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I would have loved to have found a different way of doing it, but my dad had been driving with extremely low BP, and in 98 degree heat, and he would promise to not drive, but then sneak off, so I told him the other day that I had no choice but to keep the keys. I added that if his health should get better, I would give them back, but that the family would feel responsible if an accident happened. Brother and sister in law would never confront him, and would have let him crawl to the driver's seat if need be. He did not take it well and my siblings have hinted that his health problems are worse because I took his keys. I see him more often and he has been getting more feeble BEFORE the keys were taken. I have taken him anywhere he wanted to go and so have other members of the family. He has calmed down and seems resigned, but now they are hinting that they should be looking after his medical care. Today they hinted that the doctor that I took him to doesn't know what he is talking about... things seem to be headed in a bad direction. It's like they want to get all of my father's attention, and cut me out of the loop. I feel like asking where they have been for the past fifteen years or so - suddenly wanting to take over care? Has anyone else taken the keys and dealt with fallout from other family members?

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The Caregivers Behaving Badly solution would be for Dad to drive on over to siblings house and insist on driving them somewhere.
This may not be a viable solution, but maybe you will get to laugh.
As always, don't try this at home.
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A 74 year old woman in a suburb of Cleveland drove into a crowd of people at an outdoor concert, injuring 9 (3 still in hospital 1 critical). She claims she did not feel well,and did the old classic mistake the gas for the brake. She has a valid driver license.
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LivingSouth: I am so sorry to hear that you're going through all this. Goodness gracious, it's such a travesty when all the family members can't get along when needed the most-for the care of their elderly loved ones. I do wish you a resolution to this and will pray about it.
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Take you to court to ruin your reputation? They sound like they are full of hot air. Hey, the DOCTOR agrees with you! Call their bluff.
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I agree - yet they are claiming that I am trying to keep my dad away from them ( must be hard when I am asking them to drive him!)
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I suspect that it isn't that they want control over your parents, but that they want to have things the way they've always been. By having your parents still able to drive themselves, your siblings can go about their lives without the disruption of helping with transportation. Your actions to have your dad safely off the road has forced them to make a few changes in their lives, so they're coming back swinging. I'm always amazed at reading about siblings who want to take away the POA from the sibling who's been the caregiver/helper. They truly have no idea how much more work that role really is.
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I know without a shadow of a doubt that I did the right thing, and I waited a long time to finally act. Doctor agreed with me about the danger of driving, and now brother and sister are so furious with me that they are insinuating that if I do not give the keys back, they will take me to court and try to ruin my reputation. They are trying to find out anyone that I may have argued with, or had a falling out. They are also trying to get the POA that I have revoked.
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Well looks like it has hit the fan... My brother is trying to get my POA away - or maybe take me to court - because he has been having to drive my Dad to places ( I do also) Insinuating that they may try to prove that I am unfit or that I am somehow holding my father hostage ( even though I ask them to take him places)
This is really tearing me apart and my parents are just shocked. Anyone been in this situation? Doctor told me that I needed to not be around my siblings when they are belligerent and hateful.
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Better to take your Dad's car keys away, else he be arrested for vehicular manslaughter!
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It's not just dementia that can make an older driver dangerous! My dad's mind was clear until his last days, but his physical slowing down made him a dangerous driver. In his last five years, he totaled two cars away from home and had to buy clunkers to get home. My brother and I got to where we grabbed his car keys when we saw him heading for the door. His brother had an even worse experience: he was driving in poor weather in their own rural neighborhood and hit a block wall--and his wife died of seat belt trauma. The he tried driving a fairly long distance to see his daughter and her family, and totaled 2 cars on the way back. His son-law finally got him off the road.
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Lawyers will try every single avenue to get money from a lawsuit. I know of no law that prohibits plaintiffs from suing a POA. Once you're sued, you need to hire a defense attorney. Even if it's a frivolous lawsuit, it's still going to cost you money.

It's not just strangers who sue people. In the event of an accident involving a neighbor things will get very messy because the neighbors have a lot more information about the person who should not be driving.

I've taken on insurance companies and think increasing the insurance limits on a policy covering a driver who shouldn't be driving would only serve as a red flag in the event of an accident. Insurance companies deny coverage for all sorts of reasons, which will cost you money to get insurance reinstated.
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Something you might check into. I am not sure how true it is. I was told as Mom's POA I could be held liable if I was writing checks for Auto Insurance, Auto repairs, anything that was keeping Mom on the road knowing she was to the point of not needing to be behind the wheel. It was a few years ago in the middle of a lot of chaos. It may have been the insurance agent or Mom's doctor can't remember. Don't even know if it is true. But something to think about.
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There's another issue and that's your responsibility as proxy under his POA. You have obligations, including that of marshalling his assets for his use. That could easily be considered to ensure that he's not engaging in behaviors that jeopardize those assets, as a potential vehicle accident could do if there were to be a lawsuit and a judgment which exceeded policy limits.

