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Such angst.He can no longer find his way on roads infrequently traveled. His world is shrinking. He thinks he can, but obviously he cannot remember routes that should be familiar. It angers him when I insist on driving or have someone else drive us.

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Okay, this is what should happen---#1 Remove the person's DL, #2 Take the vehicle keys away or #3 the individual may have a vehicular manslaughter charge.
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Doctors and the DMV are really not any help. There are no laws in place and there should be. I know a police officer who couldn't even take his Mom's keys legally. Here in NJ the person has to have an accident and Alzheimers/Dementia has to be shown the cause. So, they either kill themselves or someone else before anything is done. Moms neurologist sat down in front of her, looked her in the eye and explained that because of her neuropathy she would never know when she would not be able to stop a car.
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I was always taught to be respectful of elders and especially parents, grandparents, etc. I try to abide by that teaching as best I can, however, I know that eventually, I may have to intervene if my dad becomes unable to drive safely. He's fine now, as I regularly ride with him and am very observant, but, so far, he's still quite alert, sharp and safe. HOWEVER, if problems arise, I'm prepared to do whatever I have to do to stop the driving...EVEN if he gets angry, dislikes me, says I'm mean, etc. At some point, safety becomes more important than his or my hurt feelings. I'll just take the blame, if need be. I don't want to blame it on the doctor, since he has a good relationship with his doctor and I wan that to remain. So, I guess it'll me and DMV who are to blame, but, that's okay.
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I live in a rural area. Recently a 71 year old man pulled off a side road onto the county highway and went head-on into a loaded car carrier. Is it really worth the risk to let them drive? Not only will you lose Grandpa, but Grandma will lose the farm when the other party sues and wins. Everything they worked for all their lives, gone in a flash.
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Here in Minnesota a family member or a doctor can alert the DMV about someone's impaired driving and the DMV sends a letter to have them come in for a driving test. To be able to take the behind-the-wheel part, they need a note from their doctor saying they are able to drive. My friend's eye doctor alerted the DMV--not because of vision problems, but because of dementia problems. His regular doctor equivocated by saying he needs further evaluation and the DMV told me they don't do evaluations. If I wanted that, I should go to Courage Center where they do evaluations. It was a 3 hour exam, with the first part at a computer being presented different driving scenarios and being asked to make a response. The next part was one hour behind the wheel. My friend made a lot of mistakes and they would not give him an o.k. Without the driving test, revocation was automatic. But, my friend and his wife continued to drive and would not give me their keys, so I phoned adult protective services. They sent a lady out to their condo to evaluate them. When she learned they were still driving to get the groceries, she asked if they remembered their licenses were revoked. Big surprise. Then she asked the husband what he thought they should do with their minivan if neither could drive. He responded "Sell it!" At that point he gave up the keys and I moved their car to a friends garage to get it ready to sell. Two months later, we got an early phone call one morning from our friend who was exclaiming their cars were gone! They hadn't had two for about 3 years and none for the past two months, but all that was forgotten.
We explained everything again, and that was the end of it. I took them shopping and to their appointments, etc. until they had to go to Assisted Living/Memory Care when they could no longer live safely on their own.
You can ask Adult Protective Services for advice, too, as they are used to dealing with this issue. I am grateful I had phoned them.
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I understand your desire to be respectful and sensitive. It is also important to realize the degree of cognitive awareness - and the safety of and for self and others. In many cases, the response including anger and frustration cannot be avoided. A person is losing a huge amount of independence and they often will 'fight till the end' to hold on to it. Some at this stage of life do not understand the risks involved to self or others - as they feel they can and are doing 'just fine.' Expressing how much you love them and reaffirming "I hear you" - repeating that you understand what they are saying, with respect, must be weighed with setting clear boundaries for the safety of everyone, even if they do not understand. I find that changing the subject and/or not continue in a spiral of verbal exchange is best. I am a care manager, not a family member-I know it is very different and challenging for family members to manage these things-so much history and feelings are always intertwined in expressing concerns and how to express caring while setting needed boundaries.
