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Mother is still driving at 92. Her vision is not good. She doesn't do any freeway driving; only drives to the grocery store, post office, and small shopping center. The most she drives is probably 20 minutes from her home 1 way to get to these locations. When she does drive she is home by 3pm; never drives at night. I'm concerned because there is always a lot of city traffic where she lives. She lives near a highschool too and those teens drive recklessly. Her vision is poor in one eye only. She lost her center vision; leaving her with only her peripheral vision in the bad eye. Her other eye is good. I don't live in the same state as my mother. She has a son and he lives in a different country. When I visit my mother she wants me to do all the driving. She won't drive. So I don't know how she drives. She is very fearful to leave the house at this time in her life, but does, when it's absolutely necessary. Should I be concerned? I suggested having someone drive her around to do her errands, but she wouldn't hear of it. Once her license expires, she will not be able to renew. It says so right on her license. I really don't know how she passed her eye test this last renewal time. I was hoping that her license wouldn't be renewed so I wouldn't be the bad guy. Any advice?

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True but the impatient driver behind who is texting takes chances over taking the elder on double yellow lines frightening the elder into the ditch often with a loud honk of the horn. Mind you I have seen drivers with pale yellow skin, mouths open who looked already dead. Round here the bad thing is people running the four way stops.
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The older drivers don't take as many chances as the younger drivers and they aren't texting.
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While many people can adapt to some vision loss in one eye, at your mother's age her reflexes aren't as good as they used to be. You can contact the area agency on aging near your mom and ask about their programs. There may be a agency bus/van that takes seniors shopping. There may be programs where someone comes in and helps her which would include a trip to the store or doctor's office. I think it's good she knows her limitations, especially driving at night, however I would be concerned if she were my mother. My dad's 81 and he no longer drives at night and I worry if he goes out in the daytime shopping for I know he is a good driver, but his reflexes aren't what they used to be. Most accidents happen close to home, even if your mom stays local the likely hood of her having an accident is high. Help her look for alternatives, keep her included in decision and make sure you give her all the info you find.
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I've always admired my FIL, who is now 86. He's always been a very gracious and considerate person. A month or so ago, his eye doctor told him "no more driving." It wasn't easy for him to hear the news and to adjust, but he did so immediately. I know he's "grieving" the loss, but he doesn't want to risk hurting anyone--or himself--and he respects and accepts how things are for him now.
I'm discovering that he's a rare individual. I admire him even more now.
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Giving up driving is a very brave for someone to do. Even if it is the right thing.
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Agree with Windyridge on this one. Your mother wants to give up driving but she doesn't have a solution for her needs. That's your job. If she's in assisted living, they probably have regular transportation. If she's living at home alone at 92, she probably has other needs that aren't being met. You can hire someone for companion care, to check in on her and run errands for/with her. This works out well because it can be done somewhat spontaneously. Do you have a dependable family friend? Around here, the cities are pretty good at providing senior services helpline to put you in contact with local transportation for people with disabilities. Also having a taxi service number available can be handy for short trips, especially if it's a fixed rate so she knows what to expect. I'm amazed your mother is doing so well on her own and it sounds like she is using good judgement, so I wouldn't approach it quite as forcefully as some of the other people who have commented here. This is a big loss of independence for your mother, with you and her son being so far away, and it makes her a shut-in. I know they are going to have to fight me hard for my car keys when it's my time to give them up.
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Our Insurance company made the decision. It went GREAT He had three accidents in 3 months or less. When the Bill was about to come, I called as I thought it was very high. They explained the accidents. I asked what it costs for just me. When I gave the information to my partner, he handed me his license. He had no problem because of the cost. He is GREAT! We both went into DMV and he turned in his license. They asked him if he understood what he was doing and he said yes. He signed the documents and now he is no longer driving. BUT, remember, now you are the transportation. I would agree that you should look into the Senior rides that most cities have. If we call a day ahead, they will come to the house and deliver my partner to his appts and bring him home. But, as of yet, we have not used it. Believe me the day is coming. I am tired. Very tired at the end of the day when I have to drive him anywhere as it is the Walker in the car and out of the car, and in the car and out of the car. Solution, 2nd walker...one stays in the car.
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As with any situation regarding assisting an older adult with decision making, it is best to provide information so they can make an informed decision. It is often surprising to family members when the person makes their own decision to stop driving after all of the "objective criteria" is provided to them. There are tools available to help with this very topic. eldercareambassadors/ElderDriving

