Should I give my dad his keys and trust that others will drive him? - AgingCare.com

Should I give my dad his keys and trust that others will drive him?

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My dad has minor dementia and his doctor had his driver's license revoked. He continued to drive, so at the urging of his doctor and other health professionals I took his keys. He wants his keys back and swears he needs them so friends and neighbors can drive him. I live 5 hrs away so I can't monitor his activities except through neighbors. His short term memory is so bad that every time he wants to go somewhere he sits in his truck and tries all his house keys in the ignition. However he is still able to remember at least once a day that I took them and gives me a harassing phone call. Tired of being the bad guy....should I give him the keys and trust that he will find able drivers? Would I be exposing myself to liability if I did so?

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Now that your dad's license has officially been revoked, if he drives because he somehow got hold of his car keys, he will be uninsured. If he's in an accident, he will get sued and held personally liable for damages. He will need a defense attorney.

Where does he need to drive to? Can groceries be delivered? What can be brought to him? What can't like doctors appointments?

Just because your father says he has friends and neighbors to drive him around doesn't mean it's true. His friends and neighbors could be worse off than he is.
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No you can't trust that others will drive him unless they have agreed to. Remove the truck. If he had the ability to drive safely he wouldn't be confused about the key. You already know that or you wouldn't have taken the key. Sorry. It's a tough spot that most everyone has to deal with sooner or later.
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I could write a book on the saga that was getting my mother off the road. But long story short- just taking my moms keys or even removing her car would not have solved the problem. Given my mother had mild to moderate dementia at the time, reasoning was next to impossible. I had to find the one thing that she would understand and fear - and that was loosing all her money. I was able to get her to see that since she was driving on a suspended licence and since she was taking oxycodone- if she was in an accident she would be arrested. Then if she hit anyone they would have grounds to sue her for every last penny - no insurance - any she would be poor and at the mercy of Medicaid. Poverty was my mothers biggest fear - she grew up very poor because of The Depression and the feelings and fear of being penniless again was the only thing that got her off the road. Can you find a like trigger for you dad? The funny thing is - now my mom is in a nursing home, wheelchair bound and out of it most of the time. But if you were to ask her and if she could string the words together - she would tell you that she is perfectly capable of driving.
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IF the neighbor is willing, give him the key so he can drive dad. But can you trust the neighbor not to cave in? You apparently are wavering. Do not give in. There are many alternatives to a person driving somewhere himself. What alternative would you find if his disability kept him in a wheelchair and couldn't physically drive himself? You'd find another way. Don't cave in because his disability is inside his head and not visible on the outside.
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I think you know the answer to your question...do not give him the car keys back.

Other than transportation, is your dad independent? Does he live by himself? Can he take care of his activities of daily living without assistance?
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Namerof, when it comes to taking away something from an elder you need to find a replacement. Thus, if you take away their personal transportation, you need to find other transportation for Dad. Either you, relative, neighbor or buddy would need to drive Dad on a regular schedule. Or make arrangements with a local cab company so that the same driver will come out [I know, easier said then done].
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NO NO NO don;t do this!! He is already trying to drive the truck with his HOUSE keys... this picture is all wrong. He can't figure that out, how can you think he won't "remember" not to drive? Sometimes we have to be the bad guy.. or fib... Can you tell him they are in the mail,, then claim the PO lost them and you have to get new ones ordered.. stall stall stall! When dad kept after his, we turned it around and asked "Well where did you put them "? Looked for them (not) then said we had to order new ones. This worked for quite awhile... Good luck!
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No. Don't give him the keys just to save yourself some hassle. How would you feel if he got in the truck and had a fatal accident? Or an accident that killed others?

How about selling the truck? Why have it sit there tormenting him?
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