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Here is my feeling about getting people to give up their car and driving. This is a horrible emotional issue. To some people, like me, it is everything because it means we can take care of ourselves and we can go where we have to go when we want to go - INDEPENDENCE AND SELF RESPECT. If you as a caretaker cannot allow the patient to drive any longer, then there is ONE SIMPLE SOLUTION.......YOU MUST ABSOLUTELY, WITHOUT A SHADOW OF A DOUBT, ASSURE THE PATIENT THAT TRANSPORTATION WILL BE AVAILABLE AT ALL TIMES SO THEY CAN CONTINUE TO GET OUT. I see this as the ONLY solution, plus doctor's input, etc., to solve the problem. I know for me - I have no family and do not know a soul where I now live - I will never, ever give up my car. It is my means to keep my sanity - to go places, get out and eat, take rides, be a "human" being. But thank god, I am an excellent driver (which people tell me all the time if they come and visit - they ask me to drive to where we are going). Unless I know I have the means to get a ride (and so far it has been l00% impossible to get a ride, even in two medical emergencies, I will never, ever give up my car. What I am trying to say is that you CANNOT TAKE SOMETHING AWAY FROM SOMEONE UNLESS YOU ARE WILLING AND ABLE TO PROVIDE THEM WITH A SUITABLE ALTERNATIVE THAT PROVIDES THE SAME END. I just don't see any other way - but you could take their keys away and just put yourself into the driver's seat if you need to go somewhere with them.
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For all of us..... My daughter called one day, she said the radio talk host suggested everyone have a talk with their parents on what will they do when they can no longer drive. Sooo she was having "the talk" with me. My husband and I are fortunate in that we live in town. I told her, assuming my mind was ok, I could take Dial-A-Ride, Uber, Taxi, City bus which is 1-1/2 blocks from home, get one of those little scooters, our town even has a special senior/handicapped bus. Oh, I can take shuttle and plane to kids houses. She said she figured I had a plan.
I have been driving for almost 70 years. I tell everyone I was born in Los Angeles with a steering wheel in my hand. But, I know my time will come when I am not safe on the road. All of us need to think about Edna's problem. What will we do?
Edna, is there public transportation where he lives? Not as easy or convenient but doable. I wish you the best, not easy,
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I read the article and beg to disagree about talking to your parent, based upon my experience with my father (94 and still driving). He is still alert and quite able to pass a driving test, but he realizes someday he will not be able to drive any longer. At that point, it's best to have his doctor, whom my father respects, tell him to hand over the keys and stop driving. Even if they are mentally Sharp, they physically may have limitations in strength, speed and reacting... so, if that becomes an issue, you must think of other people safety as well as your parent's.
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In addition to the DMV procedures above, you can dis-engage/have a piece of the inner workings of the car removed so it won't start. This is easier than I am indicating; I don't know the part. However, a person can't drive without it. Best to remove yourself and let MDs and DMV be the 'bad guys.'
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No my dad was not a doormat - he was a bully. No one's opinions or wishes mattered except his own. He browbeat his wives and children into caving into his whims over and over until we got the hell out. He is in a nursing home, no longer knows who I am, and I really could care less.
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I must expound on the dad being incredibly stubborn, it sounds like he sure was a smart one, too! It's just too bad he had dementia, he could've gone about his normal life much longer. Without the dementia, it sounds like he really had the brains to keep anyone from taking advantage of him and pushing him around. He sounds like the type of man who was definitely not a doormat for people to walk all over.
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My dad was incredibly stubborn and hid his keys so we couldn't take them away. He even had some extra sets we didn't know about. Finally we set up a "test" we had a shirt on a rope and two of us on each side of his driveway. As he was driving - we raised the shirt in front of the truck. He plowed through it. We informed him he just killed a child. Finally it sunk in that his reactions were too slow.

