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MIL was in an accident about 4 months ago resulting in a broken wrist and totaling the car. Fast forward to today she has been asking DH and I to get her set up to get another car & insurance etc. etc. The accident has been deemed no ones fault but I am wondering if the Insurance company will even insure her anymore due to her age & driving record etc. etc. We feel that she needs to get hearing aids and have told her as much however she said that she doesn't have the money for those things (as she puts it). We are sort of at a loss on how to proceed next since she really does not have any other health related issued. We told her to call the insurance company and see what they tell her but of course she wants to push that off on someone else to do!! Any advice........

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You've every right to sit on your hands and decline to assist her with buying and insuring another car. To soften the blow, do her a spreadsheet showing how much it costs to run a car against using cabs; and if possible track down some friendly, reliable drivers who could offer her a regular taxicab service. She should still save some money, if she's not a big traveller, and be relieved of the stress and aggravation of owning and maintaining her own car.

My great aunt - who was an absolute love and deserved this kind of treatment - was looked after by the two or three drivers who ran her to the shops, train station and so on for many years. They'd always help her indoors with her groceries, carry her suitcase, that kind of thing. There are few enough advantages to getting old - your MIL might as well grab the ones that are going!
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Well yes I have driven with her and prefer not to again. She can look right at us an not hear a word we are saying, I am sorry but what if someone is blowing the horn to get her attention I doubt she would hear it. She is by no means wealthy and barely gets by month to month plus the fact that she doesn't think she needs a hearing aid when she clearly does she doesn't have the $$$ to pay for them. She keeps the volume on the tv at 50 or 55 and still sometimes cannot hear that. We told her we will gladly go withdraw the $$$ she got from the insurance but we are not buying her another car or setting her up with insurance (that is if they will even insure her?) I do understand the independence thing and she never really drove far but do feel that she is a hazard to herself & others!
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I'd lean on her wrist. As an excuse, I mean, of course; not literally. If it was a bad break it takes a good six months to get back to full, mainly pain-free working order; so even in these days - thank the Lord! - of power steering she's still going to find it pretty uncomfortable. And discomfort can all too easily affect concentration.

Other than that, I agree completely that you first want to check whether or not her driving is ok before you plan to get her off the road. So - is it okay, or is she a disaster revving its engine?
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Safety is the main issue here. Actually, I think it is the only issue. She was in an accident that was judged not her fault. Her doctor sees no impairments that should restrict her driving.

I share frenchmadeline's question. Have you ridden with her? If you notice things that are potentially unsafe then force the issue of a behind-the-wheel test. I'll bet she doesn't text while driving, or oogle the cute boys, or challenge the car next to her to screech out when the light turns green. But if I'm wrong and she can't keep her mind on driving, then that is a safety issue.

Is she is genuinely unsafe, do everything you can to keep her off the roads, for her sake and the sake of the general public. But if she can still drive safely, not being allowed to drive is a pretty heavy penalty for being in an accident.

Is there some kind of rehab place in your area that tests drivers to determine their ability to drive safely? That would be a good way to settle the issue of safety.
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Hearing aids shouldn't be an issue as thousands of deaf people drive daily. And people of all ages have traffic accidents, age shouldn't really be an issue, otherwise Clint Eastwood and Sean Connery wouldn't be driving any more.

If your mother-in-law is able to get from point A to point B without any issues, let her keep driving otherwise you will be the one doing ALL the driving.

I ran into that with my parents when my Dad stopped driving.... never in my life did I know that my parents wanted to go someplace 2 to 3 times a day... good heavens. After 5 years I am totally frazzled to a point where I HATE to drive, and had to finally put my foot down limiting my driving time to only doctor appointments and getting their groceries. You don't want to get into that loop unless it is 100% necessary.
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Maine127: Have you ridden in the car with her? Is she as impaired and incapable of driving as you apparently think she is? (If she needs a hearing aid she should get one because if she or your husband have the money for a car and insurance there certainly should be the funds for a hearing aid.) For many elderly people giving up this last form of independence is a real struggle, a real downer, as I recall how it hit my own MIL back in the 1980s, and she was still driving locally at 85. Just consider that her own doctor won't do it to your MIL! Maybe you can slowly make her jump through the hoops that some of the others are suggesting, and she'll give up her desire to drive again. I doubt it. I just don't see that turning her into the DOT is the right thing to do or even particularly necessary at this point. Perhaps you could enroll her in a Senior Driving Course, the kind many states have for seniors that gives them opportunities for discounts on their insurance. If she surprises you and your DH and does well in the course, and if she is able to procure insurance, it seems she has a right to continue driving, whether some people like it or not. Besides I can't imagine she drives all that many places now does she?
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DH actually talked to the family Dr. and she also indicated no issues other than her hearing or lack of and will not fill out any reports that would prevent her from driving. I am wondering if we send the info to the Dept. of Transportation is they will tell her who did it if she would ask as that would make like really unbearable for DH if that were the case.
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Next time she might take out a school bus. Send her for a state road test, her MD can recommend that. If the driver will not listen to reason, you may want to discuss the problem with his/her doctor to find out if there are medical reasons that should be reported. The doctor may also decide to refer the
older person to a driving clinic to help make a more accurate judgement. If you decide your only choice is to report the case to PennDOT to make a determination, write a detailed letter regarding your observations and the driver's specific medical impairment(s). The letter must also include your name and contact information. This letter can be mailed to:
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
P.O. Box 68682 • Harrisburg, PA 17106-8682
Tell she cannot drive until she has been cleared.
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