I have been writing about my family’s struggle in helping my two parents with moderate dementia for more than a year. While my parents had an apartment in a retirement community, they kept their town house and divided their time between the two homes. They were unwilling or unable to make the move and as a result, they were always about two steps behind being in the place they should have been for their own happiness, health and safety.
While I know my parent’s relished the independence, they really struggled to keep up with two homes. They were starting to become targets of elder-care abuse, and we had several instances where we had to intervene on their behalf.
In looking back, there were three keys to our success in finally getting my parents into the level of care they needed. Today I will address the first item: Driving.
For more than two years, I would not allow my parents to drive my children. Their cars continued to get a little more battered and scratched. They kept telling us they would be moving full-time into the retirement community … but each new milestone came and went and they failed to move. We realized the movement between homes became my parents’ only real activity.
For the past two years, my siblings and I had face-to-face conversations with our parents requesting they consider moving full-time and give up the driving. They rebuffed our suggestions.
Finally, almost 9 months ago, they showed up in two different hospital emergency rooms in two days that was staffed by the same doctor. She was so alarmed at my parent’s confusion she championed the cause to have their licenses revoked and wrote to the DMV. We had previously asked their doctor (who diagnosed the dementia) if this was possible, and he was not aware he had this capability.
If you are in this situation, call your state DMV office to request the forms and under what circumstances will a license be revoked. Our parent’s licenses were revoked in less than two weeks of the doctor’s form submission. Surprised.
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