Hello everyone. I just received my 6th phone call in 2 months from a state trooper because my mother crashed again. She’s done this 10+ times over the past 2 months. Her drivers license was taken away twice, she thankfully hasn’t hurt anyone in these crashes, or hurt herself, but she refuses to stop driving, and keeps lying to law enforcement, basically whatever she has to do so she gets away with it.

Her history: She’s always been a liar, but now with age she’s gotten worse. She used to be a drug addict (worked in the medical field and had access to rx drugs, and used to lie to get oxys etc.), and now that’s also left a toll on her body, since she got Parkinson’s, but the mental part is she lies. Always has, always will.

She lives with her husband a 3 hour drive from me. Now I have a baby and recently was diagnosed with a brain tumor so I can’t care for her. Her husband is 10y older than she is and just doesn’t gaf. She has totaled 4 cars and he just buys her a new one. She crashes because she’s always been a terrible driver, and only started driving 20y ago when she moved to the US. In Europe, where I’m from, she never got a license because she just can’t focus on the road.

So now she’s gotten worse when it comes to Parkinson’s and her new neurologist thinking her movement issues are due to drug use and stopped her levodopa. Which is a mistake, imho, but I have no authority to say anything.

My husband disabled her car last week because she crashed into a store, and I thought we were good, but today I get a phone call that she’s been in a crash caused by her again.

What can I do? Is this just going to end when she kills someone and goes to jail, or kills herself?

It’s so frustrating since she’s able to live otherwise: she can take care of herself, her pets, home, etc., they have a lot of money, I’ve set up PCA’s, food delivery, cleaning etc., but she just won’t quit driving no matter what. Like it’s her obsession. The police won’t do anything, they just give her a citation and let her go like 10x now. Her husband buys a new vehicle and the circle continues.

She will never willingly go into assisted living, she won’t let anyone drive her around, she won’t take a taxi, bus, Uber or anything, because she’s a narcissist and thinks she’s the best at everything, especially driving and everyone else is to blame for the crashes.

Any ideas? I’m out of creative solutions. I just don’t know what to do. Thank you. Sorry for my rambles.

You are not your mother's keeper.
Think of the numbers of people doing exactly what she is doing who have no family members at all to intervene. They are likely legion out there.

You currently have too full a plate to take this on. You need to understand that to your core.

Unless your mother provided your phone number to law enforcement, I cannot imagine why they called you and I am hoping you ARE NOT her POA and that you never attempt to take this on. Clearly her husband cannot control here. She should likely be in care. That is HIS problem, not yours.

You tell us this:
"She lives with her husband a 3 hour drive from me. Now I have a baby and recently was diagnosed with a brain tumor so I can’t care for her. Her husband is 10y older than she is and just doesn’t gaf."

1) You are dealing with a brain tumor.
2) You are dealing with a baby.
3) Your mother has a husband.

You need to let this go.
The very most I would do is, when next law enforcement calls, I would tell them I am not involved with my mother. Period. End of sentence. I would give him/her the history and suggest mother be locked up if that's how they can keep her off the street.

Given no calls from law enforcement, you should consider calling APS and suggesting they open a case here, and let them know that you are dealing with a new baby AND a brain tumor and cannot intervene.

I wish you the best for your own health. As to your mother I ALSO don't gaf, and I only hope she doesn't injure someone before she is placed in care.
Helpful Answer (18)
Reply to AlvaDeer
Fawnby Apr 6, 2024
I hope her mother doesn't live anywhere near me. It's already daunting enough here with the over-55 residents in my community who refuse to give up driving. A couple of weeks ago, there was a hit-and-run golf cart crash. Probably a resident who doesn't have a driver's license anymore and feared getting caught. Trouble is, a golf cart driver is required to have a valid driver's license in this state, but they get so far gone they don't even know that much.
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First, congratulations on your baby but I'm so sorry you're dealing with a brain tumor.

If you aren't your Mom's PoA and her husband keeps enabling her, there's really nothing you can do. In fact you should stop providing anything for her.

"... they have a lot of money, I’ve set up PCA’s, food delivery, cleaning..."

Why are you doing this? This is called enabling. Step away completely. You aren't responsible for her happiness. You can't be her solution.

The police can only respond to broken laws. They won't take away her license permanently -- a judge does this when she breaks a lot of laws. Don't rescue or bail her out for any reason. Any.

It won't feel good. It won't be easy to resist her appeals to manipulate you into enabling her. But it's the right thing to do and it's the only thing you can do that will actually be productive, and eventually things will collapse and she'll wind up in facility care when both her husband and the law have had enough of her nonsense. Do not go there to take care of her if she's got a husband AND money. Take care of yourself and baby only. May you receive peace in your heart.
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Reply to Geaton777
Toposfera907 Apr 5, 2024
Thank you. I have tried “helping” over the years, but I am not engaging actively any more. I think the answer is because I come from a family where children are “the retirement plan” and expected to care for their parents. I would never want this for my child and will break this cycle, but my whole life I’ve always been told to “take care of your mother” and she threatens suicide (which is another can of worms I shouldn’t open now) if I ever go against her. Not that I care about that since it’s all a manipulation on her part.

It’s just unfortunately that the police contacts me because her husbands phone is off all the time, so I’ve been using junking about telling the police to not contact me since I have no legal rights and honestly don’t want anything to do with her legally. I’m just mostly torn because I don’t want anyone else hurt or killed, since I would feel guilty.
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The next time police call you, please plainly state that you live 3 hours away, have a baby and a brain tumor and you aren’t responsible for your mother.

