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The only place my husband drives is to the golf course and back, less than three miles from our house, only two turns. But as I watch him pull out of the driveway, I know it is only a matter of time before there's an accident. He can't back down the driveway without difficulty. This morning was especially bad -- I'll be inspecting his bumper and passenger side when he gets home. He ran over a stone border and scraped a dogwood tree that is a good three feet off of the driveway. He no longer understands how to direct the vehicle when backing up.


My son says I need to call the doctor and ask him to rescind his license but it seems to me there has to be something more than just my word. I know it is awful to say this, but just one documented seizure would at least get him off the road for six months. I suspect he has had some small breakthrough seizures, but nothing I can actually document.


I'd appreciate your thoughts. And yes, I've already told myself the whole "what if he runs into someone else" scenarios, so we don't need to rehash that. Can I just tell the doctor his license needs to be rescinded? He puts on such a darn good show for the doctor that I'm not sure he'd believe me.

Doctors don't take away licenses but can give diagnosis of cognitive or physical issues which would make driving impaired and create a letter which can then be sent by you to the DMV. I didn't need to do this in my situation.

In some states you can report online anonymously to make your case as to why they shouldn't be driving. I did this with my aunt in FL. I gave them a copy of her license, her health and physical issues and multiple specific examples of how she is a danger to others and herself. The state sent out a letter telling her to come in to take the vision check and a road test. She convinced my cousin to take her to the appointment but failed the tests. That was that.

In your case I would suggest that if he golfs with any buddies, that you ask them to please come pick him up so that losing the privilege is less devastating. Tell them to not tell your husband you've asked them to do it. Reward them with a gift card to a restaurant where they can go out and have a nice social time together, or gc to the golf course.

When you report your husband and if he gets the letter, don't show it to him. Let his license expire. Remove the car (not just the keys) from the premises and tell him you were driving it and it broke down and is in the shop. Make sure friends and neighbors discretely know to not lend their cars to him.

My step-FIL had Parkinsons and I think his social worker reported him and we took the van away permanently. One benefit is that there's no more insurance payment or maintenance expenses.

If you struggle to keep him off the road, then the minute he pulls out of the driveway call 911 you can report him as an unsafe driver, and if he has an expired license, there'll be consequences. FYI my uncle should have had his car taken away by his adult children but no one had the guts to do it. One day he went through a red light and was t-boned, killing his wife (a cancer survivor) and their dog and injuring the other people. So PLEASE act soon -- I know it's stressful but it's critical he's kept off the road asap. Thank you!
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graygrammie Aug 27, 2021
His buddies picked him up the summer of 2018 when his license was suspended due to seizures. But those buddies are no longer buddies. As he puts it, he no longer golfs well enough for them to want to play with him. The flip side is, from my perspective, they were tired of his attitude. You can only take being preached at so long. He just renewed his license in April so, if the doctors are right, he will be dead before it expires.
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I would contact the DMV or go on line and find out what you need to do to have his license revoked.
It is not easy.
You should have a doctors note or diagnosis that can prove the dementia diagnosis.
It is going to be difficult for him to "get it" that he can no longer drive. And it is going to be difficult for you as well having to be the "uber" driver in the house.
A word of advice though. If you do get the license removed and he is no longer driving do not remove him from your insurance police just in case he gets hold of the keys and drives off. You might need that insurance coverage.
Do you have 2 vehicles? If so "his" should be disabled or removed from the property ASAP. As a matter of fact if you can get someone to "borrow" it then have it "breakdown" that might be a way to get it out of sight. Then it can be "in the shop" . If you can't get someone to borrow it if you do notice damage have someone take it and tell him it is at the body shop for repairs. That can take a very long time if they have to order parts.
Lock keys to your car so he can not get to them.
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graygrammie Aug 27, 2021
I've been the driver since 2012. He had an incident in my new-to-me van that I think shook him up enough to allow me to do all the driving. He still insists he can drive whenever we go anywhere and I tell him nope. His mind is still too sharp to trick him with any fibs.

