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How do you take away the keys from your Dad who has early onset Alzheimer's disease?

My 80yr old father has early onset Alzheimer's. He has periods of extreme confusion and periods when he seems fine. For example, he forgets how to use things like the TV remote and alarm clock. It worries me that he is going to have his extreme confusion while he is behind the wheel of the car. He is very independent and does the shopping and driving for both of my parents. I don't know how to get him to give up the car keys to me and let me do the driving from now on. How do I get him to give up the keys and his independence?
Status: Open    Jun 01, 2015 - 02:22 PM


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4 answers


Jun 01, 2015 - 10:36 PM

You don't. The doctor will. Your father will listen to someone in authority on this subject.

Jun 02, 2015 - 07:46 PM

In many ways it can be difficult to get a license "taken away".
What I did with my husband is I told him the car needed to go to the shop for repairs. It took a while, he asked for the car but "a part needed to be ordered", it was going to take another few days, "the wrong part was sent" get the idea. After a while he got used to not driving. He still wanted his car but I also told him that the doctor had given him a prescription and he was not allowed to drive while taking it.
I am not saying it was easy but it was necessary.
I know someone that had a switch installed so that her husband could not start the car.
There are some areas that have bus service for seniors and the bus will come to the house and pick the person up, take them to the store then return. There are also volunteer groups that will provide transportation. These two options might work if he does not want to feel that he is depending on you.
Does your Mother drive? If she does not drive you would be better off removing the car this will work with the "it needs repairs" senario. but if she drives I would leave his name on the insurance just incase he "escapes with the car" you want to be sure that he does have insurance in case anything does happen.
Good luck, this is not an easy transition for you or your Dad.

Oct 13, 2015 - 09:46 AM

My dad had other medical issues that meant he needed to stop driving. What finally made sense to him was my mom asking him if he lost control of the car because of those medical issues and hit someone with it, maybe even a child, could he live with that? His thinking was that even though he was impaired, if he got in an accident, he would only hurt himself. Once she brought into it that he was a danger to others, he gave up the keys.

Jan 27, 2016 - 02:56 PM

We had a key maker put a notch in my dad's ignition key so he could not start the car. He would wonder why he wasn't able to start the car so my mom would offer to drive. After a couple of times, he just let mom drive without any issues and told everyone he had a chauffeur!


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