In fact, upping the liability limits of the policy might be something to consider while this issue of his driving is still unresolved.

But I especially like Pam's suggestion of having siblings sign an acknowledgment of liability statement.
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Living South, since your siblings offer to drive your father, let them do it - all of it. Let them use their working sick time to take him shopping, wherever. They'll get tired of it. But I would continue taking him to medical appointments b/c it sounds as if they feel they're qualified to make medical judgments, and this would just allow them to get a foot in the door...unless your father's doctors would be blunt with them and dispel the notion that he can still drive.

Sounds to me as if they're manipulating for reasons that have nothing to do with his care or welfare.

If they think they can do a better job, give them the chance, but first make a list of everything that has to be done, and I mean everything. You can give them a few weeks' tryout and see how they handle the situation. That might be enough to make them realize they're better off not providing fulltime care.

After Dad stopped driving, I took him special places, and started that again recently. We've always loved being out in nature and used to go walking at the beach, so that's one of our destinations in the spring or fall. Those kinds of times with your father will become special to him. Your siblings taking him grocery shopping or other drudge chores won't.

One day he commented that he was getting used to being chauffeured - it allowed him more time to view the scenery and relax during trips, which he couldn't do when driving.

(He was pointing out sightings of hawks, deer, swans, while I was focusing on not getting hit by drivers playing with wireless devices.)

So use the advantage of providing good memories of driving with you and let the unpleasant memories accrue from going places with the siblings.
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My sister, brother and I disabled our Dad's car without his permission and without him knowing it. We decided trying to talk him in to not driving wasn't going to work; that taking his keys away relegated him to a "childlike" poisition. We knew that he didn't have the resources to fix the car. We then arranged for transportation that he could use at any time and we paid for it. It worked out really well -- although he stayed mad at the neighborhood kids till his death 3 years later.
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Our attorney was told that my mother was fearful of him possibly having an accident and that anyone with POA, or even his estate, could be sued, so the attorney said that we needed to decide if we were willing to accept the risk. I was not. He has bad vision in one eye, dropping blood pressure, and problems walking.
IF my siblings would like to ride with him - and apparently they do not - they can determine for themselves. Currently they are offering to take him places every day.
Just waiting to see how long this service will go on.....
(I also have Health care POA - doctors just raised their eyebrows about the driving)
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By the time a doctor makes a diagnosis that has to be reported to a DMV, the driver has been a hazard on the road for untold number of weeks, months, or (gulp) years. That said, there are special drive tests and procedures family members can use at the DMV to report a potentially dangerous driver.

When my MIL's illness became severe enough that she was falling down, my husband told her she had to stop driving. Even though her diagnosis was not required to be reported to the DMV, the liability was just too great.

Insurance companies will look at health records in the event of a serious accident. An insurance company will find a reason to deny coverage and save themselves money. Imagine your dad being in a serious accident, having his insurance company deny coverage, and enduring a prolonged legal battle to recoup damages directly from your dad. The stress of a trial and paying for a defense attorney could push your dad over the edge and into an early grave. Not worth it!

Children who let their parents drive when they shouldn't are playing with fire. You did the right thing by taking the keys away.
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Nasmir, you're really fortunate that your mom made the decision herself - that takes so much off of an adult child to not have to initiate the change. My FIL did that also, and I'm so greatful that my husband didn't have that painful and difficult task. It seems that with cognitive impairment, it's a slow progression so the driver doesn't always see the problems as clearly as family does. And if the person with AD, for example, is the only driver in the couple (not unusual in my parents' generation), I think they're even less likely to voluntarily stop driving.
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Yes, Nasmir. We have a responsibility to try to make mom or dad feel happy and independent, but we also have a responsibility to any pedestrians or other drivers he might kill or injure.

Two or three times a year, the Boston Globe prints a story about a grandparent who drives right into a crowd of schoolchildren and kills or injures some. When a person needs to stop driving, it is really wrong to let them drive.
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Nasmir, my dad passed some years ago. but it was really more than whether he wanted to be able to go when he wanted. The thing with AD is that by the time he was having panic attacks while driving and having to be coached by my mom on directions (in the city he'd always lived in), he no longer would have been able to walk or take a bus somewhere. AD robs one of the higher reasoning abilities early, and the logistics of independent travel would have been confusing and frustrating. He'd have gotten lost walking and wouldn't have been able to handle the logistics of bus travel. I'm sure he didn't want to be a bother..he was a really considerate man. But sadly, that is not a good enough reason for someone to continue to drive when cognitively impaired. What prompted us to contact his doctor was when one of us rode with him, he went into a full blown panic attack. He was so upset and scared, and we knew this was probably not an isolated incident. Is it really lousy to have to give up that important bit of freedom? Of course, but AD is a thief, there's nothing we can do about the illness except accept the changes and adapt as needed.
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I loved the geriatrician Coy's psychiatrist recommended for him. Dr. April also served my mother, and I'm thinking of switching to her myself in a few years. She understands that the issues of aging are different than the goals and issues of serving younger patients.

