Mom has dementia and forgets that she no longer drives. How do I deal with this?


We took her car away last year when her doctor and others recommended it. Now my daughter and I take her wherever she needs to go. She had always said she wanted my daughter to have her car, so now my daughter drives it. She actually put her wishes in writing before she got sick. Mom forgets that she cant drive and thinks we stole the car from her. She gets very angry and upset with us. How do I deal with this?

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Keep your sense of humour. Be as creative as you need to be in your responses

My mother, with dementia and 93 yo, smoked for 78 years. She recently quit. It is not surprising that she often forgets she quit. The first day she visited me recently she asked where her smokes were. I told her the story about being on a patch while she was in the hospital and then coming home and deciding not to smoke. It was true, but she didn't believe me and spent an hour checking through her purse, her tote bag, her makeup bag, my insulin bag -- everywhere she thought cigs could be hiding. Then she dug money out for someone to go to the store for her. Sigh.

The next day she asked and I embellished the story a little. "After you came home from the hospital and were off the nicotine patch you tried to smoke and it made you sick. We all know how much you hate to feel gaggie, so that is why no one packed your smokes for this visit." "Oh," she said, "I think I kind of remember some of that, and you are right, I don't want to feel gaggie." She dropped the entire subject. The second story wasn't strictly true, but it was in her best interests.

Be creative. Remind her that she "loaned" the car to your daughter. Tell how grateful you and daughter are and what having this car to use has meant to you. Now you don't have a feeling of dread when you know she'll be driving because finally she has a reliable vehicle, etc.

OR when she claims to car has been stolen .. "Oh no! Oh did I forget to tell you that Daughter borrowed the car this weekend? Oh that is my fault. I am so sorry I forget to tell you. No wonder you are worried that it was stolen. Daughter will be bringing it back Sunday night."

Whatever it takes.
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Good luck with this, we are dealing with similar things with Dad. He thinks he can still drive, buy back the house... he goes to work.. it goes on and on. He's a very health 86.. with ALZ. We try to roll with it.. tell her she "loaned" the car to you while you'rs in in the shop.. tell her HERs is in the shop.. Tell her your daughter needs it to go to school/job... I love fiblets! It does no good to show her what she put in writing, she won't remember. We "sold" my dads truck to my little cousin... pretended we got a check for it and "took"it to the bank. Funny thing is, when we asked dad what he thought a fair price for the truck was, he said $200.oo BINGO.. sold!! Little cousin needed a truck, and Dad did not. But this does not stop Dad from thinking he still HAS a truck (or several..LOL) You have to keep your sence of humor, hard as it is! Good luck to you.. and tell whatever fiblets you need to!
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