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My father is 90 and in good physical health. He has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. He does not believe the diagnosis & has stopped all his meds. His doctor has written a note that he should no longer drive dur to poor memory & poor judgement. How do my brothers & I start the discussion of taking away the keys & the car?

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Try to talk him into letting family members giving him a ride when he wants to go somewhere. Gradually, find senior ride services, as well, so he can feel independent. Also, impress upon him how horrible it would be if he hit a child because he didn't notice him or her.
You can phone the DMV and ask that they send him a letter to come in for a driver's test. Some states are quite good about this. Did his doctor send a note to the DMV? If not, ask him to.
It's never going to be easy to get someone to quit driving, particularly after the cognitive abilities are compromised by AD. Expect problems, and if the situation is too bad you may have to take away the car. I feel horrible for you - but you have lots of company. Please let us know how it goes.
Carol
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This is one of the most difficult things to accomplish on so many levels. Personally, I have found that it depends a lot on the personality of the elder who no longer is safe to drive. With my MIL (strongest willed, stubborn, controlling) my husband and I went to the doctor with her when he said no more driving due to physical and mental impairments she was experiencing. He told her that her reflexes are not fast enough anymore and what if she didn't respond fast enough and hit a child. Well, do to the above referenced personality traits, the minute we got outside, she announced the doctor isn't telling her what to do, etc. The example about possibly hitting a child didn't seem to phase her. Any example we gave and many reasons were not acceptable to her.

Your father is living with you, so it will be a bit easier, but truly sad and none of us have been able to accomplish this easily. With my MIL - we had the doctor put it in writing - she still didn't care - so, we disabled her car, took keys away. Then had doctor notified the DMV that she is no longer able to drive. Letter arrived revoking her license and then they sent her a new identification card.

My father had to stop driving and due to the sweet, wonderful person he was, he obliged and it was so sad; but even though he had dementia, he knew it had to be done. He didn't want to hurt anyone. And this was from a man with a narcississtic wife who made his life hard beyond measure and driving was his only escape.

Too many innocent people have died from accidents involving the elderly; and I've known of one personally and it was devastating. Also, just last night, my husband came home shaken from doing an errand. And elderly couple went through a stop sign and he had to swerve onto the side of the road just in time for them not to plow right into him. So, I am quite adament about the elderly not driving. I was so patient with my MIL and drove her everywhere - she was never stranded and still there was hell to pay and I was constantly blamed. So, the personality of the elderly person has much to do with their reactions. I didn't care how she treated me, there was no way I or my husband were allowing her to put others in danger or herself. Hope your father is more compliant. My heart goes out to you and your father.
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After all other kind approaches fail, take the keys or disable the car or both. We have to protect them and others, it's up to us.
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For my husband, losing his ability to drive was the absolutely worst part of his dementia. Yesterday his case worker was here and as part of her standard interview asked if his life was satisfactory. He said no. She asked what would make it satisfactory and he said "being able to drive." This is after not driving for nine years!

There is no way to make this easy or "satisfactory." But it still must be done. By all means, contact DMV. But many determined elders are not going to let a little thing like not having a valid license stop them from driving. Safest bet is to remove access to the keys, disable the car, or remove the car from the premises. If he is the only driver of that car, this might be the time to sell it or donate it.
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As this unfolds and you have to do certain things that your father will get angry about; just keep in mind that what you are doing is the right thing, and after awhile he will adjust to it, especially with the advanced age. My elderly neighbor kept saying that when he reached the age of 90, he would stop driving. Well, 90 came and went and he would barely walk with the assistance of his cane and was bent over significantly. Shortly after, he pulled out into traffic and had a bad accident. He didn't injure others, but died from his own injuries. This was so sad as he was a wonderful man and we loved him dearly.

He had no children, but had a nephew who looked out after him. What amazed me is he is a police officer. I would have thought he would take measures to help his uncle not drive. Some are afraid or reluctant to upset the elderly person they love. This is understandable, but that is why it is one of the hardest things to accomplish and you have to put personal feeling aside and do the right thing, no matter the consequences. Please let us know how things turn out. Blessings and take care.
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It is heartbreaking, as Jeanne mentioned how her husband still feels about it. After we disabled the car and took keys away, we then took the car away off the premises as it was just a reminder of yet one more thing my MIL could not do. She called continually as to where her car was; thank the good Lord for caller I.D. and answering machines. She could vent her frustrations and we did not have to pick up. Eventually, the harrassing phone calls stopped. It didn't really bother me as I knew she had to vent; thus the answering machine. I've already instructed my children to NOT LET ME DRIVE; I'm pretty easy going, but who know what I will be like then if problems arise. At least they have it in writing! I vow not to perpetuate the difficulties I've experienced from mother and MIL. Never, ever want the children I love to go through this. Life is short and I want them to enjoy their lives and know that's what I want, even if I become a pain in the ......
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Carol & 3PinkRoses - Thank you so much, I had never thought of contacting the DMV to ask him in for a driving test! Great idea. Unfortunately most of the family lives out of state and I am pretty much it and I cannot quit working. I will look into alternative forms of transportation. 3PR - My father has done just what that elderly couple did. He confuses stop signs for red lights. Scary! Plus he can't see pedestrians until they are actually in front of the car. Again, I am going to check with his church. Again, thank you so much and I will keep in touch! Fortunately my older brother will be here at the end of the month so I will have some help. Thank you both!
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