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Mom is a very healthy 88 year old who walks, plays bridge and reads. She is starting to become more and more forgetful by the day.
We anonymously turned Mom in to the DMV so that she had to take the written and drivers test. She ended up passing both after studying and practicing (she ran into a pole practicing parallel parking). She now has her license for 2 more years! She lives in a retirement-assisted living apartment where few can drive and they count on her to take them places all the time. She loves this because she feels special. I feel that it is a law suit waiting to happen and don't want her driving others around. She also has the beginnings of macular degeneration and shouldn't be driving at night but she says she only goes places she knows….What do we do now?

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Her opthamolgist may be able to convince her that she is putting others at risk since her eyes are deteriorating. Many people take the news about eyesight failure better than memory problems. That's still part of the stigma attached to dementia (which she may not have).

If the eye doctor can't convince her to limit driving, then write a note to her regualr doctor and explain your concerns. He or she may be able to help. If she doesn't see a gerontologist, try to get her to see one. People often take news like this better from someone who isn't family.
Good luck,
Carol
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It seems as though the other residents are taking advantage of your mother, even if they don't intend to. Is there any community association there? If so, you could contact the officers and see if some sort of group transportation, such as small bus service, could be arranged as an alternate to your mother's driving. From what I've read, some retirement communities sometimes have these arrangements.

Perhaps they have one of those little golf carts that she could drive instead.

What other things can she do to feel special, to substitute for being the designated driver? I think this would be a key to finding a good substitute for the good feelings she gets from being needed.

Perhaps she could start a book club. If she led the discussions, she would feel needed and useful, as well as gain some good socialization opportunities.

When my parents wintered in the South, their RV parks had a lot of planned activities, including supper get-togethers, crafts (and an annual display of those made by residents), etc. I suspect your mother is a leader and could easily step into these roles.

You're wise to be concerned about liability issues. I haven't done any auto neg litigation for years, so there may be case law and/or statutory changes of which I'm unaware, as well as state specific laws.

But years ago, there was a distinction in liability of a driver who caused an accident depending on whether that person was driving for pleasure, by invitation to others, or as a chauffeur. If I recall correctly, the last category carried a higher level of liability. I don't know whether your mother would be considered a volunteer chauffeur even if she's not doing the driving for monetary gain.

Regardless of the fact that your mother isn't a professional chauffeur, she may be inviting folks to go with her or may be volunteering to drive them. Given her knowledge of her macular degeneration, there may be a higher level of liability attributed to her actions in the event of an accident and/or suit.

Again, I caution that these comments are based on a field of law I haven't worked in for decades, so they may not still be applicable.
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