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We took the keys from Mom so she couldn't drive any more, after she started falling. Her strength and mobility are limited. She uses a walker all the time. We were afraid for the safety of herself and others. (She is 92.) She is angry about losing her independence, and still hopes that she will be able to drive again. We have hired caregivers in the morning and afternoon to take her to the places she wants to go, so she can get out of the house. (She lives alone.) She still brings up the subject almost every time I talk with her (we took the keys away six months ago). I think it's time to tell her that she is not going to drive again, and we need to sell the car. Any advice?

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If she is competent and has title, she has to sign it in order to sell. Good luck.
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Reply to MACinCT
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My dad’s helper uses his car to take him where he needs and wants to go. It’s part of the agreement we signed. He’s also dependent on a rollator and lives alone. He likes that his car is being used even though he’s not driving it. Could this be a help to your mom? Or do you think riding in her car would agitate her further?
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Reply to Daughterof1930
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Well given you have POA and can transfer title to make the sale, my answer is yes, of course the car should not be left in any wise that she can DRIVE it. As to whether to sell it or not, another question. It is robbing her of all hope to drive again, and of her car, which at this point can be driven FOR her with her in it. I think gently explaining that it is no longer responsible for her to drive, and perhaps having the reinforced by her doctor or asking DMV for a drivers test, if necessary would work. Just not sure I would remove the car. These things become very symbolic for us as we lose more and more and yet more as we age.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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Even if you have a POA, you can’t use it to go against her wishes as long as she is mentally competent.
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Reply to worriedinCali
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DiamondAngel14 Jun 15, 2020
Should a 92 year old really be driving?
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Get ready to go gray rock and not react. The driving issue came up for a year after we pulled the plug on mom's car. She was 95 at the time. She passed the drivers written test and her license expired at age 97.

I watch the elder neighbor just sit in his truck sometimes and go nowhere. I maybe should try this I thought as I read your post. Mom was meticulous with her car and I've decided its best to keep it around for sentimental reasons. She looks at it from the kitchen and dusts it off like before (she's walking precariously still). It's the apple of her eye and wishes to give it to one of the grandkids who could care less. Although she talks to whoever is listening also about selling it, I believe she just wants to have its value acknowledged. I watched her maintain it beyond the value of the car and she drove around the corner as her last venture. When I could get her in my car, I would take the 'scenic route' on streets familiar to her.
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Reply to Pasa18
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Aside from the sage advice posted by others, perhaps you can approach it from the high cost of insurance for someone her age? Add up repairs and gas too? When my MIL no longer drove we kept her clunker van because it was the easiest vehicle for her to get in and out of. Her grandsons would drive her around on errands in it, and that gave her satisfaction.
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Reply to Geaton777
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Have her doctor tell her.
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Reply to careinhome
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She may be angry about her losses and hoping to drive again but in her head, unless she is very plagued with dementia, she really knows she won't be driving again. If the caregivers use her car to take her places, then you need to keep it. If caregivers are driving her in their cars, I assume that they have full liability insurance. (sorry, side note but could not resist).

My FIL was still driving up to February 2019; he was 93 at the time. Turns out he had macular degeneration and cataracts that he never mentioned. He complained of his vision but had gone to optometrist every year to get cleared for driving. Finally in February, he could not longer pass and wanted to have cataracts removed so he could keep driving. Even though he really could not see very well, he felt it was okay to keep driving since he had a valid drivers license. Even when he agreed that he could not pass the new driving test because of his vision, he felt that as long as he had a valid license driving was still okay. He had vascular dementia and although he often seemed reasonable to most people, this type of badly flawed reasoning was a result of his dementia. Anyway, the eye surgeon told him he could not drive any more at the first visit, or at least until the surgery. He was legally blind in one eye and 20/90 in the other eye. I planned the surgery to be done after his license expired for his March birthday. We made sure we took him where he needed to go and the facility also had a bus and a driver as well for appts. He got used to not driving and finally, he asked me "when are you going to sell my car? We moved the car to our house so he did not see it. I only offer this story to say that people who were independent are often very angry about the changes that happen to them; we can all understand that. I really had to orchestrate getting him to stop driving. He knew that I was opposed to his driving as no one at 92 has the reaction time to avoid accidents. They might be able to drive to the grocery store or some place they are familiar with but unexpected things happen all the time. About 2 months after he stopped driving, he finally told me that I had been right and when he thinks back on some of the things he did while driving, he knew he should not have been driving. His kids, my husband included, avoided this discussion but I did not.

In your case, I would make the excuse that the car is making a noise and needs to go to mechanic. Make arrangements for it to stay gone. If you can get away with it, tell her transmission is going, cost is $2000 and car should be sold. Or just keep it out of her sight for a while and then ask her if it can be sold.

