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Support Group for Families Dealing with When to Take the Keys Away From Dad and Other Issues
Date:6/17/2010

parents, like driving, especially those parents who live in areas where public transportation is limited or inaccessible, sits a little uneasy for most of us. Those with dementia or other cognitive deficits are usually the most challenging individuals for families and professionals to convince that they can’t drive for safety reasons. The argument is usually, “I’ve been driving safely for 70 years without an accident” or “I taught you to drive; you are not going to tell me what to do.” Even those who haven’t had their license renewed will drive if they have access to their car, forcing families to arrange an intervention, like disabling the car, removing the keys or the car itself.

Ask yourself these questions: If you have a parent (or parents) with mild dementia, have you observed them driving – are they and others safe? Would you allow your young child to ride along as a passenger? Have they ever been lost while driving? Are there scrapes on the car? Have they gotten tickets? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, it could be time for an intervention. Below are tips on how to intervene:

1)   Ask Mom if she’d stop driving because it worries you. If she says no, you can report her to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and they’ll begin an investigation. This report can be made by a friend, family member, neighbor or other concerned person and is confidential - the person being reported won’t know who did it. The DMV will then test the driver and possibly take the license away.    
2)   If you’re a family member, you can help reduce driving episodes by having groceries or prescriptions delivered. You can pick your parent up for medical appointments and make the outing fun with lunch out, or a drive to a favorite shop or park. You could hire a housekeeper/cook who’s really a c
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