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If your fil is threatening suicide, call his doctor and ask for advice.

If the threat seems imminent (i.e., if there are weapons or pills he has access to) call 911 and have him taken to the ER for a psych evaluation.

Take all threats of suicide seriously.
Helpful Answer (13)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn

For our elders it is one loss after another. And for some, the attachment to driving is a big one and a huge loss. The truth is that there have been many losses and there is going to be nothing BUT loss now, and that is what is dawning for your Dad. Many elders truly would rather be dead than go through this. But like the Dorothy Parker poem, they cannot find an easy way. So you MUST know that this is a serious threat. You Dad should see someone. I don't know if he has dementia, or what level, but this is a terrible loss and the depression can be very bad, very deep, because there is not a lot of upside to this story. To tell the truth I don't know why severe depression is not the norm in our elders. It's hard enough for me at 77 and of sound mind, still able to go on quite long walks, to see and contemplate the losses, and the losses that are ahead.
Do let him know that you understand how he feels. Let him talk about it, explain what for him is the worst of it. Don't negate what he feels. Tell him you can understand how he feels.
So sorry. For your pain. And for his pain. Let us know if you find anything that can work. I hope time will make this loss less acute.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
Libbby Sep 6, 2019
I am touched by the kindness and empathy in your response, AlvaDeer.

angelw43, does your FIL have any options to get out & about without driving himself?
Threats of suicide are a cry for help, get it for him. He may just be frustrated and devastated but you do not want to make that judgement call. Do something! Call his doctor, take him to the ER, or call the suicide hotline. If he is just ranting your actions and the help from a professional will alert him to the seriousness and inappropriateness of his threats. If he is truly disturbed enough to attempt suicide you will have done what you can to help prevent it. You must act! Now!
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Reply to Veronica33

He may really want to commit suicide. Not everyone who threatens suicide is being manipulative. Get him help.

The car is not as important as his well being. He will get used to not driving. It’s an adjustment.

Years ago, I couldn’t drive for months after a bicycle accident that I had. It was frustrating.

My friends went to the grocery for me and took me places. At first I was embarrassed and apologized to them. I got used to not driving.

I have great friends and they told me not to apologize. I then graciously said thanks to them. I ended up being able to repay the favor to one friend when they had an accident.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom

Angelw43, no easy road! My husband responded in the same way. After repeated suicide threatsI had him committed to a mental health facility for a few days. They put him on zoloft a divalproex dr which are a tremendous help. His doctor also wrote a letter to DMV stating he has Alz and should not be allow to operate vehicle and his license were revoke which also helped.
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to Nawrocki

My dad went berserk when I took his keys 1-1/2 years ago (he had not had a valid license for 6 months and was still driving) We ended up calling the police, they put him in handcuffs and put him in the hospital for 5 days (no psych beds available) and then sent him home because there was nothing more they could do (he is already on antidepressants). He has threatened suicide once or twice but they are more tantrums than anything. His caregivers drive his cars now and he is very protective of them. He won't let more than one person in the garage with him at a time because he is afraid he will be ambushed again. His cars are old, they are dirty but won't let us pay to have them cleaned. As of yesterday, he tried to grab the wheel from his caregiver because he thought she was going the wrong direction so now they only want him to ride in the back seat (that is not going to go over very well).
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Reply to Babs75

Does he have a plan? Can he execute that plan?

If he threatens suicide, take him to the nearest ER and have him Baker acted. That's an involuntary psychiatric hold for up to 72 hours, pending re-evaluation, and it can be done on a regular floor of a hospital if the hospital does not have a psych bed. Remain calm and let professionals handle him.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to NYDaughterInLaw

When my Husband got to the point where he should not be driving I had the car moved to another location until I could sell it. (sister's driveway) I told him it was in the shop for repairs and Dave would get it back but he was real busy.
After that when he would ask about it I would tell him that the medication he was on made it so he could not drive.
After a while he stopped asking
I did have to lock the keys of my car up or I put them on a carabiner and clipped them to my belt loop. (I still keep them there)
If you think his threat of suicide is serious the next time he mentions it call 911 and tell them that there is a suicide threat. They will transport him to the hospital.
Have you talked to his doctor about the anxiety and agitation as well as the threats of suicide?
And are the threats real or is it like anyone saying .."If that happens one more time I think I'll kill myself" just a way to vent frustration.
Is he able to go to an Adult Day Program? Many transport and it would give him an outlet, something to do and it would give him a break from the day to day routine as well as giving you a break.
Getting up and leaving the house, going for a drive is a way to combat boredom as well as frustration. Giving him something to do might help that.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to Grandma1954

Just adding that in our case, when we knew it was time for my dad to stop driving, he naturally fought us, too. What took us over the finish line was when we asked him if it was worth the risk of injuring someone else. We focused on the toll it would take on him if he hurt (or killed) someone (mentioning children). If he is money-conscious, point out the financial devastation of a serious accident. And if he cares about his legacy, mention that he would be remembered by others as the elderly man who refused to stop driving and caused needless pain on others. All of the above clicked with my father, I hope something here helps anyone out there in this difficult situation.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to pch111

I never took away my father's keys. I just started doing all the driving and after one near miss of an accident, he thanked me. He said that his reflexes would not have allowed him to avoid hitting the car, but I did what he had taught me to do - I am constantly looking for "where to go" should the need arise and within seconds of hitting the other car, I chose the turning lane and avoided being the last car in the pileup.

I "handled" it by explaining things to him. This was not well-met with one nephew and we didn't speak for better than 10 years after I stopped allowing my father to drive.

BTW, his heart doctor advised me to not encourage his driving. I don't think I ever told Pop that.

Put yourself in your FIL's shoes for a minute and just tell him what you would want someone to tell you.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to RayLinStephens
anonymous828521 Sep 12, 2019
Nice that it worked out for you & dad, but some elderly parents can be far from reasonable & even downright nasty. I had to ignore so much nastiness (once my mother had 2stop driving), that I was literally exhausted for a year. I couldn't continue to drive her either, cuz I nearly had 2 accidents while she was b*tching at me.
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