Having the doctor tell her if you can but since we are not really going to doctors as much, that might be difficult.
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Reply to dogparkmomma
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I have only kept my mothers car because when she wants to go out she wants to ride in it. One of her random questions “Is my car still out there?” She can look out the window and see it. She hasn’t driven in 5 yrs due to dementia and doesn’t really want to drive. I tell her she’s The Queen and I am her driver because she is special!
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Reply to Only1caregiver
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PeeWee57 Jun 15, 2020
That is so sweet!
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Pacify the sore subject as best as you can but---don't mention selling her car. You won't GET FAR.
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Reply to Parise
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We kept my Mom's car for the helpers to use so it was in her garage (keys hidden). Occasionally she would say she wanted to drive it but, I think she knew it was dangerous for both her and others. There were news stories about older people killing others in accidents and she did pay attention to those. A few times, when she was persistent about driving again, I told her it would be best to have her tested at a local rehab facility to see if they thought she was OK to drive. This facility performed a driving test and then would give the participant their opinion of whether they should be driving (along with the results of the test). This took the family out of it and was an objective opinion. We never got that far but it was something to keep in my back pocket whenever it came up.
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Reply to AvaC42
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Please have her driving skills tested. Let the testing facility explain that she can not drive again. Give her at least a month for the fact to sink in before addressing issues about disposing of her car.
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Reply to Taarna
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I had two uncles and two different outcomes when it came to driving. Uncle number one was a lawyer and he knew that if he had an accident, he would be liable for damages especially if some one got hurt. He gave his car to his son and made arrangements. He talked the AL into buying a van so residents could get rides. Problem solved. Other uncle refused to give up driving and would drive and forget how to get home. He was picked up by the police who noticed he was lost. We told him that parking lots are very difficult because little kids run and you cant see them. NOTHING worked. He had dementia and could not be reasoned with.
He also refused to have home health care because they would"steal". Not true.
He was found die at home and had been on the floor for several days. There was nothing we could do and it was very sad for his sons.

Lesson use the fact that if they have an accident, they could harm someone and/or get sued and lose. Therefore arrange for someone to drive. There are lots of options. The one that we liked was that there were veterans from the American Legion who would like a part time job. Would have given him some new friends and a safe ride.
GOOD LUCK
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Reply to birnamwood
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We were only able to get my dad to quit driving (this was after he already had his license taken away but continued to drive) when we hired caregivers to take him places in his car. When he moved to AL, caregivers were there 3 days a week and the car went along so they could drive it. Now he is in skilled nursing for a bit and there haven't been caregivers there since March because of covid, so the car hasn't been driven. I tried to start it the other day and it won't start. He will not be returning to AL so we are shopping for memory care. I will have the car taken to his house (yes, still owns that and won't let me sell it) and I will put the car in the garage for now. He has always been totally obsessed about the car and would walk outside multiple times a day at the AL to check on it. It was finally time for me to take control of this and having him in skilled nursing for now has allowed me to do that, as he would not let me touch his car if he was there for fear it would not return. Maybe I'm more patient than others would be but with his anxiety and agitation the way it is, I pick and choose my battles.
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Reply to Babs75
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Mom was a reluctant to quit driving until she fell asleep in the church parking lot and the priest told her she should not drive anymore. I kept her car in her name and took her for rides in it.
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Reply to Momsablessing
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I would show her on paper what the costs are to keep the car, even when not being used, such as insurance & license tags. Be sure to include what deteration happens to all the parts and what that costs. Rather then spend all that money show her what she could do with that. Also if it is sold now what the amount could be versus how much less it would be over time. Then for those places she needs to go to, you would be taking her.
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Reply to Marylepete
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Do what you need to do with the car, whatever you tell her she won’t remember ten minutes later anyway. Just say the car had to be fixed, it had a flat tire, it is getting washed and cleaned etc etc etc.
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Reply to LakeErie
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My mom had Alzheimer's and it wasn't safe for her to drive. She was diagnosed at age 87. I emailed her doc and asked her to reinforce the no-driving issue. I took my mom anywhere she wanted to go, so she had a "chauffeur" at her beckon call. My mom said the doc and I were in "kahoots" with one another. She picked up on that, yet she had irrational delusions about people coming in and stealing her coffee! Luckily, my mom's car stopped working, and we told her that because it was an older car, some of the parts needed to fix it weren't made any more, and she bought it. (Otherwise, I'm afraid she would have bought another car.) I even wrote a book about our experiences taking care of her called, "My Mother Has Alzheimer's and My Dog Has Tapeworms: A Caregiver's Tale," and the chapter about the car is entitled: "Car-Ma." When my mom was sane, and she heard about people not giving up the keys, she said she'd never do that, but when Alzheimer's took over, that reasonable attitude went out the window, (right along with the coffee thieves). Maybe try several tactics like others have mentioned: talking to the doc, saying car isn't working well, and see what happens. Good luck.
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Reply to rlynn123
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disgustedtoo Jun 15, 2020
"...she said she'd never do that, but when Alzheimer's took over, that reasonable attitude went out the window..."