However, as he got deeper into dementia, he started to insist on driving again, and we would disable his truck. He hired his neighbor to fix. Until we told the neighbor that he couldn't do it anymore that he would be liable if dad killed someone.

Get the keys away if they are no longer safe. They are in a vehicle - the victim is not.
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Excellent point, bettylu2, about being sued. I never brought that up but it should be a major concern. None of us can afford to lose what we've worked all our lives to save. Not to mention the time, energy, and anxiety involved in a law suit. I think when it comes to the safety of our loved ones and others we should take a tough love approach if gentle persuasion doesn't work. Between the time of his PCP appointment and the appointment with his neurologist, I just hid the keys and was firm in my insistence he not drive. He was a bit annoyed at me but it wasn't too bad. We did not drop DH's PCP as he has had him for 30+ years and would have a difficult time switching to a new doctor. To my husband's PCP's credit, he did recommend a driving test. I wasn't going to waste my time (I also take care of my 95 year old mom who lives with us) when I knew he shouldn't be driving. In addition to Alzheimer's my DH also has prostate cancer so the doctors he deals with mostly are his neurologist, oncologist and urologist. He only has yearly check up with his PCP.
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My mom couldn't see well due to macular degeneration. Took her to the eye doctor who filled out a form to withdraw her license. She got a state ID instead but she thought it was a new license. Sold her car because of the repairs needed and she liked having extra cash in her checking account. I told her from now on I was her chauffeur and I took her to all doc appts, etc. I made the trips enjoyable usually with lunch, etc. to finish off the day. It got her out of the house and she enjoyed these "trips".
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Teaforme-I hope you dropped your doctor when they threw you under the bus. Our neurologist, who I informed prior to our appointment about DH driving, also was no help. I had to take the matters in my own hand when he side swiped a parked car, and I noticed he was using both feet to drive. Anyone dealing with this problem should not wait until the person with dementia hurts himself or someone else. I informed my DH that he hurt someone while he was driving he could lose everything he worked for due to the fact he would be sued for every penny he had. I also informed him that I could be charged because I knew that his diagnosis was dementia.
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Driving is a significant issue for individuals and should be handled with care. Retiring from driving feels like a major loss of independence for some. If an individual is deemed unsafe, and does not willingly give up driving, their Medical Doctor should be contacted, in addition to using some of the creative solutions offered by others in this post. There are also Certified Driving Rehabilitation Specialist (Occupational Therapist, and other professionals). You can ask a local Rehabilitation center, hospital, and your doctor for resources. These individuals will provide a specific driving evaluation. If the individual passes the first part of the exam, the individual may be be asked to take a driving portion. The outcome will be based on specific information from the results of the driving evaluation. Many times it is easier to have an objective person help the family/client during this challenging time.
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We did this with my dad and are currently doing this with my mother in law. Have his neurologist set up a cognitive driving exam through the DMV. The test asks many questions and if he should pass that part of the exam, they will allow him to take the driving part of the exam. When my dad failed the question part, they issued him a "drivers license" for a legal form of ID that he could carry and use at the airport or wherever a government ID was required.
The point to all of this is that it takes away the pressure of YOU taking away his driver's license.
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When my husband wouldn't agree to stop driving I wrote a letter to his doctor before his appointment explaining why he shouldn't be driving (not knowing his way around, telling me I should be going through red lights while I was driving). Doctor was NO help. He said that with his aunt who had Alzheimer's they waited until she was in an accident then pulled the keys! No way I could risk my husband hurting someone or himself. How irresponsible of his doctor! Next to my husband's neurologist who backed me 100%. From then on my husband was more accepting of not being able to drive. Every time he wanted to I reminded him of the neurologist's insistence he not drive and, luckily, he didn't give me any trouble as he likes his neurologist.
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I know that if you haven't had a car for a certain number of years and you're usually stuck pretty close to the house with no one to take you anywhere, sometimes you can forget a little bit here and there depending on how long you've been stuck at or near home. Sometimes you can forget in my type of situation when you happened to be an adult "orphan" without any family or anyone else willing to take you anywhere. This can leave you pretty much housebound for long periods of time and during good weather when your physical limits will only let you be on your feet short spans, you just can't take yourself on foot and your power chair or scooter has its limits. I can only speak from my own experience because I'm in such a situation right now. Even then I still remember to some point the main routes I used to take when I had a vehicle and I'm in the process of either saving up the money to get mine fixed so I can go again or hopefully I'll get some big money shortly and get a newer vehicle so I can drive again. I just can't live like this no more and I have a friend in a similar predicament. The only difference between us is I can drive and he can't and my getting a car will help us be more independent and discover new routes and rediscover old ones. Yes, not having a car can cause you to fall behind on what all is coming new into your town. I only heard by word-of-mouth about our new Dunkin' Donuts whereas I would've never otherwise heard because at that time I couldn't get to it. It was all the way outside of town as you may call it, it was all the way out there on the high-speed highway away from our downtown, which is why I couldn't get to it. Thankfully for me it was just winter and when the season came for biking, I fired up the old gal and we went to Dunkin' Donuts during the summer. Now that bike is broken down and this is why I'm all for having a back up vehicle came for biking, I fired up the old gal and we went to Dunkin' Donuts during the summer. Now that bike is broken down and this is why I'm all for having a back up vehicle when you live alone in my type of situation, but right now I'm not that fortunate. Hopefully soon here I hope to have some serious money that's due me, I'm very medically needy for a car and so is my close friend who also needs transportation. Yes, being pretty much housebound is not only depressing, but it's also one of those things that can make you forget a few things here and there. My message is to help others who are in my situation or something very similar, and your message rang a bell right away when I saw it.

Assuming your love one hasn't had a car for a while and may have recently gotten a new one, sometimes you just have to drive around for a short time and things will start coming back, it takes just a little bit of time and practice.

I've never personally known anyone who ever drove whoever forgot their old routes and old places they used to go, to me that's pretty odd when you've driven a certain number of years but so many thousands of miles and your life. This is why to me it would be very unheard of because even though you seem to forget a little here and there, it gets buried in your subconsciousness and quickly returns when you resume driving. I've never ever known anyone to forget their old routes and where they used to go, this is very strange, in fact so strange I am raising eyebrows at just hearing this because it's highly on her to have at least around here. In fact, I even had an elderly man who long since stopped driving due to sight issues, and he could tell me right where everything was even long after he quit driving. Despite him declining mentally, I was actually rather surprised he could remember all of that and having been a trucker on top of that! 

