Let me preface the situation by saying I live VERY far away and can't control the situation. I'm also an only child and have offered as much help as I can afford and she will accept. I have power of attorney but Mom threatens to take it away if I do something against her wishes... Having said that... She's been told to stop driving by her doctor. She complains of her vision and dizzy spells, her reflexes are extremely slow. I've taken the keys, she made a new set. I have offered to pay Lyfts and practiced doing it with her and she will use the service sometimes to appointments... When she does drive it's not far but she does and to make matters worse, I just found out she hasn't registered the car in over a year and a half. (It's no longer possible to register it online because its so past due, there's a huge fine and if she's caught driving it, a felony in Florida.) When I tell her this, she says I'm exaggerating and "it's all politics" "They are trying to scare you." She's also ending up in the ER 2x a month for anxiety and she has a co pay of 250$ for each ambulance visit. The sale of the car would help finance this and the Lyfts but she won't let me do it. I'm allowed to pay for everything but I'm not allowed to have help to do it. Her license is going to expire in January of 2023, but I'm guessing since the registration doesn't matter to her the license expiring won't either. To begin with, I've been scared she's going to hurt someone but now its also a financial thing. I know she's scared and alone but I cannot keep this up. The car could also help to pay for some more care for her.

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Get her Doctor to write a letter to her and the DMV That she is not allowed to drive and sell her car .
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to KNance72

This is one situation where I feel that 'boots on the ground' is the only way to facilitate a change.

If this were simply your mom refusing to take her meds, or not being able to manage money--something that DOES NOT affect others....I'd say my bit and let it go.

35 years ago we had just bought a brand new van. My FIRST and only brand new car. It was big and wonderful and on our maiden voyage as a family, an elderly man ran a stop sign right in front of us and my DH t-boned this guy. We were super fortunate in that the roads were wet and instead of slamming in to him--we spun his care around in circles. He had 4 very elderly passengers in the car. To this day I remember my DH yelling 'hang on, I am going to hit this guy!"

It was only through the grace of God that no one in either car was killed or much more than a little banged up. My kids were absolutely TERRIFIED and that just made it so they never, ever rode or ride in cars w/o seatbelts.

Driving is a PRIVILEGE not a RIGHT. How would your mom felt if she hit someone? And it sounds like that's already happened.

Her car is un-registered, probably uninsured and she's a danger on the road.

I would go to where she is, talk to her and if she's not agreable to selling the car, I'd call the police and give them all her info and let them know she's out there. That may seem mean and all--but could YOU live with the guilt that would come if you do nothing and she causes a terrible accident? You could also disable the car to the point it could not be driven. BUT she may still have it towed to a shop and 're-abled'. The car really NEEDS to be gone.

You can, if you are with her, set her up for Uber or Lyft and have her take a couple of 'trips' using the APP and teach her how easy it is.

This isn't a situation that 'annoying' it's your duty as a caring person to protect the world from a bad driver.
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Reply to Midkid58
Patathome01 Nov 7, 2022
Bad driver is in this situation is also called a very dangerous risky driver. Hope no disaster happens.
I went through this in 2021. My 94 y/o father has age related macular degeneration and really had no business being behind the wheel but he was still driving. His license was up for renewal in 2021 and he needed the approval of his ophthalmologist to be able to renew his license. I really thought he’d be hanging up the car keys with that. I was furious that his doctor allowed him to drive during specific hours of the day. My parents live in NYC and there is never a time when there is less traffic on the road. It’s stressful to drive there not matter your age.

One day I asked to borrow the car so I could take my 94 y/o mom for a pedicure 3 blocks away. He refused to allow me to drive the car and insisted that he’d take us. I told him there was no way in hell that I’d get in a car with him anymore and we would take a cab which we did.

I spoke to my sister about this and she said her daughter needed a second car. So we decided to have her ask my dad if she could buy it. We then encouraged dad to give it to her so that he could feel good that he helped her out.

it was a win for all concerned.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to Hothouseflower

Call her doctor and DMV and explain everything. Stop enabling. You think it is hard now, wait til she kills somebody and there’s a lawsuit. Sorry to be tough but she’s not based in the reality of her situation.
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Reply to Plymouth
Patathome01 Nov 7, 2022
Also contact the local police to impound Mom's car to force her to stop sorry.
I’m in the same boat. Dad with Alzheimer’s 3000 miles away from me. In CA when you get any dementia diagnosis the doctor has to report you to the DMV and the DMV suspends your license. He hasn’t has a drivers license for months now but he still drives. He says he’s fine and won’t stop. In order to keep him out of his car I would have to live with him 24/7. I can’t do that. He’s totally fine letting his girlfriend drive when she is there a few days a week. It’s the two or three days he’s there alone that is the problem. We tried hiding the keys, he just went out and bought a new car. We disabled that car. He had it towed and fixed.

You are not alone in this struggle. His neurologist said it’s the number one issue for most caregivers with the moderate stage of dementia. The car is freedom and independence. People are very resistant to give that up. But in NYC you don’t even need a car! I live in the city too. Haven’t owned a car since I left CA 30 years ago.

I also have POA for my father, but your POA doesn’t necessarily give you the power to take over every aspect of their life. For that you need conservatorship or guardianship. I have wrested my father’s financial life away from him without him knowing I’ve even done it using my POA. But I can’t use it to keep him out of his car.

The first thing I did once I had the diagnosis letter was to call his attorney to tell him so he knew what was going on. He said now that he knows he would not allow my father to make any changes to his trust should he come in and try to alter it.
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Reply to Caregiverstress
baileyif Nov 7, 2022
Re to doctor has to report to DMV... That is be state determined so u in must preference ur comment with in my my state... Or we look at the state DMV laws in on elderly driver they may help.....