You depend on the police to assess that she is a danger to herself and the public.

They are the ones with the authority to stop her and since they won’t, the public will continue to be in danger from her and you pray every day she doesn’t kill herself or anyone else.

Then say your brain tumor is hurting and hang up and document what you said.
Helpful Answer (13)
Reply to Southernwaver

I’m sorry about your situation. I’m here to tell you that my father was killed by an elderly driver. It devastated my family and had ripple effects throughout my extended family. The elderly driver spent time in jail after we agreed to accept a plea deal to not put my mother through a trial. His family was also devastated. Report her to DMV, the police…whomever you can. You won’t find peace until you do. Best of luck to you.
Helpful Answer (13)
Reply to ElizaZ
BurntCaregiver Apr 12, 2024
I'm so sorry about your father, Eliza. You know in some states when a senior reaches a certain age they have to take their driving tests every year to keep their licenses. It should be that way everywhere.

I have no pity for the family of the elder who killed your father. None whatsoever. You say they were devastated too. They did nothing to keep their elder off the road. Many families would rather take their chances letting the old, demented fool behind the wheel then deal with the tantrums and fighting if they stop them.

I hope the family of the elder who killed your father were truly devastated and left in the poor house because of the lawsuit. It would serve them right too.
If you need to cut a loves one's tires and take out the battery of the car to keep them from driving, do whatever it takes.
The public will thank you for it.
I only have one note to add from all the previous responses. Due to these multiple accidents and property losses, a good personal injury lawyer can double-down on the liability of your stepfather (and mom). If wife was driving behind husband's back, the story might be different. But in this case, he is knowingly contributing to her driving without a license and the law will bear down quite harshly on both of them. If her accidents are not being covered by insurance, a smart personal injury lawyer will go after their personal assets. It would be cheaper for them to hire a chauffeur than to lose all their money to her willful negligence. I say amen to steering the police back to the husband for any future discussions.
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Reply to StillWorking
DrBenshir Apr 12, 2024
Good summary! If Toposfera907 gets another call from the police, tell them, "Mom is physically and cognitively an usafe driver. If she is not arrested it will be the officer's fault when she injures or kills someone. I am not her guardian or POA. Please do your job, and have a nice day!"
Just a thought but since she has no license and the police/troopers keep not charging her, I would contact the District Attorney in her town. Report her Parkinson's, lack of license and failure of police to hold her accountable. Then disengage knowing the proper authority has been notified.
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Reply to michellefreeze
Agca5201 Apr 11, 2024
Disengaging doesn't help the potential victim of his driving.
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I am so sorry to hear you have a brain tumour. I hope treatment is sucessfull & you can go on to enjoy life with your husband & baby.

Regarding your Mother,
this is a duty of care vs freedom issue.

You do not hold duty of care for your Mother. You are not her Guardian. Her behaviour is not within your control.

Yet, as you can see real danger looming, you wish to act.

Your Mother has Parkinson's Disease. This is a progressive brain disease. It can bring mild cognitive impairement for some, dementia for others. Not just loss of memory but lack of mental flexability & lack of understanding consequences. Is that what you are seeing?

As a family, you may wish to discuss what to do, together.

If Mom lacks insight to her illness/situatuon, her Husband may need to take a step up & arrange supervision & curtail her freedoms.

Everytime the Police call you, refer them back to Mom's Husband. He is the one going to be left with the financial mess when car insurance will not cover her. He must act.
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Reply to Beatty

If you get a call from a police officer telling you mom crashed you simply say...
"that is terrible, I am sorry to hear that I hope no one was hurt. I am not responsible for my mother"
The last part of that statement is important. YOU are NOT responsible for your mother or her actions or her decisions.
Make it clear to her and her husband that when she does seriously injure someone and or causes serious harm/damage that you will NOT take them in when they lose EVERYTHING in the lawsuit.
I would guess that she is not insured so this is a very good possibility.
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Reply to Grandma1954

Contact her state motor vehicle department and report her as an unsafe driver. Tell them it will be their fault if she injures or kills someone.

Then, if you have a HIPPAA waiver, send a fax to her doctor about this. (If you don't have a HIPPAA waiver you can still write a fax to them but don't expect any response.) Tell them that you want them to report her Parkinsons so that she is forced to stop driving. Tell them how many accidents she has had and that she is driving without a license. They need to confirm/endorse that medically and cognitively she is not fit to drive. She obviously has impaired safety awareness. If she has this in her record and is in a serious accident they can be held liable for withholding information. They are a legally mandated reporter for dangerous behavior.

Mom is the problem and her husband is an enabler. You are a bystander and witness to a trainwreck in slow motion. Close your eyes and turn away.

God bless you with a full recovery and a long, joyous life with your family!
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to DrBenshir

Who took her license away the 2x? If the State, you need to contact DMV and tell them she is a danger to herself and others. That the police don't seem to do anything. Maybe they will call her in for a retest. Maybe her Dr. can contact DMV and tell them her illness is effecting her driving. I can't imagine that her insurance is not sky high or they have dropped her.

Maybe talk to her husband? Tell him that he is enabling her. That the car needs to be sold or stored off the property. That your Mom should not be driving and she is going to kill herself or someone else. Please, stop replacing her cars.
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Reply to JoAnn29

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