 What I would suggest is he rest his brain and just take a break. Sometimes not having a vehicle and letting your brain rest is a good thing because sometimes I think you can overwork the brain to the point it starts malfunctioning at some point so poverty and inability to afford a car can actually turn out to be a good thing despite not being able to drive anything for long periods of time and seemingly forgetting your old routes and old stomping grounds. I would just have him take a break to rest his brain and see how he does in a few months. Giving the brain a break gives it a chance to absorb everything including new things that were learned. They taught us that in college because you just can't overwork the brain and expected to do what you want to do, your brain  needs rest in order for you to do good in proceeding forward in whatever you're pursuing. In your case, your love one probably just needs to rest his brain and offering to do some of the driving at very least is a good thing. What I would also suggest is  having the doctor do a special blood work up to see where he may be deficient. Give him any nutrients he lacks during the time you have him rest his brain and just take a break from driving. I found out with my foster dad when it was too late that malnutrition in certain areas was causing his brain to malfunction in areas that are supposed to be familiar. Come to find out he was very badly under nourished, which was causing dementia in his case. 

There's not very much you can do if they won't eat a healthy diet to stay going. He would've otherwise been able to regain full function of his brain had he only picked up the fork and started eating a healthy diet. 
This is why I strongly suggest you have his doctor do a blood work up to see where he lacks certain nutrients for the brain to stay strong and fully functioning. In fact my foster dad is not the only case, I've seen it online where it's being discovered more and more that strong possibility debenture can probably be reversed through proper nutrition. It was previously discovered that a certain type of nutritional deficiency  actually causes the brain to malfunction which would cause dementia. This is a simple clue as to the revealing of the discovery of coconut oil to actually reverse dementia among other things that also is discovered to reverse dementia. Someone recently said there's no money in cure and big pharma wants people to get away from things that can cure and live off of medicine. That's just not possible because more and more people are discovering and read discovering natural alternatives for ailments. When you have society depending so much on antibiotics for instance, you can depend on them so much that they no longer work because the bad bacteria becomes immune to it. That's why we must return to the fields and pick up the plow and resume gardening and growing our own food. Eating a healthy diet is key to good health including brain health, I still want practiced by our forefathers but forgotten by generations after them. Yes, farming is a lost art and we forgot how to eat healthy and keep our brains functioning into old age
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Caregiver Resources I have in CA said this: get the DMV form about these drivers that shouldn't drive (there is a specific form).
I didn't need to get the form as Mom is anti-social and gave me the keys already. But there is a special form to save caregivers grief.
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Doctor appointment and get him an uber account.
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My mother-in-law refused to give up her keys. She had 3 accidents in 2 weeks and still thought she didn't have a problem. What worked for us was taking her to the doctor. We called ahead of time and left a message with our concerns. Then we took her. The doctor gave her a test asking questions such as what year is it, who is president ... things like that. She got all of the questions right. The doctor then told her that she wanted her to see a neurologist. We knew mom, the doctor knew mom but the neurologist knew nobody. He would be absolutely impartial. Mom insisted that she didn't have a problem and this was a waste. Her doctor told her that she could use this to make us leave her alone on the subject. Her doctor made us promise to not bring it up again if the neurologist said she could drive. So we agreed. Mom agreed to go so we would give her the keys back (we had taken them out of her purse and refused to give them back). Mom told him that she had passed all the questions and she be allowed to drive. Her previous doctor had them written down and she had 20 minutes or so to fill it out. This doctor asked them personally to her. So yes, she knew the answers but it took her a while to come up with them. She had to think about it first. He had her get up from her seat, walk around, asked her to pick something up ... he ended up telling her that she had no business driving. If a small child ran in front of her car, by the time she thought to hit the brakes, she could have already run over the child. She's still angry but no longer at us. She's angry at the doctor.
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I reminded my mom that long ago she made me promise to take her keys if we ever felt she would be a danger to others behind the wheel. She didn't like it one bit but I did tell her she couldn't drive, took her to get her license renewed (knowing she would fail the eye exam) and let them pull her license. Now she insists that the state ID card is a license and I tell her no, it is just an ID and she is no longer able to drive safely. When she balks I remind her of my promise not to allow her to drive when I felt she would be unsafe. Ends it usually. (OH and to prevent driving, we switched a similar looking key from an old car with the real one, it will go in the ignition but won't start). She hasn't figured that one out yet.
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Edna, I found this excellent article on Aging Care that deals with driving and parents who won't give up the car keys.

https://www.agingcare.com/articles/taking-the-keys-what-to-do-if-mom-or-dad-won-t-give-them-up-112307.htm
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