My father had a stroke last week and the Doctor told him he could not drive for 60-90 after he is released. He convinced a friend to take him to where we stored his car. He is now driving around town. What options do I have?
The hard part is over.
I'm matching you with one of our specialists who will be calling you in the next few minutes.
When he gets home, tell him that his doctor's advice (which, I have to say, could have been more specific and more emphatic) probably invalidates his insurance and that he must not drive until the doctor has confirmed that his health is sufficiently restored. If he is driving without valid insurance, he is driving illegally. There isn't a grey area, here.
One major risk is that your father might have another stroke while driving. He is a danger to himself and others. If he continues to insist on his "right" to drive (nobody has a right to drive. We all drive under licence from the state, hence it's a merited privilege, not a right), tell him that if he does so without medical approval you will inform the police.
And tell the friend what you think of him. Some friend!
In this process of caring for elders there are unforgettable moments when you have to do what you thought you would never do. You have to defy your father and make him angry with you for the greater good. You have to bear up under his anger and shrug it off, knowing you are right. This is an infamous one of those moments. Most of us will have to go through it.
Here is the recipe: take the keys, take all of the keys , and/or disable the vehicle, and don't look back. You Dad will adjust to a new lifestyle. You all will. This did not sound true to me--but it was.
I had same issue with my mom yet DMV did nothing and she continued to drive. When the car wouldn't start she just call towing and they took it to be "fixed" and she was back on the road again.
My Dad was good about not getting back behind the wheel after his heart attack, he was grounded for 6 months. In the meantime his eyesight was failing but Mom still wanted those dozen trips per week to the grocery store.
So many times I used "you will lose everything, your retirement, your savings, your stock, and the house"... is all that worth taking Mom to the grocery store because beans are on sale 5 for a $1.00?
Dad still got behind the wheel but he kept hitting the curb as he drove to a point where twice he damaged the front wheel, thus leaving him and Mom stranded, trying to find a house that would open their door two these two 90 something strangers who wanted to use their phone. Twice AAA was called to tow the car. Eventually Dad stopped driving, but Mom was in denial and still wanted Dad to drive her... [sigh].
Please have another heart to heart talk with your dad. I know that it's difficult to give up the independence of having a car, but it is something that many, many people have to face.
Let your dad know that you, other family members, and friends will help him as much as possible to get to where he needs/wants to go as much as possible.
My mother-in-law and father-in-law were in an accident as they drove to the library on a Saturday morning. Traffic was light. The elderly driver of the other car crossed over the center line and hit my in-laws head on. My mother-in-law was killed, and my father-in-law nearly died.
Years later my father-in-law handed his car keys to my husband and said, "Son, it's time that I stop driving. I know that I'm no longer a safe driver."
Please convince your dad to do the same thing.
Every one of the fenders of her car was bashed in. Of course, it was NEVER her fault.
Finally after hip surgery, her dr said "ABSOLUTELY no driving". She realized only then that she did not have the strength in her right leg to do anything.
We made sure she had plenty of available chauffeurs and things have been ok. I know she'd rather be driving herself around, but we all feel better with her NOT being behind the wheel.
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