Mom shouldn't be driving because her meds are narcotic level. I'm being the bad guy. Any helpful tips?

Follow
Share

She also doesn't have strong legs so it makes me nervous if her bad right leg gives out when she should step on the brake.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
9

Answers

Show:
Just because she is prescribed a narcotic does not mean she is going to be impaired while driving. The warning labels on medications are not designed nor intended to revoke someone's driving privileges, and millions of people use these medications daily and once they become used to them have no problems driving or performing any other activities. If her doctor does not want her driving then that would be a different story, and he should fill out the appropriate paper work or have a discussion with her about giving up her driving privileges. You mother is not gong to respond well to you being a caregiver and police officer, and you need to get the proper people involved who have the ability to make these decisions and take appropriate action.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Since a doctor has indicated she shouldn't be driving, I would work from that principle and find a tactful way to address the issue. You could tell her that you've taken significant steps to care for her, quit your job and plan to care for her as you don't want her to be alone after your father's death (or other good reason). These are significant changes in both your lives.

You did that b/c you love her, and would be emotionally devastated if anything happened to her because of the meds (not b/c of her or her driving, but b/c of the meds). Switch the emphasis to the meds as being dangerous, but also emphasize that she (apparently needs them).

Then start planning trips, places either she or the both of you enjoy. Short trips would work well to start, perhaps ending with a meal out or special meal when you return home. Try to create a patterning process so that she associates your driving her with good, happy, memorable occasions.

I'm planning some short fall tours for my father and I; he and my mother (long deceased) used to go for color tours each fall, so I'm resurrecting that, but they will primarily around our area.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

WOW! I am overwhelmed by all these quick and great responses. This is my first time using this, so thank you so much. I did bring it up with the doctor at her last appointment and he confirmed she shouldn't be driving but he wasn't authoritative towards her at all. I think I'll call him and see if there is a letter he can send the DMV.

To answer someones question, yes there is transportation available for her. ME. I have quit my career and put my life on hold to care for both of my parents. I moved back into the house I grew up in. Dad (who just passed) asked me to and was very grateful I did. Mom has been fighting me and denying reality all this time. I totally get that it's hard to lose your independence but my patience is thinning.

Again, thank you all and I pray one day I can be here for you. Blessings
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I would point out that there is a difference in just suspecting that someone is declining in health and shouldn't be driving and KNOWING that they are under the influence of a narcotic and are driving anyway. I would prevent a family member from driving while impaired regardless of how they may dislike me. I actually called the police to report that my grandfather was driving while impaired once. He pulled over and stopped before the police spotted him, but, I would do it again if I had to. ( God rest his soul, he passed away years ago from something totally unrelated.) I don't tolerate impaired drivers. If you knowingly allow it, you could be subject to liability if someone is hurt.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I'm sorry you are in this spot. We lived through it, but it was hard. Stand your ground and don't give in. I had to think of my MIL as a cross between a toddler and a raccoon: she would try like a toddler, to get her way (whining, blaming, tantrums, etc). But like a raccoon, she would remember what she had tried, what had not worked and she would start there and try new antics! (Not wasting time on things that we were growing immune to.)

I'm pretty sure my nephew finally disabled the vehicle - a non-confrontational way to solve the problem. Not really honest, but it got the job done :)

I think if you ask my MIL even today, she will say that "I can still drive if I want to" - even though she has her left shoulder mostly out of socket, preventing her from lifting her arm much past 10 % elevation. Even though her legs are weak and reflexes are slow, & reaction time is not safe for driving. Even though 2 of her doctors have said she isn't to drive anymore -- all that, and she thinks she can drive!

The worst part for me was when we tried the guilt route - "you would feel terrible if you caused a wreck and someone was injured or even killed" And she said she wouldn't care (and she truly meant it too.) It was in that moment that I finally knew how selfish she was. No one matters but her, the rest of us can be collateral damage as long as she gets what she wants.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

If your mom's meds say "Do not operate heavy machinery while taking this medication" then that's the liability warning! Check with the DMV in the state where mom lives to see if you can report her as a potentially dangerous driver. They'll send her a letter about testing, and, if she fails, they'll take your place being the bad guy.

Mom is not going to accept this quickly or easily. It took my FIL a year. Now he uses the transportation offered at independent living, Uber (someone in his building helps him use the Uber app), or a family member will drive him. What options are there once your mom's car is gone?
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Driving while impaired by prescription meds in most states is the same as Driving while impaired by alcohol. Similar punishment and penalties. Both kill people, both impaired driver and innocent people on the roadways

I would treat them both the same with regard to preventing a family member from doing it. I would take keys, call Dr., etc. If someone gets angry because you prevent them from driving while impaired, then, you did the right thing. Hurt feelings on my part or my impaired family member is worth getting them off the road.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

California requires doctors to report medical conditions that may impair driving abilities. Apparently her MD does not see a problem. What if you let her drive you somewhere so you can observe her driving skills?
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Has a doctor suggested she shouldn't drive? Would a doctor be willing to contact the DMV? My husband's doctor did that and he got a letter in the mail revoking his license. This did not make the non-driving issue easy, but at least I didn't have to be the bad guy.

If this isn't at a doctor's suggestion, I wonder if your area has a rehabilitation center that does driving assessments? If Mom goes through their testing and they say she can continue to drive, then you can relax for a while. If they say she is not safe behind a wheel, then again you don't have to be the bad guy.

If Mom really isn't safe driving, then you need to do everything in your power to stop her from endangering others, including being the bad guy if necessary. But if you can arrange for the orders to come from a more objective source that MIGHT help your relationship a bit.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.