in his life right now. I also expressed to him how I’ve said that I was upset that he wanted to leave because I completely been over backwards for him. I take care of all of his needs from puréeing his food, his doctors appointments, all meals, shopping, phone calls, cutting his toenails, bathing him, every single thing that it takes to live in a daily life I do for him because I really want him to live his best life but he is making me feel that everything that I do is never good enough. I do all of these things with no thank you, good job daughter, or even a simple hug or I love you. Everyone warned me that I did not know what I was getting myself into when I decided to move my father and our home. We cleared out our master bedroom and he has the master bedroom and bath and a private outdoor entrance while my my husband and I are split up with my husband in the smallest bedroom of the house and me on the couch with my clothes hanging on a rack in the middle of the dining room. We’ve made great sacrifices for my father to live here and he seems he doesn’t appreciate anything. Instead he always talks about how terrible life is here and he wants to go back to North Carolina and doesn’t realize the sacrifices that we are making and how hard this is on us and the A+ caretaking treatment that he gets here. I’ve tried to explain to him to having a car comes along with responsibilities such as he could kill himself or kill others. He is not familiar with the area. He would have to pay for car insurance and repairs. What else can I tell him they will not I’ve said him so that he understands that her car is not any longer in his future? If he ever did obtain a car, which he can’t because he needs me to be the mouthpiece and do all the phone calls because he can’t do that himself, I would be the one carrying him to the car putting him in the car taking the repairs for the car I am not doing all of that I do enough already. It’s simply is not going to happen has anyone any advice on how to break it to him that he will never own or drive a car ever again? Believe me I wish that he was capable of having his own car. My husband and I are in our early 50s with kids. Busy

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"...Everyone warned me that I did not know what I was getting myself into when I decided to move my father and our home. We cleared out our master bedroom and he has the master bedroom and bath and a private outdoor entrance while my my husband and I are split up with my husband in the smallest bedroom of the house and me on the couch ..." Your father wanting to buy a new car is the least of your problems. Forget about your dad buying a car. Get busy looking for new housing arrangements for your father.
Helpful Answer (8)

I am just going to deal with the car issue. (you have a LOT of other things going on as well)
Tell him in order for him to be able to get the car he has to get the following things.
1) a Doctor's WRITTEN approval that he can drive.
2) he needs to PASS a medically approved drivers program.
3) he needs to pass the written test at the DMV
4) he needs to pass the driving test at the DMV
5) he needs to be able to pay for the car as well as the insurance and the maintenance of the vehicle.
Now that you have this plan I doubt seriously that he would get the Doctor's WRITTEN approval.
I doubt that he would pass one of the medically approved driver's programs.
I doubt he would pass the written or drivers test at the DMV.
Almost anyone can get a car now so that is not the problem but paying for insurance and the upkeep on the car might be a problem particularly if he has had the accidents that you mention.

You might want to look for Assisted Living Communities that can provide him with transportation when he needs it. Will provide him with activities and people that he can do things with.
Helpful Answer (7)
graygrammie Nov 2020
I am wondering if he would even be approved for insurance on a vehicle. That could close the door right there.
Have you thought about just backing off about the car for awhile? Let him save up money for a car.
Because, he will need a Florida license, and didn't he lose his NC license?
And you are not going to take him to get one, no need to announce it or inform him, incurring his wrath.

And buying a car, you are also not going to assist in any way, no need to tell him this.

No need to break it to him. It will slowly dawn on him, giving him time to accept it. When he cannot get a license. When he cannot buy a car on his own.

Take a break from stressing out, from being over responsible and overly accommodating. And it is not your job to "inform" him. Allow the DMV to do their job if and when it comes to that, so you won't be the bad guy and his jailer. Things are bad enough without borrowing trouble that is not here yet.
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PS if you become ready to stop running a nursing home for one with only one or two staff - please speak up!

Preferable before your DH quits.
Helpful Answer (6)

Is your Dads Dementia noticeable? Because any reputable Dealer would not do business with him if he can see there is some cognitive decline. If Dad has been diagnoised with Dementia and your POA (hope u have one) is in effect he cannot sign any contracts.

Just humor him. He may not even realize that the average new car is 20k at least. Does he have a license, if so get a doctor to say he cannot drive, or better have him report Dad to DMV. If Dr gives you a note, take it to the DMV and ask that his license be changed to an ID.

When a person has Dementia, and for all you have to do for Dad I would say he has a Dementia of some sort, they have lost the ability to appreciate and show empathy. They get self-centered. There life is whatever goes flitting thru their brain. TV and dreams become part of their reality. They hallucinate. My Mom always had a little girl with her that disappeared when I showed up. Mom eventually thought I was her mother.

Everything you have written about Dad is someone who has a Dementia. Your Dads brain is dying little by little. If you haven't done it, Dad needs a good physical. Labs and a neurological work up to determine what type of Dementia he has and what meds may help him with anxiety.
Helpful Answer (6)

Your dad can’t drive. We don’t have to tell you that. You know it!

