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We invited my grandmother to New Year's day dinner at our house and she did come. We had reminded her to pack an overnight bag and stay the night. She has cataracts in both eyes and has a restricted drivers license. Which means she can't drive at night. Did she pack an overnight bag and spend the night? Nope, she bolted as soon as she could and drove home. We had reminded her 3 times that she cannot drive at night and her license states that. She responded with, "I can drive at night, I know how." We asked if she was prepared to lose her license and either hurt or kill someone because she can't see at night. She said that was none of her concern. What should we have done? What can we do in the future? Both grandmothers houses are not big enough to accommodate all the family for holidays.

Driving to your dinner is the least of your problem. If she is continuing to drive at night.
She is a danger to herself and others.
Report her to DMV;
Disable her car. Arrange for Uber pick-up/drop off

Another alternative is change the timing of your dinner to a brunch and have everything end well before night.
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Reply to MsRandall
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DrBenshir Jan 6, 2019
You are exactly correct. Write to the department of motor vehicles stating that she doesn't see well and that she doesn't understand that she creates a safety risk to herself and others. If anyone has seen her hit curbs, miss street signs, miss traffic signals or have trouble parking please state that too. It will take a few months but her license will be suspended until she can pass a driving evaluation. How would she feel if she injured one of her own grandchildren while they were walking over to say goodbye? There is no excuse for her refusal to be a responsible driver. Since she obviously won't self regulate she has proven that her judgement cannot be trusted. Please feel free to show her my response.
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Next time, either take her keys or call the police as soon as she leaves.
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Reply to gladimhere
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Why doesn't she get cataract surgery? My mom remembered how it was in the old days and wouldn't do it. I couldn't convence her surgery techniques had changed. I was thrilled to have my eyes done. I could see so good at night. Also I didn't realize how bright and white colors were afterwards.

Encourage her to have the surgery, for quality of life if no other reason. Before surgery I had some white towels and underware that were brownish and dingy. I would bleach them and bleach them. Couldn't get them white. After surgery I realize the poor little things were white, it was my cataracts that I was looking through that made them look dingy. I also had a pair of slacks that I thought were one color. Turned out they were another color and I had been wearing the wrong color blouse with them. My doctor laughed and said one client was going to paint their house because it looked so discolored. He advised them to wait until they had the surgery before making a decision. They didn't have to paint.
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Hi Evermore, I ran into that situation with my Dad. After not driving for several years, he decided he was going to drive again [Dad was in his 90's]. That was a major button which would get me so very upset with Dad, because he was smart enough to know better.

I even tried "therapeutic fibs" like saying if he were in a serious accident, where it was his fault, that he and Mom would lose all their life savings, and maybe even lose their house.... was that worth taking Mom to the grocery store because there was a sale on bread???

Dad and I would go around and around on that subject, which stressed me to no limits. I even recommended hiring a taxi, but no way would Mom ride in a car with a driver she didn't know [sigh].

During this phase of our parent or grandparent trying to keep whatever independence they have left, it won't be easy. If we take away the car, that means we need to substitute another means of transportation.

I was that transportation, but that also meant taking time off from work to drive them to 3 different grocery stores, and Dad wanting to go to Home Depot to roam around the store for an hour and at checkout all he had was one light-bulb.... [another sign]. Ok, it did get him out of the house so he enjoyed it.

