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      03-31-2015, 05:45 PM   #1
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Decided my father shouldnt drive anymore

He is 93 and still drives but here's the thing. In the last month he has clipped a Tacoma truck rear end in a parking lot and yesterday he took out his passenger side mirror on someone's garbage can. Its only a matter of time until something more serious happens. I do not look forward to having this conversation with him. As independent as he is, he is even more stubborn.
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      03-31-2015, 06:12 PM   #2
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It's a hard decision to make. As a shrink I can tell you that the loss of independence is a HUGE source of anxiety in the life of an elderly individual. This is why they hate nursing homes. This is why they insist on doing things themselves even though they know in their mind that they can't or shouldn't. But the part of me which isn't affiliated with my job says that at a certain point, we can't allow these anxieties to interfere with the lives of others.

You can't get a driver's license wen you are blind because you can't see. You can't get one if you are a quadriplegic because you have no means of controlling the vehicle. Practically speaking, these very old individuals are in the same boat because they can no longer see properly, their reaction time is reduced, their motor skills are degraded and they sometimes exhibit symptoms of dementia, etc. I don't think that just because someone has had a DL for 50+ years that they should be allowed to keep driving, when for all intensive purposes, they physically can't.

As for how to talk to your father, he won't take it well no matter how you decide to approach him about it. Again, we are talking about a loss of independence here. At 93 driving is likely one of the few things that he still feels he can do himself. Be blunt and be fair. Forthright is best. Godspeed.
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      03-31-2015, 06:19 PM   #3
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Mom keeps saying she's going to give up driving one day soon. I wish it would be sooner, although she hasn't hit anything and is still a decent driver at 84. But 93? Ooh, time for that talk. Especially if he's losing situational awareness, which is what it sounds like. He's not visualizing the size of his car properly. Bad news.

(Ahem..."Intents and purposes")
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      03-31-2015, 06:26 PM   #4
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(Ahem..."Intents and purposes")
Arrrrghh, screw you. I live in Mississippi, you can't blame it on me.
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      03-31-2015, 07:08 PM   #5
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I had to do this in Oct of 2013 with my father. He had numbness in his feet and due to the drug coctail his dumbass Dr. was prescribing was showing signs of mild dementia. He first ran into a brick wall at his house knocking it down...there's a pool on the other side. Then after the car was fixed I noticed a few weeks later that it was getting scratches on the corners of the bumpers. Then he knocked the damn brick wall down again. He kept blaming it on the floor mat getting bunched up behind the brake pedal and pressing on the accelerator. It was due to hom not being able to feel his feet. Then a few days after getting the car back from the shop my wife saw him fly by her in town doing about 70 mph in a 45. At that point I decided something had to be done. None of his docs would step up to the plate and make the decision to medically revoke his liscense. Finally I was able to talk one into sending the paperwork to DMV. DMV medically revoked him. But he kept driving anyway because he didn't think anything was wrong with him. So I had to go to the house and take a battery cable off of his car when my mom had him out at an appointment. He was so stubborn that he hired a guy to come by the house one day and fix the car, and went out for a spin hitting the gate at the entrance of his neighborhood! I had to steal the car from him and park it behind a building at my sisters apartment. He would get my mother to drive him around looking for it. He even called the cops on me and told them that I stole it from him. Luckily I had buddy with the Dept. who knew what was going on and squashed that for me. He was 83 at the time, and he and I were not friendly after the liscense was taken away, he always blamed me for it. I finnally convinced him to sell it to friend of mine's daughter who promised him that she would take care of it during a lucid moment when he came to his senses. It was a complete nightmare, but it was something that had to be done, because it wasn't going to long before he hurt himself or someone else. It was the toughest thing I had ever done. Luckily he made peace with it and we had a good year or so afterwards before he passed away at Christmas. He eventually got to enjoy being chauffeured around.

Good luck. Hopefully it'll be easy, but if you're to the point that it needs to be done, it probably should have been done months ago. That's the way it was for me.
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      03-31-2015, 08:10 PM   #6
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I do not envy you having to engage in that conversation. Be fair and listen more than you speak. You'll get through it. Do you have the ability to hire a driver for him?

Got a new car for my mother at 60. She has already destroyed the front bumper, curbed the wheels, and scratched the rear up. At 60. I believe it's mostly due to her being careless, loss of spatial perception and not recognizing that her reaction times are fading. I can only imagine how many more years she can go before actually hitting things. Either way, not looking forward to it.