Fyi in my state of ei the doctor is not required to report to DMV... But anyone can report an unsafe driver.... The DMV will send a form to surrender ur driver's license within 30 days. Or get a doc signature that u can drive . The doc must have done a physical exam with the last 30 days and be licensed in the state of wi.
Once the doc signs the form, the individual must pass the written test to keep license if they pass that the must pass an one road driving test with DMV. If they pass that they can keep their license for 3 more years. 2 years of over 60. Then after 2, 3 years they receive another form the dmv has to sign or they must surrender their license.... Fyi caus I have multiple sclrrosis and was in a relapse.. I wasn't driving but my license had to v renewed.. Ms is relapse remission disease so I was totally capable of driving when in remission.
They were sending me forms to have the doctor sign every 6 months so I would have to see her Evert 6 months... The meds reduced relapsed.. but I had to have an appointment I didn't need every 6 months to keep my driver's license.. she got so frustrated she wrote a letter to DMV that she would notify them when I can no longer drive...

So I have been thru this for wi.
The doc is not required to notify the DMV. .the doc is required to respond to a request from DMV for ability to drive safely when the DMV request... In WI since anyone can report an unsafe driver to DMV... The DMV can help in a different way... Anyone can notify of driver being unsafe then the doc must respondvto DMV or surrender their dl
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So in fact, what you need right now is a professional OBJECTIVE ASSESSMENT from a geriatric specialist in psychiatry or neuropsychiatric medicine, that she is unable to drive safely and/or manage the legal and appropriate use of her car.

I’d contact the lawyer who drafted her POA and get his input.

In our situation, my LO’s “anxiety” (severe) was the result of her intense and unsuccessful desire to keep her cognitive loss a secret. Once we had a professional diagnosis, everything began to fall into place on her behalf.

Her desire to threaten you with the POA seems like it may be evidence of her desire to maintain control while suffering a reduction of her ability to think rationally.

Whether that’s the case or not, that’s something you have to consider.

Sometimes the early stages of getting a diagnosis are the hardest part of care.
Do your research and always put her safety first. Good Luck.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to AnnReid
innjup50 Oct 31, 2022
She definitely tries to hide it. Some days she gets really scared and admits she's afraid of her memory loss ...other days she insists she is just fine and is even "going to get a job to help with finances" ( insert eye rolling emoji). Ill try to talk to the lawyer. Thanks again.
? Not sure how anyone can negate POA? Giving up the independence of driving is hard. My adult children, and my grandson have said for years that I shouldn’t be driving. At age 82 I hit the car ahead of me in a car wash. This fender bender led to my decision to stop driving and give my car to my grandson. I am lucky as I can easily walk to stores, beauty parlor and nail salon. My daughter has given me gift certificates for driving services which I use for medical appointments. I save lots of money on insurance, registration, gas and repairs. But I was lucky to have that car wash accident - minimal damage to all cars, no personal injuries. I don’t wish that on your mom but it did make me decision to stop driving easy.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to bkoropchak123
Rwolfe Nov 12, 2022
You are so reasonable! Others are not.
Thank you!
You can call the DMV in her state and report her issues. They can call her in for a driving test like they do for many seniors. She may suspect you are behind it though and make more problems.

She needs to get off the road before she kills someone. Ask her primary if they will call the DMV.
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Reply to InFamilyService

This may sound like a crazy idea, but have you thought of removing a fuse from the ignition so the car won’t start? It could save her life and the lives of others. You can tell her you’ll have a mechanic look at it. Then you can say to her that when you had the car assessed the money to fix the car isn’t worth it.

I sold my mom's car when she was away in rehab, but even before she got sick her driving was scary. When in the car with her, I noticed that her reaction time isn’t good and several times I thought she would rear end someone. I would scream “ma! ma!!!” Then she’d get pissed and say everything is fine. One day she almost hit a lady crossing the street. Scared me half to death. I suggested to her that she shouldn’t drive and she’d say I’m crazy. Her good friend agreed with me, but was too intimidated by my mother to say something to her.

Something definitely needs to be done. I once witnessed a senior hitting a pedestrian with her car. I felt bad for both of them. The pedestrian had to go to the hospital and the driver was devastated. She was definitely in her 80s.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Disola21

I feel so strongly for u. It's always a matter of how much future guilt we can stand and helping. And ur an only child beside. Ouch!
This is state laws... Doesn't do much for u. In WI doc not required to report to DMV... Any driver can report an unsafe driver.. then I know DMV will require a written test to be passed a road test to keep dl. Dad driving ok yeti don't think he could pass the written test. so it won't ever get to a road test.

But when time comes he will h like ur mother an refuse to give up.
When he was recovering from sepsis. I had a friend with automotive knowledge take the fuel pump relay out so the car wouldn't start. Then I had to call his mechanic tell him why it wouldn't start. Because he would have figured it out in a minute.. his mechanic had to be in the game too. Mechanic kept saying he was too busy to fix... But that wi and a child living close.

I think you need to report to DMV police and they will impound the car for expired registration...tell them also that doc says no drive she is not given option to pay fee.

My action will be to just report to DMV and let them deal with it....

God grant me the serenity to do the things I can. Accept the things I can't and the wisdom to know the difference.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to baileyif
innjup50 Oct 31, 2022
Thanks. I repeat that almost hourly lately. in 2 months is my next the latest it will be sold then.
Ill try to get the doctor to write that note. They told her but her answer a week later is they never said that. So in writing might help ...Thanks again.
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