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My mom has been a mess for a decade. In a nutshell, dad passed away 2 years ago, mom has been in & out of ER/hospital, substance abuse rehab, skilled nursing rehab, for 8 years now. I got her into assisted living a year ago at which time she was in a wheelchair. She was such a mess they moved her into memory care for 2-3 months because "regular" ALF staff could not manage her. So....they got her into physical & occupational therapy and after months of that, we now have a miraculous recovery and she's using a walker or cane. Now, she's hell-bent on getting her car brought to the facility and starting to drive again. Yikes. I am an only child, there is nobody else to help me stop the insanity. She's not driven since about August of 2020. She has conceded to take some sort of "driving" test from a private school in January, her license comes up for renewal in February. Mom is turning 80 in February. I am assuming the driving instructor will take one look at her and refuse to get in the car if she is behind the wheel.


I am not in a position to sell her car out from under her. Technically she's her own person in terms of making decisions. The ALF she lives at is in the next town over and honestly I try to see her as little as possible for my own sanity.


I assume at some point, someone will step in and say "No way Jose" regarding her driving. However, shockingly the eye doctor just signed off on his part last week (confirming her vision is OK) and it seems everyone just smiles and pretends it's all just fine. She has major balance problems and her last two cars have scratches all over the front ends from parking mishaps over the past 5 years or so. Also, eventually the liquor store will be a destination. So I am also concerned about liability here.


I thought I was free a while back when she was in memory care, but here she is threatening independence again. I cannot take another round.

I have an aunt in South FL who is very aged, had the beginnings of dementia, terrible eyesight and had her sister co-piloting her on their driving adventures. Their car looked like it had been in a pin-ball machine. I went online and anonymously reported her as an unsafe driver. I provided her license # and gave specifics about why she is a danger. She received a letter from the DMV to come it to retake her eye exam at the facility. She didn't pass it. If she had IDK if they were going to give her a behind-the-wheel or not. Since your mom's in FL, you can do this, too. She'll never know she was reported.
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Reply to Geaton777
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Well if you dont bring the car to her then who will?
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Reply to sp19690
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Geaton777 Dec 20, 2021
My in-laws called other people they knew to break them out of rehab and get their cars, etc. Friends, neighbors, people from their church. Well-intentioned people who had no idea what they were enabling because the in-laws told them bunk.
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I agree with the tactic of not helping in any way. Disable the care. Lose the keys. And if that doesn't work, then you're going to have to bite the bullet and not give her the keys.
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Reply to againx100
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Anybody thinking this "driving school" person will step-in in any way? Her physical therapist is the one who suggested she do this. I actually think it's a driving test and mom has been made to believe it is some sort of instructor. Honestly the government needs to require actual driving exams at this age. It's terrifying. I live in Florida and the driving here is atrocious. Driving is a priveledge, not a right. Her car is brand new (in 2020) because she totaled her old car in July of 2020. She's only driven about 300 miles since July of 2020. It's on a storage lot near my home. The place she lives at has a van at her beck & call but she wants to drive her own car. And yes that will likely mean the liquor store.
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Reply to Upstream
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I think it should somehow be outlawed for folks to have only one child. It seems like we only children have THE most difficult parent(s) who live to be 100 and wind up killing us before they pass away. Our mothers have also mastered the art of showtiming to the point where WE look like the bad guys and they look like the sweet, innocent little old ladies they're NOT, all while manipulating their way through every nook & cranny of life.

All I know is that seniors have all these RIGHTS and their children seem to have NONE. When your mother goes out in the car she has a RIGHT to drive and winds up killing someone, I'd like to hear about her RIGHTS then.

If it were me and this was my mother trying to drive, I'd have the car hauled away to the junkyard before I'd see her behind the wheel. Period. She could yell and scream and pitch a fit all she wanted to, but it'd be on HER to figure out how to go about buying another one w/o MY help.

完成了,完成了。
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Reply to lealonnie1
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Only child here, as well. Major imbalance problems and previous memory care stay seem to be good reasons for questioning her driving. Get your concerns on paper, being specific with dates and what you see changing in your mom and how it impacts her ability to continue driving. Send to her docs and to the state. Ask each if they think she should be driving.

我能和我妈妈这样做,但是需要关爱r a year, due to COVID slowdown of government. But, it worked. She did not seek to get license reinstated, as she doesn’t want to go to doctor for an evaluation. She knows she shouldn’t drive.

I’m so glad I don’t have to worry about her safety AND the safety of all else on the road.

Good luck in dealing with this.
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Reply to Katsmihur
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You can notify the DMV of an unsafe driver. They'll haul them in there for an administrative hearing -- at least here in California. They call it "Deteriorated Driving Abilities." Google it for your state, and it should bring up the way to report her.

If Mom's hell-bent on getting booze, though, you've got to find a way to disable her car if you can't sell it. You're fortunate that at least it isn't on the premises where she is. You have every right to refuse to bring the car to her, because it isn't your job to enable her to do dangerous things. If you think she can find a way to get to the car, you may want to have someone pull a spark plug wire or two -- something that isn't easily identifiable like disconnecting the battery. If the car won't start properly, well darn -- it must be because it's been sitting so long, and double darn that it's going to cost a fortune to diagnose and fix it. (It won't - just don't do it.)

I'm sorry you have to go through this.
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Reply to MJ1929
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不幸的是,有时候当人们知道y have a problem, they can become good at hiding it in front of doctors. For example, my neighbor just turned 97 years old, still lives alone, cooks, cleans, and drives although she does not go very far anymore, only to church on Sundays and occasionally to the grocery store. She mowed her own grass until two years ago when she fell and broke her foot. She bounced back pretty well from that but at that point her daughter put her foot down and took the lawn mower away and hired someone to cut her grass. Although she has no health problems, her mind isn't as good as it once was and cannot hear very well and I worry about her still driving and living alone but there's really not much you can do. Why does your mom think she needs a car? Tell her that you'll be there to help her as much as possible. I started doing my neighbors grocery shopping for her so she doesn't have to drive to the store.
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Reply to mitchelll1sa
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If you are not her PoA and you have no real reason to prevent her from driving, they you will need to sit on the sidelines and watch. Be passive aggressive and just don't help her get her vehicle and license back -- especially if you have no real proof she's a danger on the road. Unfortunately, you are the person to step in and say, "No way Jose" to her. No one else will be doing this.

If I were in your shoes (and I have been 4 times) I would stall her until after her license expires. Then don't take her to get it renewed. Don't take her to her car. Don't bring it to her. Does her facility have a van or bus service? Get her connected with another mode of transportation. Does she have the financial means to support a car? Pay for gas and maintenance? Parking? Insurance? If not, then there's another reason to stall her.
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