You’re not able to control his thoughts. No one can do that.

You sound very frustrated and the issue of driving is just a small portion of the situation. He can’t drive without owning a car. He won’t be driving your car.

Are you regretting that he moved in? You don’t have to continue this arrangement if it isn’t working out. Start touring facilities in your area in case you decide to place him in a place that has a staff to assist him.

Caregiving is a lot of work. Don’t feel badly if it’s too much for you to handle. Many people think that they can care for their parents and at some point discover it is too much for them to do on their own.
Helpful Answer (6)

It sounds like your father has major dementia in addition to physical impairments, and that you need to rethink A LOT of things right now. You've totally uprooted your entire life, moving out of your bedroom with your husband to take care of someone in such rough, you've given him a door to the outside world which he can escape through in the middle of the night! Your father needs an extensive medical evaluation asap.........and you need to figure out which Memory Care Assisted Living he can move into, or which Skilled Nursing Facility if he needs to apply for Medicaid. Dementia is dangerous..........he can easily try to cook on the stove and set the house on fire, or play with the chemicals under the sink and asphyxiate himself. The car is the least of your 'lost the keys'............the car is not working, the battery is dead.........there are 100 different white lies you can tell him to prevent him from driving. It's another good indicator to YOU that he's suffering from dementia that he WANTS to continue driving after the accidents he's already created!

When my father got into 3 small fender benders years ago, he called me on the phone to say he would NEVER drive a car again, and that he and mom needed to move close to me into Independent Living so they could ride the mini bus around instead of driving. That is how a lucid mind works. Your dad's stroke has rendered him cognitively impaired, so he's insisting he CAN drive when he cannot. He honestly doesn't understand that he can't.........his brain is no longer wired properly.

Once the doctor evaluates and diagnoses your dad, HE can break the news to him that driving is off of the table. You may have to constantly remind him ANYWAY, because that's how cognitive impairment works. See what the doctor thinks as far as where he should live; in Memory Care Assisted Living or a Skilled Nursing Facility.

If you insist on keeping him in your home, you need to make lots of adjustments to the living arrangement since you can't sleep on the couch forever. Nor can your dad live in a room he can escape from. Read all about dementia so that you can understand why he's not appreciative of all you're doing for him, and why it will only get worse from here. It's really too much to handle on your own, with a husband and family, since leaving your dad alone at home cannot be an option anymore. It's just too dangerous to leave a demented elder alone at home.

Please speak with his doctor right away, and make plans for the future.

Good luck!
Helpful Answer (6)

You are not going to be able to reason with your dad or convince him to do anything he doesn’t want to. It’s clear from your posts that he’s lost his executive reasoning ability.

your roles have reversed now. You’re the parent he’s the child. You can fib a little here and there, maybe redirect him on some things but lots of times the answer will have to be NO.

He’s angry right now living with you. He’ll be angry if he lives in assisted living. He’ll be angry if he moves to his old place. No fixing this.

You are young, busy and have kids. Your dad will likely live for many years. You really up to this?

I went through all this stuff with both parents. Moving them to assisted living and ending the driving were the toughest issues. They were mad at me before, during and after . (Up in heaven now, still mad)

Look into Medicaid. Don’t use your money. Get POA if dad is competent enough. Start looking at assisted living places near you. Lay some track.
Helpful Answer (5)
jacobsonbob Nov 2020
Will Medicaid pay for AL in Florida?
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the answer is "hide the keys and NEVER EVER let him drive anything again".......its that simple.  When he throws a fit, tell him he cannot drive, end of story.  with dementia there is no need to go into big explanations, just say NO.  And honestly it sounds like he should be in a NH where they can take care of him, etc.  You are going to wear out doing everything and it sounds almost like he needs 24/7 care which if it isn't now, it will be shortly and do you have the time/energy to do that.  Contact an elder attorney and get things rolling. check out NH (and yes they will take people right now, they are just put in a separate area for 2 weeks to quarantine due to virus) and if he has no money, find a place that will accept Medicaid.  But IF you continue to let him drive OR he finds the keys and does drive and causes an accident or kills will feel terrible for the rest of your life.  Do HIM and YOU a favor.............never let him find the keys.  wishing you luck.
Helpful Answer (4)

Your biggest job is to remove yourself from daughter mode to caregiver mode. Take your room back. This is YOUR home...not his....HE needs to be placed in assisted living or a memory care facility. If he obtains a car then hide the keys and tell him he has lost them.... or dismantle the car so it doesn't start. You are not required to do anything to enable this man, so don't. Also...when the subject of the car comes up, change the not engage with him on the subject. You are the have to take charge and do what you know is the right thing to do. First and foremost....take your room back!! And start searching for a memory care facility. If you think you've got it bad now, you've no idea how bad it's going to get. Not to scare you but to warn you. Good luck!
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