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Mom and Dad live independently. Mom had mild stroke 3 years ago and has gradually become more irrational in her thinking. She refuses help from MDs. She has fired many MDs. I don't feel she is safe to drive, but she refuses to give up her license. She hides her checkbook and then forgets where she put it. Today she drove to police station (after clipping dad's car with her own on the way out of the driveway) to file report that someone stole her checkbook, but Dad says she has just hidden it. She fell in the parking lot, but refused to let the ambulance take her to the hospital for evaluation. She has always had a temper, but is more quick to become angry. I don't believe she takes her medications like she is supposed to. She and Dad have begun proceedings for divorce after 50 years.

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Get Legal Help. There could be all kinds of unforeseen consequences to a divorce in terms of finances and care. I could never explain my Dad's behavior to my mom, she always took it personally, but if your dad is more rational he might understand. Go in with Dad to the lawyer and make sure that he has picked one who knows eldercare law and not just divorce law. This is insane, and if she hit Dads car on the way out that could be reported as an incident to Adult Protective Services and/or police. From your description she has become a danger to herself and others, and she needs help, she needs someone to make her stay put and get a decent medical evaluation and care, and frankly from what you are describing that will require guardianship proceedings so she can have a geropsych eval even if involuntary, as she is by no means ever going to recognize that there is anything wrong with her. You can report her to DMV, perhaps with photos of the damage done to Dad's car, but that is only one piece of the problem. This will not get better. You don't mention whether anyone holds any POAs - probably too late to have Mom do a valid one even if she would be willing. May God bless you with the courage to do what must be done.
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Take her car keys, move the car to another location, and sell it.

What kind of long term care are you planning for your parents? It sounds like they are ready for assisted living, or 24/care....

Bless you. I know this stage is hard.
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This is a tough situation. Unless your mother is declared incompetent, you can't force her to do anything she doesn't want to do. It does sound like dementia to me. One thing you can do is to contact the DMV to let them know your concerns about her driving. They may be able to help you there, particularly if one of her current doctors writes that she should not be driving.

Sometimes in situations like this, you have to wait for a crisis, such as a trip to the ER. When she is at the ER, you can talk to the doctors about arranging for a geriatric psych evaluation. If she is having small strokes, they may even be able to help slow the dementia.

I wish I could give you exact advice, but I know most of the time we just have to feel our way through things. Please let us know how things go.
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