Good luck!
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      03-31-2015, 10:00 PM   #7
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It's tough almost had to do something very similar with my mom, she was 91 at the time. Got into 2 accidents, single car, within 18 months. the last one I was certain the DMV would revoke her and the car was totaled. Nope the fixed a 2002 Focus with 4500 worth of damage and DMV did not revoke. I had the talk and she did not take it well, lucky for me about 3 months later she got startled in an intersection and froze. A policeman had to move the car for her and that was that she never drove again. Good luck and remember it's s hock to them and their reaction is not one of a rational mind but a reaction to keep their independence.
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      03-31-2015, 10:33 PM   #8
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In the grand scheme of things, it's the facing of mortality that's hard to take. It's difficult beyond comprehension for most folks. To be told you can't do something that you've been doing for decade upon decade is just not easy to accept.

I have trouble believing I'm in my mid-50s when I feel like I did when I was in my 30's. (Well, mentally anyway.) I can imagine that when you get to be 80 or 90 and still remember what it was like when you were 50....

Keep this in mind when dealing with elderly parents. The simple logic may be clear to everyone else, but to them it's a deep emotional shock. It's hard news.
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      04-01-2015, 10:39 AM   #9
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I got that feeling this weekend. I'm 48 and know I can still play soccer with those younger men (and women) but I flat out sucked and really couldn't keep up with the speed and agility.

My mom is becoming frail enough that I worry she shouldn't be driving, especially since most of it is to chauffer the nieces around town.
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      04-01-2015, 12:58 PM   #10
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My dad drove till he was about 89-90 then the chief of police in town (who myself and my brother in law went to school with) told us that if he saw my dad on the road anymore he was going to stop him and pull his keys. Needless to say it didn't go over well with pops but he obeyed. It was his last vestige of independence.
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      04-01-2015, 06:49 PM   #11
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Oh lol op, do you have siblings?

Our intervention attempt with my grandpa went like this:

"he has ruined his new car from every angle in a month. He didn't even know what he had hit in two cases. He lives on a street that kids play on and he travels to his summer cottage 500km away alone with no concept of a phone. He needs to stop driving or I'm not bringing my kids to this street." I said to my father, his brother and both of their wives..

After listening to two hours of screaming from my mother about me trying to turn them into the chauffer of the old man, and the sons turning from understanding the issue to down right mean about my take, I gave up and called my grandpa's doctor the next day.

He lost his license in the next checkup and I got shouted at till the day he died. Just be prepared. It will be nasty.
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      04-01-2015, 08:53 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleWede View Post
I got that feeling this weekend. I'm 48 and know I can still play soccer with those younger men (and women) but I flat out sucked and really couldn't keep up with the speed and agility.
I was already like that at 21.. literally save my energy reserves for a short 20-30yard burst. Then walk around /stand for a few minutes to regain blood flow to my head /recover from low glucose.

I don't try to jump anymore - something about leaving contact with the earth and then violently reestablishing it again does not seem to be liked by my joints.
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      04-02-2015, 11:46 PM   #13
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Have a Hooters girl drive hime whenever he needs a ride.
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      04-03-2015, 07:00 AM   #14
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My Father In Law put his Father through a little road test. When he failed miserably, that's where the conversation started. Maybe try to make him realize at least a little bit that he's lost a few steps in the driving department first?

After taking the keys away and parking the car, he called the Ford dealer and told them he lost his keys. Dealer picked up the car and changed all the locks. Crafty...those elders.
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      04-03-2015, 09:04 AM   #15
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seriously.. what if he runs over someone one day? you should have this conversation now
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      04-03-2015, 04:41 PM   #16
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So I had the conversation with him last night over dinner. It quickly escalated into an argument. He still believes he is a competent driver. We walked around his car and looked at all the scrapes and nicks the car has been subjected to but he flatly refused to take responsibility for the damage. I guess the next step is to have a meeting with his doctor and our family. This is really bumming me out...
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      04-03-2015, 05:28 PM   #17
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Have you taken him to an eye doctor for testing ?
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      04-08-2015, 12:28 AM   #18
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I would make sure his doctor knows you want to discuss this issue before you come in. I will allow the doctor to prepare for the confrontation and you and the doc may be able to create a united front. If you just bring it up out of the blue, it can put the doctor on the defensive as well and lead to a more difficult situation.

Good luck
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