All too often, and not just related to cars and giving up driving. Multiple times my mother said she need to clean up her place (mainly clear out/get rid of stuff), in case she "ever had to get outta here." When asked what she meant, she said if she goes to AL. Enter dementia...

I can only hope I never go down that nasty path.
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My Mom's Driving Mission: Back in 2008, my 89-year-old mother's health was gradually declining, so a Kaiser SSF, CA doctor filed a DMV Unsafe Driver Report to suspend her driver's license. My family had strongly advised that I take the car keys away from her. Unfortunately, my mother starting getting extremely angry and forced me to return her keys, or I would have to move out of our place to find my own..with nowhere else to go! One last extreme effort for her "attempted license renewal!" was to prove she why should no longer drive: Mom tried unsuccessfully to pass her drive test in late October 2011 before her license expired! Next, I tried to disable her car, but I couldn't do it. All this was done while I still worked downtown at my full-time job, until I lost it after 25 years of service in February 2012 due to the economy. Mom had then fallen several times at home and had to start using a walker. I managed to park and maintain her little red car where she had no access to it from February 2012 until January 2013! All this while my trying to seek new work, even to collect my unemployment, while I still took care of her. The final straw happened when I took her car in for its overdue service inspection. It required a $500 job to fix it for safe operation. When I asked Mom if she wanted to pay for the fixing work, her reply was, "No, I don't, I'll sell it!" And so, her car was sold. However, Mom did tell me many times she wanted to reinstate her license and buy another used car to no avail since she then had no more strength to even obtain professional driving assessment for a new learner's permit! I felt as if a very large brick of responsibility was lifted off my back!! By late 2013, Mom had more injuries in our home and had to be permanently removed from our place so then I may once again search much needed work.
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Reply to Patathome01
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My car is part of my identity and independence. I believe it may be the same for your mother. She should not drive. Keep her keys and disable it so it won't start. But keep it in a safe place where she can see it whenever she wants. It took my mother about nine months to volunteer that maybe 'she should sell her car'. In my view it needs to be her idea. She already knows it is the right thing to do. It is just hard to let go of that facet of her independence. From time to time you can bring it up but don't force it. How would you like to be treated? You will have many other big decisions coming. This is a small one in comparison.
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Reply to WVson1
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I had to sell a car for an elderly lady whose neurologist told her she could no longer drive. He even advised against getting tested and not to bother with it. She constantly said it was a set up and we must have told doc to say that (???). Anyway, we did sell the car without making much fuss about it since we didn't want to continue the same conversation. She kept asking about driving and when would we let her "try" to do it? Too many physical/mental ailments to list here, but trust me - doctor was right. Once it sunk in that car was sold, she saw an ad on TV for a new car she felt she could afford (she couldn't have afforded it even back when she was working) and asked about getting it so THEN she could drive again. She actually had warped the story such that the reason she could not drive was because her mean caregivers sold her car! The driving conversation never ends and you may see the "facts" change over time as I did. I'd say do what you know is right with the car and try not to let it bother you.
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Reply to Mysteryshopper
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This is a serious problem so many seniors face. I have one mantra and it makes sense. No one, no matter who or why, should be allowed to take something away from someone that means so much UNLESS THEY ARE ABLE TO PROVIDE A COMPARABLE SUBSITUTE. By that I mean is this - you cannot just take a car away from someone. First you have to be able to assure them that there will be a way for them to accomplish what they would have done if they had their own car. Otherwise, It is hell for the patient and will be horrible for the ones who do the deed. In this case, she is angry, probably frustrated. She will keep bringing this up over and over again. Instead of letting her blame you, perhaps tell her when the doctor gives written permission she can drive, then she will. Don't tell her anything more - it will kill her. it would me.
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Reply to Lockett2166
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We took my mother in laws keys and sold her car when she 88 after two minor fender Enders that weren’t her fault. She was mad and depressed. Now at age 92 she bought another car from a dead friends son, took the drivers test 3 times before she passed, managed to get full coverage insurance and is back on the road again. She stays in her own small town, she takes a light weight walker with her. She gets her hair done every Thursday and is happy.
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Reply to Terrisue
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She is adjusting to "another loss". You may need help in relating to her in a warm and carying approach. This enables you to "meet her where she is". Sounds like she is tolerating "getting help". Encourage her "independance" in what she is able to function safely. Enjoy your time together and stay out of her SCARY ZONE, unless she brings it up. Going places is very important to her being able to " hang onto." She does not want to LOSE that as well. She has loss (fears) of other things you may have the ability to talk to her about. She knows she cant drive again...do not "pick on that scab". If she brings it up...relate to her how you would feel in losing what you most would like. Take her for a drive where she wants to go in her car. She will, with time come up with "I do not need it" and "lets sell." Get out of your "mechanical mode". Greet her with a hug and "I love you mama" and keep your time around how you related when she did not have all these "fear of loss".
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Reply to DKelso34
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WE just tell my mom car is in the shop.
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Reply to FloridaDD
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Be honest-- be truthful-- don't be manipulated-- do the right thing-- sell the car. Re-direct. Take her to see nice places she has always loved. Have peace knowing you are doing the right thing.
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DugganB Jun 15, 2020
Don't forget to cancel her car insurance and take her driver's license away-- and not in her face but sneaky. She'll never know. Get her an non-driving ID via the DMV. She'll prolly never use it.
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I'm not being intentionally obtuse, but what about her strength, mobility and being 92 disqualifies your mother from driving? Is there something else going on, such as impaired vision, loss of mental abilities, TIAs?

