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My 88 year old father wants to buy a new car. The car he has now, he put in my name and it is insured under my name. He can not drive. His reaction time is too slow. I'm not sure if it's the driving thing, but the whole "buying" a new car is just not necessary. And I feel that we should save his money for the future in case I need to hire nursing care. I just can't seem to get that through to him! How do I convince him that the car he has is great and we need to watch his spending???? I realize it's his money. And I do not want any of it. Still... what if I do have to put him in assisted living? I don't want to, but I know that there may be a day that I just won't physically be able to take care of him on my own. He wants me to take him THIS Wednesday to go look for a car.

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First thing I would do is go online to the DMV and report him as an unsafe driver (anonymously). They will send a notice for him to go in to have a retest on his eye exam (and it also depends on what state you live in so not sure about behind the wheel). Or, just put him off until his license expires and then don't renew it. My 96-yr old uncle killed his own wife and injured others because his family didn't act to stop his driving.

Also, he would not be able to learn all the new technology in the new cars. I can barely manage them. The prices alone may blow him away. Tell him whatever therapeutic fib you can come up with to put it off. Replacing his need to drive by arranging for trusted family, friends, neighbors and church/synagogue members to take him out and about will be more interesting to him than just driving. That strategy worked with my my elderly aunts in FL. I had different people take them to their medical, hair and other appointments. I secretly gave the drivers a gc to a well-loved or convenient restaurant. When they went to their appointment the driver would offer to take them out to lunch. They loved it. I wish you much courage, wisdom and peace in your heart on how to handle this.
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Reply to Geaton777
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JoAnn29 Feb 22, 2021
What a great idea. The person gets a day out and the driver getsva treat. Right about the prices. Since DH is a former GM employee, we gets all that car info. 60k for a pick up truck. His car is now 11 years old and I hate the thought of buying a new one.
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Thank you everyone! I was really beside myself this morning. He hasn't driven in about a year. I have been driving his car. I try to make weekly outings with him. I ended up thinking about the fact that I just have to suck it up and use my caregiver side and not my daughter side. We had a chat this morning. I kept it brief and asked him how he felt. I addressed the driving part and that his reflex time is just not there. And that it wouldn't be fair to him as a driver, or anyone else that he may put in danger. So the driving doesn't seem to be the issue. I just decided that I need to talk to him as the adult he is. I told him I was concerned that he should think about saving his money and not spending it in case something happens to me. I really doubt any of my siblings would take him in. They help, but I don't think any of them are willing to do 24/7 care. I didn't tell him that, but just simply said that if it comes to pass, and anything happened to me, he could end up in an adult community housing. I tried to use soft words. And didn't dwell. So far it seems to have worked. At least he didn't try and fight me on it. At this point! I guess I'll know when I take him for his outing on Wednesday.
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Reply to CindyLo
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Has Dad been formally diagnoised with Dementia? Do you have POA? If the answer is yes to both, then ur POA is in effect. (read ur POA to see if needs a doctor or 2s note)

I would never have put a car and insurance in my name and then allow an 80 something person to drive it. Its you that pays the price if he kills someone driving. Its you who could lose everything u worked for. When my Mom could no longer drive we sold her car. Out of sight out of mind.

Not really sure how to handle this situation. We use the same dealer all the time so we may get him to play along. You know, letting Dad look at the cars in the lot. Then sitting him down and saying they need to look into something before they can do the paperwork? The only thing that comes into mind would tell him that because of COVID you now need to make an appt with the dealer and they are all booked up.

Its really hard to get something out of their head. You really can't let him buy a car. There is some Dementia here if you can't reason with him. A dealership should not even sell him a car because he really can no longer make informed decisions. Maybe just let him look?

Hope you get some good suggestions.
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MJ1929 Feb 22, 2021
This was just what I was going to suggest. Call the dealer in advance, tell them that you're coming to "look" at cars, and under no circumstances is any salesman to try to make a sale. Someone can show him around, show him the features on cars these days, but no test drives, and no sales.
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You say he cannot drive and apparently he acknowledges that by fact he fave you title on his car. So he is buying this new car to let YOU drive him about? Is his license surrendered? If not he should be reported to DMV by you so that he will receive notice of exam which he wouldn't pass.
What is his diagnosis? That is to say does he have dementia and do you have doctor's acknowledgement that he should not be in charge of this sort of decision? Are you his Financial POA? Have you arranged his money so that accounts are managed by you, with his having no charge cards and only an allowance of money?
If none of the above pertains, and he is competent but making bad decisions, then it would apply to half our population, being competent but unwise.
I certainly would not accompany him to look for a car. If he is competent and unwise enough to do this, then yes, there will be fewer funds for him when it needs to be sold in order to place him in care later. Nothing depreciated so quickly as a new car.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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No harm in looking. Better to have him look at cars online and talk with you about what he likes/dislikes about each car. Have him involved in doing lots and lots of research. It would be a fun activity for somebody that really loved cars. Just don't let him get to the point of "ordering" or "buying." You can always remind him of how nice the car you already drive is. Maybe take him out to get the current car washed and clean the interior. He may feel like the old car is a new car if you can get it "perfumed" with new car smell.
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Reply to Taarna
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So take him to look at cars on Wednesday. Lots of lovely shiny new cars, as many as he likes, make notes, compare glossy brochures, checklist specifications. It'll be fun!

Just don't buy one.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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Would it make his dreams come true if he gets to go through the feelings of accomplishment and manly pride involved in buying a car?
If that is the case.... could you indulge your 88 year old Dad?
If not, that's ok. But- maybe cars is his way of living it up. Men like to fix things and feel needed at any age.
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Reply to SylviaW
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Maybe go around garages, collect brochures to look through at home, make sure you get the "right" one. Perhaps this is something he feels he can have some control over, so the action is more important than actually doing?
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Reply to TaylorUK
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My mother was in love with her sweet ride, and she and dad bought a new one every 3 years. when they moved in with us it was the best car in the house for mileage and even though it it got older as the years went by it still had almost no miles on it. Because I hated to have to "ask" if I could drive it, even though it was in my name at that point as they could not drive. She would often bring up that she "should buy a new car".. I finally asked if she wanted to spend a ton of money on a new one. Maybe we could trade in my SUV and get her cars model of one for about more than her annual income? Nope, no way! ( thank goodness) Maybe once he sees what new cars cost he will stand down? BTW.. I am now driving that "sweet ride" as my commuter car.. LOL It may be 10 years old but it is still a great car,, and your dad's probably is too!
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CindyLo Mar 2, 2021
Hi pamzimmrrt... sounds like my story. My dad was used to buying a new car every three years. His theory was that three years was just before it lost the most value for trade in. He has an SUV that is perfect height to get him in and out of. He wanted to get a Chrysler 300! Oui, I have no idea why. I have a Buick. Which is just as low as the the 300. He can't get in and out of my car easily. So we always take his. I think I curb his idea. He was a little distant for a couple of days. But I think he ultimately knew it was more realistic to keep the SUV. Both our cars are older, but very low mileage. And should last us for many years to come. I count myself lucky for that!
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My MIL is driving a 20-year old van. At some point, it's got to give up the ghost, and if it does there is no way she will be able to figure out new vehicles. Your dad might be the same way. Almost all new cars have so many features, buttons, lights for this and that, push-button start instead of using a key, and the dreaded stop/start feature that turns the engine off then on at stops. Once he sees how ridiculously complex new cars are, perhaps he will change his mind.
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