What she said was "I am required to report your diagnosis to the DMV." I have no idea whether it was a state law or her own conscience or a fear of liability that "required" her, and I wasn't about to ask, because it was clearly the correct step to take.

Her taking that step minimized the chance that Coy would blame me. Because the notice came from the DMV (and because he liked her a lot) he did not blame the doctor. This is just so much better than telling a patient that they "shouldn't" drive that I don't understand why all doctors don't do it. Did it make it easy for him? Certainly not. But it did reduce some of the negative emotional repercussions.

I'm talking about a dementia diagnosis. Persons who have dementia should not drive. Sad but definitely true.

I have a dear niece who is subject to seizures and they have not been able to be controlled so that she has them less than once a year. She cannot drive. At all. Ever. She is a young woman and this is a huge burden. But it is what it is. If you are subject to seizures that can't be medically eliminated you can't drive. If you have dementia you can't drive. It wasn't up to my sister to decide that her daughter couldn't drive and to enforce it. It wasn't up to me to decide that my husband couldn't drive. When the reason is a medical one, it should be up to medical professionals to initiate pulling the driver's license, in my (strong) opinion.
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Nasmir, my dad's doctor told him he couldn't drive any more because the AD had affected his ability to drive safely. Whether the doctor's motivation was the safety of all on the roads, or his liability was really irrelevant because the end result (Dad not driving) was so critically important. Dad wanted to drive, family members thought it was awful that he was told not to drive. But you know what? None of them knew (in Dad's case, he wasn't aware of) that Dad was a fearful, anxious man every time he drove because there was so much he no longer could process and things were happening so fast.
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I don't understand why doctors don't take responsibility for this issue! My husband's wonderful geriatrician said, "I am required to report your diagnosis to the DMV. They will cancel your driver's license. I am so sorry, but this is for everyone's safety."

Not being able to drive was the absolute worst part of having dementia as far as my husband was concerned. But there was no point in family members taking sides about it. The law said he could not drive. End of discussion.

In my opinion, if there is a medical reason not to drive, it should a medical professional who issues that decision.
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Living, Just to clarify. Did your attorney say your POA gave you the right to take your fathers keys? I thought it only gave you the right to do things for your father that he wanted you to do? I thought it took guardianship to control another person? ( or two doctors saying dad is incompetent if you have DPOA)??
Perhaps your siblings felt left out of the decision making for dad. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying dad should be driving. I don't know. I hope you and your siblings can unite for your dads sake as well as for your own.
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As you have seen, being the primary caregiver isn't a popularity contest. The siblings need to back off or completely step up to the plate. End of story.
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You did the right thing! Put the keys in a big block of ice in your freezer. Invite the inlaws to keep Dad for a week while you go on a recharge vacation......

The ones who have a 10 minute phone call investment with their father always seem to know more than the ones "holding the bag"!
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Told our lawyer that we were worried and she said ' better safe than sorry.' It's like all those pesky little issues that happened when I was a kid are rearing their ugly head. They want to be his 'favorite' by possibly letting him either kill himself or someone else.
They tell me what HE would like. I have been told to butt out before also. You know how a kid will get in a parent's face and try to get their attention away from the other kids? There you have it!

I know I did the right thing, and it really irks me that I'm always the one who has to be the bad guy and do the things that no one else will do - and then get the cold shoulder because I actually had the gumption to do something. I rode with him - used to be a really great driver - now he is almost on their bumper when he stops..
(BP only 94 over..).

I am the POA so there was a question of whether I could be held liable, but I think it also just boiled down to whether I would feel safe meeting him on the highway, and I would not.
Can't believe that people can be in such denial and not care about the safety of others.
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Don't you just love the Monday morning quarterbacks. Tell them you will give the keys back as soon as they sign a paper accepting all liability for any accidents he gets into. Put the ball in their court.
Taking the keys does not affect their health, but they will feign imminent death to manipulate the situation. Your father is attempting to wrest control of ALL of you by convincing the siblings that the doctor is an idiot. OH yes, mom insisted the doctor said she could drive. Siblings believed her. I told them OK, let her drive YOU around. They didn't like that idea. Tell them come here, live with him for a week and then make your decision. Only then.
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Oh boy, I think I would be tempted to invite your brother and SIL to go ahead and take over. Maybe they can do better, or maybe they will learn just what it takes to actually care for someone instead of being an armchair quarterback.
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