How to stop a dying woman from driving (legally, safely)
December 3, 2010 7:51 AM Subscribe
How to safely and legally stop my elderly mom from driving. Complication: She's in hospice (yes, really). Special snowflake WTF details inside.
Yessireebob, you heard that one right. My mom is in hospice, dying of metastatic colon cancer. And she still insists on driving. Yes, you heard that one right. She's in hospice, officially DYING, with (at best) 3 months to live; now it's looking more like a month. And she thinks she's safe to drive. Anyone with any experience in taking keys away forcibly from an incompetent driver, hope me please!
I just found this out. I've been running her errands for her, driving her to the hairdresser and so on. My Dad lives in a care home but he's still lucid (though that's also going) and he told me that she drove to visit the other day! I did not know this. (I don't live with her, I live in the next city over.)
She's starting to get forgetful and confused with the buildup of liver toxins. I worry that she'll do some serious damage.
Will she listen to me? Oh no. I'm The Kid, and the kid doesn't get to tell her what to do. Aside from my dad, we have no family - I'm an only child and my uncle, mom's brother, is dead. Plus she's paranoid and refuses to even tell my dad how bad off she is (she's using a hospital bed now but Dad Mustn't Know.)
The hospice nurse visits her today, and I am going to broach the subject with her and get her backup. I know mom will scream and fuss and maybe not speak to me, but I'm gobsmacked that she's still driving! And, if I stop her from driving, that means she can't make me drive to the lawyer to cut me out of her will (ha ha).
The most important question: Can I legally take the keys away? She's not legally incompetent (yet), dying or no. I plan to do this - take away the keys - as long as she can't get on the phone and scream "elder abuse!" I think any cop she calls will agree with me. I will be her chauffeur as needed - she still wants to go play cards and visit my dad, mostly.
I've never had to take keys away before - my dad voluntarily stopped driving when he thought he was a hazard. But mom - she's always loved to drive and prided herself on her driving skills. And I'm not credible in her eyes. But this has GOT to stop.