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I have a grandmother who now has an expired licensed with no liability insurance who insists on driving in California. She can't see 1 ft in front of her nor read street signs and is a CHF heart patient at 95! She has memory troubles as well, gets disoriented. All her doctors have asked her not to drive, and she tells everyone including friends, a recent social worker, doctors, including a friendly priest who recently gave her (sacraments of the sick) that she's not driving or "she won't be driving anymore", but I know the truth! She insists on driving to her often Coumadin blood draw appointments, to the grocery store, occasional outings, and places she thinks she can get to since she knows her way around. She now has in-home "palliative care" services and an O2 machine onsite. I'm at my wit's end and don't know what to do, if anything. I've tried reasoning with her about driving and provided other options she can easily afford. I am not in a position to take keys away, disable vehicle, or reason with her. She could easily repair a vehicle. She's a stubborn, controlling, manipulative woman and gets her way by bullying and manipulation. No one else in the family seems to care or is engaged in her health care or seems concerned about the ramifications of her choices, potential liabilities. She lives two hours from me and I am her closest remaining relative and I know the truth about her, yet my hands seemed tied.

Anyone who truly cares about her has already tried talking to her, and many already drive her when needed.

Disabling the car won't work. She'll get it fixed. She has a couple of friends that enable her. These people are sycophants and not looking out for her best interests.

Can the police really do anything to help?

Her primary doctor has urged her not to drive.

Any suggestions?

So frustrated!






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Will her physician not report to your state's DMV? Does your state allow private or anonymous reporting? But yes, police need to enforce the law - no license, no insurance is not OK. If she still has the wherewithal to repair a car she should have the ability to understand "You're under arrest, ma'am." Ok, they are not too likely to haul someone her age in to jail, but maybe you can cultivate a relationship with someone on the force who would be willing to try a scared straight routine to get her off the road. Seriously, the penalties for doing what she is doing and getting caught are potentially steep. See www.quora.com/What-is-the-grace-period-for-an-expired-California-drivers-license and www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/pubs/brochures/fast_facts/ffvr18.
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Does she have a smart phone by any chance? The IPhone now has "find a friend" and will show location and track movement. Other smart phones are likely to have a similar app.
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Show up to take her to her appointments or arrange transportation, else she will drive, her logic is simple....she needs to get somewhere.
Take the car keys away. It may not even occur to her to call a locksmith.
Report the issue to the local police department, although they are unlikely to be able to do anything unless they catch her. If they are a small dept or one that focuses on community, they may actually patrol a couple of times.
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Good suggestions. I must absolutely do this confidentially but can probably alert the police when she's on the move. Does anyone know of any inexpensive tracking device that could be covertly put onto or hidden within her vehicle that I could get alerts or track on my smartphone? Something akin to tracking a rebellious teenager in a vehicle? I probably need to plan a covert operation from a distance and don't want to involve others.
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You should alert her local police department or 911 services to the fact that she has Alzheimers and Oxygen on site. They really do like to know these things. Mention the car thing too.
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If you have the funds, you might hire a private investigator to get her driving on video. He can then present them to the police. It'll be something that can use and/or follow up on according to their state laws. Who knows what the video may reveal. Her driving may be horrible.
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Don't ask, don't try to reason with her, that ship has sailed. You or someone, needs to make the car go away. Notify the local cops, the dealers, anywhere she may call to get a car. Again...Dont disable it, get the car gone and keep it gone. Let her scream. Save someone's life.
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In Oregon if they catch you driving without a licence or insurance they confiscate the car and leave you - day or night - by the side of the road where they pulled you over. Talk about tough love - would that do the trick?
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That's exactly what I'm concerned about.... The toddler, she might back over.... The stroke she might have and careen her car into a crowd. All of the things we "rational" selfless people are concerned about. I might find a way to know when she's on the road, but what can the police really do? Do they really work to get these elders off the streets?
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"She's a stubborn, controlling, manipulative woman and gets her way by bullying and manipulation. " So, fine, let her take the consequences ...

Oh, wait, that isn't fair to the baby in a stroller she might run into, or the other drivers on the road. I'm all in favor of allowing other people to decide their own risk tolerance for themselves ... but NOT for other people.

From a distance it would be hard for you to report her when she gets behind the wheel, but I agree with cwillie that that is appropriate.
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Try tough love. When you know she is on the road report her to the police, include a description and the licence plate #. At the very least she will be embarrassed, and hopefully a big fine will be a deterrent. If you are lucky they may even impound the car.
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