How to get my mother to stop driving since her dementia makes her an unsafe driver when her doctor wont help?

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MY mother was diagnosed with the beginning stages of dementia about 4 months ago she has gotten progressively worse especially with short term memory loss..Her Doctor is refusing to send in the paperwork to have her take a road test again with the registry of motor vehicles and states she is fine to drive he short distances to walmart and grocery store. But she really is not okay to do this...she drives 5 miles an hour on every road whether speed limit is 50 or or 20 and she also stops at green lights anyone have any advice

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Take away her keys.
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My mother was 81, living alone in Cincinnati, and still driving. When she had her 1st Alzheimer's spell, we took her to her Dr who diagnosed her then after testing. We noticed there were dents and signs of orange scratches on the side of her minivan. She claimed orange construction drum ran into her. Her elderly, non driving, friend confirmed it. A family member also witnessed her falling asleep at traffic lights at the wheel.
A statement from a professional stating she could not drive or live alone, with objections, she would accept. Had we moved her to an assisted living facility, I know she would have continued to drive, so we moved her in with us, 6 years ago. Best decision we ever made. It was not easy for her to have her home sold and most of her belongings, but necessary. She is with family, is happy, but deteriorating, mentally, rapidly. When her license expired, we got her a state id. She did not know the difference, but she had a legal picture id that looked like a drivers license. This was not simple, but sometimes you just have to take charge for their own well being. Thankfully we dealt with co-operating professionals that understood the situation, knew she was going to live with family, and made the right decisions for their patient.
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Lucky your state is doing the right thing if your doc says he or she can drive ask him or her to go out for a drive with them-doc are so unreasonable my Mom's is probably 100 years old here doc's in our largestest medicial have to quit working at 65 which might be too young but avoids lawsuites.
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Leslie, please let us know the outcome. Many people are in your shoes, and it is good to learn from each other!
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Thank you everyone my sister and I decided to try the letter to the doctor with the CC to the lawyer hopefully this will make him stand up and pay attention to what we are telling him cause my mother is a Pro at pretending life is peachy and that her memory is good when she is with doctor which of course he knows is not true because she is on Alzheimer medicine but kills me when he says she is still okay to drive short distances
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I agree with what Jeanne said. It is so irresponsible of the doctor to say she can drive; but short distances. When my MIL doctor told her no more driving, he specifically said "what if you were coming out of your driveway and a child was walking by" and your reflexes were not fast enough? - he said absolutely no driving means no driving.

What if you put in writing to the doctor all the concerns you have about your mother driving and what you have witnessed. Does your mother have an attorney? On the bottom of the letter to the doctor, put cc: lawyer's name. and send him or her a copy of the letter describing why she should not drive.

This should make the doctor take notice. My MIL seemed fine many times when she went to the doctor; but I had to pull him aside and inform him of what was going on. Take care.
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What are these doctors thinking of?! And why does the state leave it up to doctors??!!

Can you not notify the department of motor vehicles of the diagnosis and request a test? When my husband was diagnosed, the doctor informed the DMV and his license was revoked by mail -- no test involved. With dementia, it is not about vision or knowing the rules and the mechanics of driving. It is about ATTENTION SPAN and JUDGMENT.

What on earth are these doctors thinking???
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Thank you for all that info but not real helpful as her vision is excellent and her doctors will not sign paper to force her to take the road test that is the problem I am having she does not recall conversations for 30 minute ago, she drives literally 5 or 10 miles an hour on every road stops at all lights whether green yellow or red. aand I am just afraid her lack of ability to concentrate is going to cause her to hit someone crossing the road or cause road rage from another person towards her for her slow drive. in massachusetts where i live the doctor must sign a paper to force a road test to be done and her license is for 5 years so not renewed until 2014.
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In our state you can go up to a year before the expiration date for your renewal. Ask her what the expiration date is on her drivers license. We had a mini workshop in our state going over the Rules of the Road. My Mom understood the information and the state laws. She insisted that she take the vision test at the mini workshop so she would not have to worry about that when she took the driving portion of the test. My Mom could not distinguish any of the 12 set of numbers she was seeing. The examiner told her she could not pass her. My Mom was told she would have to go to the eye doctor and have him check her out completely and to fill out a certification form. She got quiet after that.
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Drivers are expected to notify the Secretary of State of any medical condition that may interfere with driving within 10 days of being diagnosed. If deemed necessary, drivers will be required to submit a medical form, indicating their ability to drive safely. The license can have a sticker which states that you have an Emergency Medical Information Card with you.
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Older drivers may have a restriction placed on their driver license. The types of restrictions vary, and are based on the results of your vision test, driving test, and the driving examiner's assessment. A restricted driver license is intended to ensure that you are driving within your abilities. Some of the most common license restrictions are those that:

Require eyeglasses, corrective contact lenses, or bioptic telescopic lens to be worn at certain times.
Permit driving from sunrise to sunset only, or prohibit driving during rush hour.
Restrict the geographical area in which a person is permitted to drive, or prohibit freeway driving.
Require special mechanical devices, or an additional side mirror on the vehicle.
Require extra support in order to ensure a safe and correct driving position.

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vision standard is 20/40 with or without correction. Drivers with vision ranging from 20/40 to 20/70 will only be permitted to drive during the day. If you do not meet the standard you may be referred to a licensed vision specialist.

When you return to the VSD for another vision test, your specialist report will be reviewed. If you pass the subsequent VSD vision test, your driver license renewal will be granted (with a corrective lens restriction, if neccesary).
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