With this program the workbook is a great starting point. Taking the personal assessment is also a way for the person to self assess how their driving skills are. It is important to do as much as possible to support the person in making their own decision. Depending on where you are located may make a difference in the programs that are available to you.
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Agree with Jessie. I won't be sorry to give up the keys as long as there is someone to drive me. I have already purchased my "last" car so there it is.
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I think you already know the answer to your question.
Tell her she can drive IF she her doctor says yes and she can pass the driving test.
Let them be the ones to say no. If she does pass then hooray for her.
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Dear InTheMiddle - I went through exactly what you described when my mom was 92. The short drives, no freeways or nights, etc., and I was sure that she wouldn't be able to renew - but somehow did. So I thought maybe I was being too critical. Then I noticed the (previously hidden) signs of dementia. I don't know how long ago your mom's license was renewed, or if there has been a change in her condition since that time she renewed. The Calif DMV has a 'Request for Reexamination' form that can be filled out and mailed in. Maybe your state has something similar (Driver Safety Office?) DMV reviewed the information and sent her a letter requesting that she come in by a certain date to be re-examined. She couldn't - so her license was revoked by DMV. Meanwhile - as previous folks have recommended, hook her up with a community group (ours is ParaTransit) that provides rides to the elderly. Here it costs about $25/yr for the membership. Good luck.
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Most accidents happen within 1 to 5 miles from home, so I have heard.....
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Call the police.. tell them exactly what you've written here. They will want to know this person is Not Safe for the rest of us. They can revoke her license (somehow). But DO CALL her local police-- if you do not, and she kills someone, you have blood on your hands (sorry to be so emphatic, but it is really true). You know about a possible crime--you gotta speak up! Call the police right now! Before she gets in the car another time....and some person's life (and their babies) is cut short. MAKE THE CALL!
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Go in person to the Fire department, and the hospital, ER ... and ask them dead honest how they feel.....IS IT WORHT IT? Is it time to move mom closer to you? I did this.. with Mom and my dad's sister, my one and only aunt left,.... They both live near me, mom is about a 5 minute drive, and aunt is about a 2 minute drive...MIL is about a 6 minute drive......Got em close, it is easier with emergency issues and just wanting to see you issues......it's good.....although MIL still wants to go home.....
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Can you imagine the guilt your mom would go through if she was accused of causing an accident and hurting someone? And just think of all the litigations that accident may drag her through...... Firemen see a lot of this, go to your local fire department and ask... just ask, and ask them honestly what do they think and feel?
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For financial reasons yes, take MOM'S keys away....Look into CITY RIDE, or other govt. city help for driving...
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My brother was a fireman. Retired now, but he told me take just take the keys away, no sense in seeing another elder person being accused of causing an accident that wasn't her fault. Yes, people blame OLD PEOPLE for the accident even if it WASN'T THEIR FAULT.
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I have an 86-yo friend who is blind in one eye and can't see out the other. Still he drives. It is awful to ride with him, because he sways from one side of the lane to the other. When there is a stop sign or red light, he hits the brake several times because he can't judge the distance. So you rock forward and back at every stop until he gets it right. A person could get seasick.

The telltale thing that lets me know he shouldn't be driving anymore is an ever increasing number of dings in his car. There are dings now on three corners of the car and a more recent dint in the rear license plate area. I suggested that he move into assisted living so he wouldn't have to drive so much, but he wants to stay in his home. He leaves his house in the morning and drives different places every day. He has children, but none have taken a stand on the issue. They may have also talked to him, but he doesn't mention it to me.

I read a report the other day that elderly drivers have fewer accidents than younger ones. When they do have accidents, they tend to be not so serious. This is because they drive less and drive slower. Still, pulling out in front of another car or changing lanes can cause serious accidents. These are two things I know he has done in this past year. He is so intent on driving, though, that my words fall on deaf ears, and his driving record is spotless, so the dmv would not be concerned.

I personally do not like to drive all that much. I will be more than happy to give up the privilege when it comes time. I already wish I could hire a chauffeur for this city interstate driving. Hate it!
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Have her drive the next time you see her. Consider that her "road test". My husband insisted his mother drove just fine. So I asked him to let her drive him to a family picnic. He got out of that car as white as a sheet.
If you are not willing to let mom risk your life, don't let her put anyone else in the risk pool either.
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After many accidents, I would sit in the passengers seat and pray, God, you know me and where I am, please protect me. He did.

I wish it would be as easy as my situation was. The insurance company was raising the rates because of two accidents. He willingly turned in his license and our rates are cut in half. I thank God for a reasonable partner.
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Yes , you should definitely be concerned. I'm going through this with my dad and I'm also a long distance caregiver. I have a gps device on his car and I watch his every move from my I pad, but that doesn't solve the problem. Like your mom, he tends to stay in a small orbit of close by, familiar places but I watch him closely because any minute things could derail. It's Encourageing that she wants you to drive when you in town. She must have some doubts about her ability to drive. My dad would never allow me to drive him anywhere. I'm just waiting for the first opportunity to swoop in and get the keys, and that could well be a physical confrontation. You problem, and mine, aside from getting the keys, is how will she get to doctor apps, grocery, drug store etc. I've been checking into senior services in my folks area, but it's very slim pickins in WV. There is no stock answer to this problem, but there is a bunch of people on this site who have gone through this problem with elders driving. Navigate this site and you will get some great advice and life stories about this difficult problem. If you find an easy solution, let me know.
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