But even our mechanic (just one mile away) will not allow him to drive onto the lot any more since Jim had two incidents with hitting things (pile of tires once and another car the last time). He comes to our house now and picks up our cars when they need work.
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You report this to the DMV through a form that you fill out and send in. They will require him to come in for testing to see if he can retain his license.
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Be prepared for the doctor to be less than helpful, especially if your husband appears reasonably articulate and aware during the visit. In the case of my father (glaucoma, macular degeneration, major hearing loss) he managed not only to convince the doctor that he could drive but passed his vision test for his driver's license renewal (for 10 years at over 90 years old). No driving test was needed but he arrived at the DMV with his cane, dark glasses and didn't hear his number called. I was finally the bad guy and basically took the keys and car away from him. Major drama ensued. I got the car sold (ugly story) and told him I'd drive him wherever he needed to go. Losing driving privileges is never pretty but you have to just rip that bandaid and get it over with. It doesn't get easier by waiting.
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graygrammie Aug 27, 2021
Yeah, it wasn't pretty when he was suspended for six months due to seizures in 2018. That's why I don't want to be the bad guy. I want the doctor to take the necessary steps.
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Call the doctor and “lose” his keys. “My word, honey! I don’t know WHERE those keys have got to!” And then find them when you can drive him somewhere.

You are very right to be worried and pull the plug before something happens.
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Public safety is INFINITELY more important than your DH’s feelings or attitude. Tell him his driving days are over. Hide the keys and disable or, better yet, sell his car and hand him the cash. Work with DMV to revoke his DL so he cannot buy another one.

It’s critical that you keep him from driving before he kills himself or someone else.

If he wants to travel independently, he can order a taxi, Uber, or Lyft.
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Hopefully by now you've been able to figure a way to get your husband to stop driving but in case you haven't I'll recount a recent episode in our local grocery store parking lot. An elderly driver, mere blocks from home, hit two cars and a pedestrian as they were pulling out of a parking space. The pedestrian was killed. The driver left the scene because they didn't realize what they had done. Your husband hit the stone border and a dogwood tree. Now substitute the word 'pedestrian' for 'dogwood tree' and see if you think the sentence reads differently.
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Hello, and I'll be responding as a driver that's so close to giving up the privilege of driving. I'm Sara, I'm 72, I'm lost sight in one eye, and losing sight in the other. I've been driving for 52 years, no accidents, one speeding ticket. I love to drive - it's the feeling of independence, unbound, free as a bird. I now drive on the roads I'm familiar with, and sometimes, I'm nervous about that. I've driven everything from a Harley to an 18 wheeler, cross country, licensed for all of them - and I'm scared to sit down in my small SUV, and start it up. I feel if I give up my privilege to drive - taken away or voluntary- I will have lost a huge chunk of my life. Driving is such an integral part of everyday living, so I more than understand the stubborn of not giving up. It's like admitting defeat. That's very, very hard to do. I am there, and it's breaking my heart. They have my sympathy... Sara.
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csarah40 Aug 31, 2021
Sara,

I am in my 60's and I have had trouble with my vision throughout the pandemic. I finally got into an appointment with the eye specialist. I have a cataract in my right eye, and it can be fixed with surgery. Since the surgery will greatly change my right eye, I also will need surgery on my left eye.

Dusing the pandemic I was so concern about going blind it took me a long time to get myself to a doctor, but I also developed dry eye and that hurts.

You did not mention what your diagnosis is.
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Call DMV in your area and make an anonymous report. This will generate your husband to turn in his medical history. Do not tell him you called anyone. Just let DMV handle the process. Try to take him to an interview appointment and bring pictures or video on the way he parks or drives the car.
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This is so hard. Lots of good suggestions here. My Dad’s doctor was no help. And my Dad always rose to the occasion admirably at the doctor’s appointment. My brother and I finally reported him anonymously to the DMV. And was he furious? Oh yeah, he was. Luckily he never figured who it was who reported him before he passed. But he suspected. This situation is so stressful. All the best and much luck!
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