Growing old isn't easy.
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moecam Jan 6, 2019
When my mom wanted to drive again then I told her it would cost a lot of money so she said that the test wasn't expensive so I responded 'it is the cost of all those radio ads to warn everyone else to get off the road' .... she said 'so you don't want me to drive' & I said 'NO' - she abandoned the idea soon afterwards
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Hello. Your grandmother is a danger to herself and others. She is breaking the law and has expressed a total disregard to caring. If she has no dementia, she is still a safety risk and hazard that shouldn’t be on the road. Report her to the DMV as such and they will require her to come in to take a driving test and if she doesn’t, her license will be revoked. She gets in a car, you call the cops.
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When my two friends continued to drive after their licenses were revoked, I called Adult Protective Services to ask for advice. When someone phones, they have to go check on the people. I made sure I got there first so they would let her in. ( I am their POA for all their affairs). She sat and talked with them a while, mostly the husband. The wife had frontal temporal dementia and couldn't process questions well any more or make sensible answers. When asked how they got their groceries, the husband replied about going to the store as usual. When asked if he knew their licenses were revoked, he answered with a surprised tone: "They are?" When talking one on one with the husband later she asked what he thought they should do with the car if they can't drive. He responded: "Sell it and get some money out of it." At that point he gave me the keys when I asked for them. He had refused to do that previously when I asked.
I moved the car to a friend's garage until we could get it ready to sell, so the issue was resolved. About two months later, we got a phone call about 7:30 one morning and he was exclaiming "Our cars are gone!" He had forgotten the whole thing. He doesn't have dementia, but his short term memory is shot.
Once their car was gone, I would take them shopping once a week for groceries and to any appointments they had. This gave me a good excuse to be with them each week and see how things were doing. We had been friends for over 40 years and this was not a hardship for me. Adult Protective Services proved to be the best solution in this case. I learned later that it was their eye doctor that alerted the DMV to their failing abilities--not with eyesight, but with dementia and forgetting. Neither one ever responded to the letter from the DMV to come in for a driving test, so the revocation was automatic.
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I am less concerned about the cataracts than how her attitude towards them & restrictions is so self-centred

She seems to be in early to mid dementia where they are in denial & stubborn about being told what as well as forgetful - they seem to be afraid at this stage of loosing control & can be acting like a drunk trying to show that they aren't so drunk where everything they do only shows it more -

Keep an eye on her with this in mind & it might be the time for the family to have a talk because there is more going on than some may have noticed

Immediately call: ministry of transport, her eye doctor & her regular doctor so that they can action taking that license away - meanwhile disable that car somehow before she drives off & gets lost then causes an accident
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mally1 Feb 8, 2019
I absolutely agree, and you said it better than I could, Moecam.... Sounds like the beginnings of dementia to me, too.
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Why does she insist on driving at night? If killing someone is of no concern to her, she is not thinking right. Maybe she has dementia, like someone else suggested.
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Riley2166 Feb 24, 2019
I look at this as follows. First everyone who drives must not only be safe and healthy enough to drive. And second, they must be concerned about safety of all people and animals who are outside that she could harm. Those things are just plain basic sense and the same goes for legal issues that can occur. However, I think it comes down to a sense of "survival" for her (an inherent trait every human possesses - we want to survive). I think that HER SURVIVAL as opposed to the survival concerns of others is first in her mind. I don't think that is necessarily dementia - she is concerned about her own survival and what she needs to do to keep surviving which, in this case, is about her being able to drive. I don't know what to say to that because it makes perfect sense as she is a human who wants to survive - and this is one of the ways she wants to do that.
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I echo Mary Kathleen - what's she got against cataract surgery?

Your grandmother never entertained the idea of staying overnight. She came, she went home, she conquered: QED, she can drive at night, no matter what it says on her licence, because she did, and she's in one piece to say so, and she'll now be more convinced than ever that she is right and the rest of the world is wrong.

So unless you're prepared to shop her to the authorities you're wasting your breath arguing with her.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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I would call her eye doctor. He can report her to DMV. Problem may be the length of time they send her the letter to turn in her license. My Gson has Epilepsy. His Dr. sent a report in Jan to DMV, Gson received a notice to surrender his license in March with an April deadline. My Gson didn't drive in that time but what if he had.

Years ago they did not replace the lens with cataract surgery. They wore thick glasses to see. I am in the early stages and can't wait to get surgery. I don't like driving at night and things blur at a distance.

I think all states have to initiate a law that at 80 to renew a license you must take an eye exam and a driving test.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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cak2135 Jan 6, 2019
I have epilepsy, too; the catamenial type. It is basically a funky hormone imbalance which makes me super sensitive to hormone changes. I had to surrender on three different occasions; I always got my license back. I did just as I was told even though I did not agree with it.
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