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Who don't think they have a problem because they can't remember? My mother doesn't seem to think she has a problem with her memory or with her driving because she can't remember that she's even been to several doctors who have told her that she has dementia and that she shouldn't be driving.

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There is no question that for many taking away the keys means taking away one's independence, which, for many, can be quite terrifying. Involve in mom in the discussion about your concerns with her driving. Suggest that mom be evaluated at a driving assessment center (not a BMV) where therapists can evaluate a persons, cognition, physical abilities along with a driving ability. Let her know that they may make recommendations for modifications rather than recommend that the keys be surrendered. This way, the results are objective, not what some may consider to be, unfounded. Validate concerns, fears and also problem solve together. That may include becoming familiar with local transportation services, or trying to schedule appointments when a family member is available. It's not easy, but if dementia impairs one judgement which may result in harm to oneself or others, than loved ones need to step in to protect all parties. It is not dishonoring a parent!
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Take the car away, say it's being worked on. You don't want to have your loved one in an accident and/or responsible for someone else's injury or death.
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Tip for disabling cars. They make a battery cut off that mounts on the positive terminal of the battery. It's essentially a simple switch people use when the car is not driven often and you don't want the cars electronic devices to drain the battery. Anyone handy with basic tools can install one. Then when the car needs to be driven for some reason you don't have to figure out where someone hid the coil wire or some such thing. Google "car battery disconnect " and you should find one.
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The client that I watch is not allowed to drive(per doctors orders) and yet, still has her license, so thinks she can drive! She took her car about a month ago, while her son left her alone. She only went like a mile up the road to her other sons house, but apparently hit their garage door with the car and also hit on of their cars. And guess what. She STILL HAS HER LICENSE!!!! Total insanity. I guess they don't care if she ends up killing someone, and they lose everything, because they all know she is not allowed to drive.
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Take the spark plugs out? Or distributor cap off? Take it to "the shop" for work. Go to a neurologist to find out how bad her dementia is and have her license revoked and then take her license away. Park the car somewhere else, where she has no access to it, and is not reminded of it every day.
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It sounds as though your plan will result in her becoming essentially housebound, though. She's already getting MOW and your friends will pick stuff up for her and bring it to her. She needs reassurance that her efforts to run errands and be independent will not inconvenience anyone. Is there a bus service or call-a-ride service or mass transit that she can learn to rely on?

I agree that there comes a time when people need to give up the car keys, but they need to have the reassurance that life will go on. It's a really scary thing, giving up your independence. It's really hard to have to call people and ask them for rides, so maybe your friends can call her every couple of days to just ask her if she wants to get out. Just my opinion.
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Great idea, Windyridge! Remove the car battery?
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Until you can get rid of the car, have someone disable it. You cannot have her driving with no license or insurance!! The legal liability for your family is off the charts if she injures or kills someone.
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I think there comes a point when we "children" have to do the right thing because our elders won't. Report your mother to the DMV and ask at the police station if you can report her for reckless driving. It's reckless to drive without a license and no insurance. Have the car impounded. Do whatever it takes to get rid of that car from where your mom can reach it. It's a horrible situation she's putting you and your community in. Good luck!
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I don't live in the same city as my Mom, but I have people who can take her to the grocery store or have them pick up some groceries and deliver them. She currently gets Meals-on-wheels so she's ok with main meals just needs breakfast food. She's currently driving with no license and probably no insurance since when your license gets revoked, I think they inform your insurance company. The car needs to go or else she will forget and drive it. And if I take the keys, she'll just call a locksmith and have another key made. She's like a teenager out of control!!!! But thanks everyone for your advice, it certainly is challenging and I thought my parenting years had long passed but no, it seems like I'm back in "Mother" mode!!! In so many different ways!!!
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My parents still keep their vehicle even though neither of them have driven said car in the past six years.... I believe it is a sense of comfort knowing the car is in the garage, and Dad recharges the battery every week.... I do drive the vehicle whenever I take my Mom to a doctor appointment as she no longer can climb up into my vehicle. Oh how I hate driving that car, it is not user friendly because of its size and where the side view mirrors are placed :P
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My MIL who has a severe movement disorder told me just yesterday that she knows she can still drive. She's got little to no control over her body, her reflexes are shot, and she said it like I should have thrown her the car keys. My inlaws pay over $1200 a month (VERY high insurance) to keep a car that hasn't been driven in months. I wish they would just sell the d*mn thing already. But no. They let it sit there just so they know they have it. But they're not demented (yet) and the second they are I'm telling them the car is at the mechanic and I'm hiding the keys. This week has been awful trying to deal with their copious problems and the last thing I need is for one of them to get behind the wheel of a car, lose control, and run someone over. Old people like this should NOT be driving and anything and everything is fair game when it comes to getting them off the road. I'm sorry for coming across as insensitive. I'm not at my best today and they've worn me out this week. Good luck to you!
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Oh, as a last resort. Take the keys, move the car to a storage location she can't get to. Tell her it's being worked on and in the meantime you'll drive her around.
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Does she live alone? Just playing devil's advocate here: if she doesn't drive herself, how will she get around? Is there a plan in place to get her where she needs to be, or just drive her around shopping or to get a hamburger or where ever she drives herself to now?

My suggestion is to begin putting that plan in place right now. Don't make an issue of her driving or not driving. Just tell her you'll pick her up to take her to X, or friend will be over to get a hamburger on Tuesday or whatever - you get the picture. Pretty soon, she will be used to being driven around and may not put up much of a fight. It may not happen overnight, but you and all the other designated drivers will have a chance to work out the bugs.

Even 7 years after moving in with us because of her inability to make rational and safe decisions, Mom doesn't believe she has any problems whatsoever. Even though she has arthritis and osteoporosis so bad she can't stand up straight or walk more than a few steps unaided, walkers are for "old people". She's 93. Dementia is a dual edged sword. It's like anesthesia. You have pain but you don't know it or care!
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