I probably had no right to take her car keys. The doc said even she, as her doctor could be liable. And she instructed me to get the car keys away from her. Doesn’t seem right.

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To explain further, I don’t live with my mother either and I’m not her caregiver. Why would I be liable?
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I've been told that family or other people who know about the dementia patient's driving can be accused of "allowing" the person to drive. I was faced with an elder who refused to give up driving. However, she lacked the ability to even physically get to the car. Had she reached the car, she would have fallen trying to get in it. She never would have actually driven anywhere because she lacked the ability to do so. She liked to argue about us not letting her drive, but it was never going to happen anyway.

However, if I thought she could actually get in the car, start it, back out of the driveway, and head off down the street... I would have had to park the car elsewhere such that she could not get to it. I would not be able to live with myself had she harmed someone while driving.

I would follow what the doctor has told you to do and I'm sure it's all documented in the doctor's notes that she recommended your mother not drive. However, taking the keys may not be enough as elders often have another set (or two) somewhere. You may need to move the vehicle completely.
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There’s no easy answer. We had to take the car keys away from my mother-in-law when she came to live with us last year. In a compromise. Me and my husband would drive her, in her car, anywhere she wanted to go. My mother-in-law has dementia. We tried reasoning with her, arguing with her, but realized the best approach, for us, Anyway was to simply say no and walk out of the room. I would not argue with her, which would wind up getting us both upset. As she has dementia, and no one to argue with, she usually would just go on about her day. As for the liability issue, if your doctor had diagnosed your mother with dementia/Alzheimer’s, and you continue to let her drive, and the worst happens and then if it is found out that you knew she was driving when she should not have been, could be a libel suit against you. I wish you well, Linda
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