If your mother is suffering from dementia and you have power of attorney for her, then you do have the right to make the decision to sell the car and use the money for her needs.

If she is not mentally impaired, you have no business depriving her of her property. You can certainly refuse to help her access her car or find her keys, you can certainly give your opinion freely that she ought not to be driving, you can report any incidents or medical advice that might disqualify her to the appropriate authorities; but respect her rights. Unless there is other relevant information you haven't mentioned yet, her driving or not driving is *her* decision and not yours.

Do you need to sell the car, in fact? Why?
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Reply to Countrymouse
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worriedinCali Jun 15, 2020
I agree with you CM. The OP makes no mention of Alzheimer’s/dementia so you are spot on. The only justification I can see right now is perhaps moms mobility issues and slow reflexes may make it very unsafe for her to drive? But that doesn’t mean she can have her rights stripped. It is a difficult position for OP to be in. Reminds me of my dad. Shouldn’t be driving but at this point he has to voluntarily stop and he won’t.
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So she can see for herself, take her to a huge mall parking lot and tell her you have to see how well she drives and if she can get the walker in/out of her car on her own. It might help her make her own decision if she sees how difficult it is. You can always tell her to keep exercising and you'll try a test drive again later on. If she simply cannot steer, gas/brake anymore...just reply with it's just not safe for you or others on the road anymore, but we have so-and-so to take you wherever you need to go. They'll help you in/out, bring in your packages, make sure that someone is w/you if you should fall again. And you might toss in: Wouldn't you feel terrible if you didn't hit the brake fast enough and someone got hurt?

I wouldn't sell the car. An empty driveway will drive home the fact that she lost the ability to drive. You have the keys, so leave it at that. It might suffice for her to think she may get stronger and be able to drive again
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Reply to my2cents
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My Mom’s car is just sitting in front of her home and while we tried to keep it running for her, we couldn’t figure out a good solution but to just let it sit. She doesn’t drive anymore. She also couldn’t locate her registration and we can’t get it inspected unless we take it on financially. When I bring it up to her, she goes silent. Now we’re back to street cleaning and it needs a jump to start it. I basically told her to just let it sit and pay the tickets (approx. $30 p/mo. for 6 months) or get the registration so that we can get it inspected, drive and/or move it twice a month to help her save this expense. She seemed more comfortable with just letting it sit and pay the tickets. I have my car and do all the running in my car and take her to doctor appointments so she doesn’t need her car. It has low miles and is in good shape. Once she volunteers to make a decision, I’ll honor it. The last thing I want is her to say or think is that I took her car from her when I nor my husband need it. I want her to feel comfortable about these next steps without worrying or getting stressed. I hate that she continues to age and not so gracefully, but love her so much to stand down in this situation. God Bless you all.
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Reply to BLTMom33
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Why are you in a hurry to sell it? We kept my dads car until he died at the age of 99. He couldn’t drive but we’d go out in the driveway with him and start it so he’d see the battery hadn’t died. Honestly, if we’d have sold it, he would have been asking about it a hundred times a day. Keeping it was easier on us all.
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Reply to Eloise46
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worriedinCali Jun 15, 2020
Shes probably in a hurry to sell the car because it’s not safe for her mom to drive it. Many people think taking away the keys solves the problem but it doesn’t. Same with disconnecting the battery. Doesn’t solve the problem. Plus if the car isn’t being driven then paying for insurance is a waste of $.
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