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How to suggest it's time to hand over the car keys?

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How to suggest it's time to hand over the car keys?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Over 50s Money Saving
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DigForVictoryDigForVictory Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Over 50s Money Saving
Has anyone had This Conversation with anyone recently & how did it go? Are there any phrases that help, or that lead straight to disinheritance?!

I honestly cannot leave it for mum's GP - who blamelessly doesn't seem to get out of the surgery let alone see how the patients travel.

Mum's had an unexplained fall & is often a bit dizzy stood up, but that's not enough evidence of physical fraility to convince her.

She'll probably kick like a mule unless presented with a well thought through set of alternatives. (I know I would!)

I don't think we can postpone this chat much longer & I would have thought it has to be face to face. I suspect Dad is closing is eyes to the problem as otherwise he'll have to deal with her (understandable, but) annoyance.
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  • humptydumptybitshumptydumptybits Forumite
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    With my elderly relative I asked how she'd feel if she hurt someone. We'd tried all sorts, GP told her not to drive, she ignored her. Mechanic told her she was doing so few miles it would be better value to get taxis, we said it wasn't safe. She ignored it all, when I asked how she'd feel if she hurt someone she got upset and cried but handed over the keys.


    The talk about a nursing home was alot worse.
  • Savvy_SueSavvy_Sue Forumite
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    ours came to a head when DVLA asked FIL to do a driving assessment. Which he failed. He'd been on yearly licence renewals until then, and had had to not drive for short periods following various cardiac episodes. I kept expecting someone medical to tell him to give up, but unless there is a definite 'episode' I don't think they like to.

    The letter confirming that'd he'd failed said he could appeal, so FIL went to the GP to ask about doing so. The GP asked what good he thought it would do.

    He was grumpy about it, and I don't think he would have taken it from a family member, so MIL arranged life to make sure that he never drove more than short distances, and only with her. He was OK on short familiar routes.

    However, in your mum's case the unexplained fall and the dizziness should surely be discussed with her GP, who might then give 'don't drive' advice. The GP won't talk to you without your mother's permission, but you can presumably contact them and make them aware of the situation.

    If you can get Dad as an ally, it might help.
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  • Newly_retiredNewly_retired Forumite
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    A tricky one. Maybe if there is a recent accident caused by an elderly driver it might introduce the topic.
    Or draw up some financial facts: the cost of running a car, versus the cost of taxis. I think that was what convinced my MIL to give up. She did get a mobility scooter which was ok for a while, but she was not really very safe. Look at bus timetables, if relevant.

    In my father’s case, he scraped the car on several occasions getting it into the drive and garage, and even had a brush with a fire engine, trying to get out of its way. Eventually he became physically ill and the car stayed in the garage. Although he recovered after an operation, he did not drive again. He would not get rid of the car though. It sat in the garage for over a year. My mum asked my son to sell it on the day of his funeral.
  • MndMnd Forumite
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    Hide the keys!
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  • badmemorybadmemory Forumite
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    If you do succeed in stopping someone driving then go on to make sure that they keep on doing the things "out of the house" that they always used to. When the optician stopped my mother driving, my mother stopped everything. Used to go to the gym 3 times a week, out to the local towns precinct for a couple of hours walk around virtually every day. Regular bus stop just down the road, refused to go on one, refused to go by taxi. Unfortunately I was still working & I had no idea what was happening during the day.



    So be aware! You can't just say you can't drive anymore. Hard luck! & then walk away, job done.
  • MisslayedMisslayed Forumite, Board Guide
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    When we had this problem, my sister "borrowed " Mum's car as hers had broken down and she needed it to get to work/ferry youngsters about (it hadn't, was a fib). We had had "the conversation" some time before, and persuaded Mum to give up her car on financial grounds, but she missed it too much and out of the blue bought herself another one - the salesman saw her coming obvs. We gave her lifts to all her appointments etc, and her vascular dementia progressed to a point where she had forgotten about it quite soon. She had been reading her clock as her speedometer and the temperature gauge as her petrol gauge. One day she knocked on a random stranger's door to see if I was there because they had a vaguely similar car to mine on their drive. That was when we decided drastic action was needed before she hurt someone or herself. She was always very generous about lending the car in emergencies, so it wasn't an unusual request from my sister.
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  • humptydumptybitshumptydumptybits Forumite
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    Savvy_Sue wrote: »
    ours came to a head when DVLA asked FIL to do a driving assessment. Which he failed. He'd been on yearly licence renewals until then, and had had to not drive for short periods following various cardiac episodes. I kept expecting someone medical to tell him to give up, but unless there is a definite 'episode' I don't think they like to.

    The letter confirming that'd he'd failed said he could appeal, so FIL went to the GP to ask about doing so. The GP asked what good he thought it would do.

    He was grumpy about it, and I don't think he would have taken it from a family member, so MIL arranged life to make sure that he never drove more than short distances, and only with her. He was OK on short familiar routes.

    However, in your mum's case the unexplained fall and the dizziness should surely be discussed with her GP, who might then give 'don't drive' advice. The GP won't talk to you without your mother's permission, but you can presumably contact them and make them aware of the situation.

    If you can get Dad as an ally, it might help.


    Do you mean he carried on driving after failing the assessment? Is that legal?
  • Savvy_SueSavvy_Sue Forumite
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    Do you mean he carried on driving after failing the assessment? Is that legal?
    No, I meant we were becoming concerned about his ability to drive safely. His actual driving skills remained good, but he would become very tired, and would get confused / lost on familiar journeys. MIL realised this so didn't let him drive on his own any more: if she was going out on her own she'd get the bus rather than let him give her a lift or pick her up.

    once he'd failed the DVLA assessment, he never drove again. When he remembers that he's not allowed to drive any more, he's still grumpy about it. Most of the time he forgets. Forgets he doesn't have a car any more and continues to offer MIL lifts.
    Still knitting!
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    Current projects: pink balaclava (for myself), seaman's hat, about to start another cardigan!
  • GersGers Forumite
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    Have done this with DM - aged 90. We started the conversation a couple of years ago though it took her to settle in her own mind that giving up driving was necessary even though there was no medical imperative.

    Last September her car was MOTd and then hardly moved all winter apart from once or twice when she drove 500 yards and back. Of course the battery gave up. Once the tax was due at the end of March this year she decided to sell the car.

    For the previous 18 months she had only bought six months of tax each time as she was considering the decision.

    For her it was the loss of independence which jarred, an acceptance that her skills were diminishing and her fear of being responsible for any accident that added to the decision pot.

    Her car was 2011 plate, had only done under 5000 miles and had done no miles since the MOT. The buyer was very happy indeed!
  • maggiemmaggiem Forumite
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    Friends ended up removing a part so the car would not start. Dishonest yes, but their parent would not accept not driving and was so dangerous it felt more irresponsible not to stop them driving. Hiding the key only worked briefly. Once 'broken' the mechanic was always coming the next day until eventually they stopped asking.

    Think this is so hard for all concerned. Good luck with it!
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