My step dad (77) has only peripheral vision in one eye, macular degeneration in the other, and recently lost consciousness behind the wheel, caused a serious accident, and received 3 tickets. By Illinois law he was supposed to have his license suspended for 6 months, but somehow that was not submitted to the state. He is not safe, but thinks he should drive ('must not be that bad') since he has his license and it is not suspended.
Suggestions appreciated. I don't know where to start. His doctor, SOS, health department, or other.
Sometimes you just have to lay it out. If he had an accident as you described he needs to stop today, not a license issue, just NO. I've pulled many dead and mangled bodies out of cars for over 40 years with older people being behind the wheel that should not have been there.
I have tried to appeal to logistical, practical, and safety issues, but have not taken him driving myself. IMO he has not been a safe driver for years.
I think a drive might be the solution. Just him and I and a test. It seems like the perfect opportunity to tell him it's over.
Can you give me a few ideas, of how and where I should implement it please?
I detailed very specific instances mom had been having + the MCD diagnosis + not seeking medical help = the state sent her a letter. The state would have reactivated her license had she passed an in-person test (she did not pass) and had three various doctors complete paperwork saying she was fit to drive (she tried to get her primary to sign off on the paperwork which he did not do).
Start with a letter to dads doctor, detailing all you know about dads health and why he should not be driving. Ask for the doc’s assistance.
Next, call the DMV and ask where you can send a letter requesting dads license be revoked. Write a letter to the DMV and state what you know about dad’s vision issues, his loss of consciousness behind the wheel, driving tickets, etc.. Request their assistance and state you do not believe your dad should be driving.
This worked for me, even though psychiatrist and neurologist in the ER did not put through paperwork to the state with Mom’s diagnosis of cognitive decline.
When my mom's dementia became such that driving was a horrible idea, her doctor told her (at my insistence). She had already kind of stopped due to winter weather, fear of ice, etc. So I just hid her keys in case she got any bright ideas of going for a ride and then just reminded her that she could have an accident and KILL SOMEONE, maybe young children, etc. I could not bear the idea of that happening and could not deal with the guilt of it, if the worst ever were to happen.
Just thought of another idea - have him go for an eye exam at motor vehicle. There's no way he could pass is there? I would also call whoever is in charge of this mandatory suspension and see what the hold up is?
Good luck. He's not going to be happy but this is about safety - his and the that of the innocent people on the road.
I use their vehicles to transport them for appointments and errands, as my vehicle is not 'senior friendly', so theirs will have to stay.
I have asked him to consider the fact that he could seriously harm my mother or someone else, and not think only about himself.
He won't like any of this and will be in a rage for a while but you must step in and be prepared to substitute his need to drive by providing rides and having his necessities delivered, etc.
I am not sure when his license will naturally expire, but I will be reaching out to the DMV.
It’s not going to be convenient, but perhaps the solution is to remove the vehicle from Dad’s place, store it somewhere as accessible as possible for you, drive your car to pick it up, and then go around to collect Dad. So it’s ‘usable’ but not there as an option for Dad to get into. Make a fuss about how much trouble it is for you to avoid the potential accidents and liability, and how much easier it would be if he uses the ‘caregiver and transportation’ you have provided. Get someone to heavy you (even this site’s ‘advice’) about his and your liability if he injures someone else – or kills your mother.
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