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He has been told he cannot drive by two different doctors. He has severe mobility issues and dementia. He also suffers from HE at times. I thought he was dealing with it, but today he refused to take his meds, saying he doesn’t want to live without his car. And he added, “if you (meaning me) can live with that, thats up to you.” He is literally blackmailing me, right? He’ll take his pills if I give him the keys. How do I handle?

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Sure does sound like blackmail to me!

It appears that his dementia is not so advanced as to keep him from being "with it" enough to make such a blackmail demand upon you! So, I guess that's a good thing.

Also it seems like he might therefore be with it enough to understand the implications of not taking his meds.

If he is not safe to drive, you can NOT give him the keys, no matter what he threatens you with.

I would try not to engage. Do not argue, plead, bargain, etc. Keep it simple. Like, "OK honey, if that's what you want to do. I don't agree with it, but it's YOUR choice."

Good luck.
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cardell May 11, 2019
I did exactly that—I left the pills by his chair and walked away. He is not getting the keys. And he did take pills after a couple hours, and later got into the passenger seat without a fuss. It’s such a roller coaster!
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Tell him it is his choice and walk away, leaving the pills for him to take. Can't be blackmailed if you don't participate.

I couldn't live with myself knowing that I helped kill an innocent child because I gave my sick husband his keys after 2 doctors said no more driving. Ensure that they send the forms to the motor vehicle department to get that legally dealt with.

By the way, insurance could deny coverage and you could be sued and loose everything if he causes an accident. This is no longer about just him.
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You do not give him the keys period.

Better he not take his pills than cause an accident. If he causes an accident when he has been told not to drive, your insurance will not be valid. You could be ruined financially.

You need to report his behaviour to his doctors.
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Good news Cardell!

Yes, it is a rollercoaster ride. You are obviously doing a super job, keep up the good work and remember to care for yourself as well.
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