Dad has had a stroke and can no longer drive. Mom could, but has not driven in a few years. She gives many excuses not to drive. Help!


Mom could drive but she won't. It would be helpful if she could drive at least to the store for groceries. How can we build her confidence, or should we even try and continue the way it is? Perplexed. Tired. Worried.

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I would be wary of encouraging someone who doesn't want to drive to do so. Has she had her vision checked recently? Perhaps there is an issue there. Maybe her hand/eye coordination is off and she senses she wouldn't be a safe driver? I would help her set up with grocery delivery rather than risk an accident.
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Reply to SnoopyLove

Sometimes it isn't about lack of practice or stubbornness - somewhere in my 40's I inexplicably developed a problem with panic attacks while driving, over the years I've learned to identify certain triggers that set off my driving anxiety and I can generally avoid those situations so I do still drive. Most people tend to think of driving as something as natural as breathing and fail to understand that there are some people who just aren't comfortable (or skilled) behind the wheel, instead of forcing the issue of her reluctance/inability to drive look for alternatives.
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Reply to cwillie

How about setting up the curbside pickup. My daughter does this at Walmart just because her life is busy and is actually looking it. Then someone, either hubby or you, just pulls up, they load the car and you drop off for mom.
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Reply to Grammyteacher

Is there a grocery bus scheduled from the independent living community? Otherwise grocery delivery is a good option.
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Reply to jeannegibbs

I know it is a difficult decision but ask yourself are you pushing her to drive to make it easier on yourself ? ....only that person can truly say I am not comfortable driving and you MUST LISTEN BECAUSE IT COULD RESULT IN A DEVASTATING RESULT FOR HER OR OTHERS ON THE ROAD..TRUST ME..BEEN THERE WITH MY DAD WHERE OTHER DRIVER WAS KILLED . ..LISTEN AND RESPECT HER CONCERNS .
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Reply to suiee7005

"God help me to help him to help them" -- I love it! :)
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Reply to SnoopyLove

Some counties/municipalities offer adult driver refresher training, which can be ideal for those who are otherwise able, but whose skills have grown rusty. Perhaps your Department of Motor Vehicles, or AARP, or your local Council on Aging can help her regain/refine her skills and confidence?

If that's a no-go, perhaps Uber/Lyft are good alternatives. Both require a smartphone ... but ... if she does not have one, will handle Uber and Lyft by old-fashioned phone call.

(DISCLAIMER: Still working with/on my in-laws, who let me install Uber/Lyft apps on his smartphone, and she has the Arriverides number ... but both have yet to do one diddly thing with any of those services.)
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Reply to Confounded

If she has 4 children, then get the other 3 on board by whatever means you need to take. (Guilt usually works well.) What you say to Brother #1, I've taken the groceries over to mom and dad for the last 2 weeks but I can't go this week. Can you drop off a couple of things for them, or they won't have anything for their lunches."

Also, maybe mom doesn't want to leave dad alone (because of his stroke).
Has he had Physical Therapy and learned transfering, walking with walker or using a wheelchair, etc.?
Maybe she's thinking that if she was in an accident, who would take care of dad?
Does she have a cell phone? She should.

I wouldn't bother forcing the situation of driving with her if she's that adamant. You can work around it.
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Reply to SueC1957

These are great comments. Thank you. Her eyesight is good. Just had an exam. Very good. I too have been thinking she is afraid to drive in fear of a wreck. Perhaps that is the case. I would hate to encourage her to drive if she truly can't. However my husband and I are pretty reasonable, thoughtful folks. We believe she can. My husband has taken her out twice to drive so far. He said she was a bit rusty in the parking lot. But did well driving home. As far as shopping the local grocery store. They have delivery right now but they are soon going to stop the delivery program. Darn! All these years it was available and just when we really needed the service they are ending it. Lol. I laugh now... Oh man. I am reading a lot of comments on this wonderful site and my heart is sinking. Think of what will come. This is such a milestone for them and us. We knew and have tried so hard through love and compassion and many conversations to prepare for these days. I have a feeling the way this very first step is being so difficult were gunna have quite a ride. Gulp. Mom is very very VERY stubborn and very argumentative. I can see although she often says "we don't want to be a burden" that she is enjoying this more than I think is going to be manageable. Oh boy. Sigh. I call her mom. Most call her grandma. She is my husbands mom. And although she has 4 children my husband is the only one stepping up to the task. Well of course I am helping too. I am very concerned for my hubby. He worked 12 hrs today then did their shopping on a last minute call from them. Came home ate a sandwich and that was all she wrote. Out cold. Zzzzzz. He is going to get burn out quick at this rate. God bless him. So here I am on this site trying to find answers and help for this long ride. My parents are deceassed a long time now. :( So I know whats to come. I just need some help to help my hubby without overstepping my boundries. God help me to help him to help them. Wow did I just say that?! Yep. :o
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Reply to Mamascaretaker2

If she does not want to, maybe there is a reason she does not want to. That reason could be far more devastating than the inconvenience of not driving.
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Reply to marymerry

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