My parents have both been diagnosed with dementia to varying degrees, and the medical team submitted a form to the DMV to rescind their licenses. While my mom has moderate to severe dementia, my dad (with a moderate dementia diagnosis) has been the driver. He is the only one whose license was revoked. We don’t know what happened to the request for my mom.
For several months we have discussed taking this step, but have disagreed as siblings. After three medical recommendations to my parents to stop driving, having my dad’s license revoked and he continues to drive, we could easily all agree it was time to act.
My mom has not really driven for several years. She would sometimes drive a few blocks to her bridge game, but when that moved, she stopped going. My dad has been encouraging her to drive since she still has the “good” license, but my mom is uncomfortable driving so my dad continues to drive and they have made a story about her leg getting caught in the door if they get stopped.
The small things we have done to help have been quickly undone. We have gotten them to give up the keys only to recant that choice hours later. We have been sensitive to let them have control over the choices. Whether they are unwilling or unable to accept the recommendations and help we don’t know, but we have decided now is the time to take the keys and hide the cars.
I really don’t like having to force this and scared of the shrift it’s going to cause for all of us emotionally. The fact that my dad is driving unlicensed pushed us to enforce this change. We want to take the cars before something happens and someone gets hurts and/or my parents find themselves in legal and financial trouble. My brothers are heading to town to get the keys and help them make this transition. We are expecting a fight.
Any suggestions welcome on how to have that conversation and make it stick without too much blood on the plow? Inquired.
Here are some links to what happened next:
Dad is Notified is License Was Suspended July 2, 2012
It’s Time to Take the Car Keys July 6, 2012
Opeation Safety Net July 8, 2012