She thinks I am stealing her independence

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by helenlong, Jan 7, 2016.

  1. helenlong

    helenlong Registered User

    Sep 2, 2014
    My mother has dementia and is unsafe on the roads. After much soul searching I reported her to DVLA, who sent her a form. Because her car is now neither insured nor taxed, we have taken her keys, so she can't 'forget' and get in and drive. She has discovered I have her keys and insists I send them to her. She is getting very verbally aggressive about this; threatening the police (theft) and cutting me out of her will. She is furious as it is, in her eyes, the last of her independence. This is terribly upsetting! I don't know what to do. I have told her that, if she hears back from the DVLA that she can drive again (unlikely!) then I will return her keys. Any suggestions as to how to placate her? Any thoughts on my rights here? I do have LPA.:(:confused:
  2. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    I think that you have done the right thing. All the while she would be driving illegally you have to protect her - although I understand that this is not how she views it.
    Is the car still outside her house? If so it is a constant reminder to her. Can you move it?
  3. Bessieb

    Bessieb Registered User

    Jun 2, 2014
    You've done the right thing however hard it is. I would, if you can, move the car away and sell it as soon as possible.
    And try and deflect the blame away from yourself as your Mum needs your support and you don't want her to turn away from you. Say the Dr says, the DVLA says, the Police says...whatever you need to say to deflect her anger....
  4. helenlong

    helenlong Registered User

    Sep 2, 2014
    Thank you guys!

    Thank you for your support and kind answers. Her car is still at her property: She refused to let us take it away. My brother was staying over Christmas and tried to get her to sell. He had got as far as the dealer arranging pick-up, but she had a screaming fit and refused. So it sits there still. I don't think I have the nerve to get it taken away!
  5. helenlong

    helenlong Registered User

    Sep 2, 2014
    Yes, I have done that as often as I can. But she still balmes me and my brother; mainly me though!
  6. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    I agree with all the others, you have made a very brave decision but now is the time to blame someone else as bessie says she really is going to need you - tell her whoever told her you have the keys is wrong - the DVLA took them when they stopped her driving and get everyone you can to reinforce this little white lie. Poor you x
  7. Sue J

    Sue J Registered User

    Dec 9, 2009
    You could contact the local police and forwarn them she may contact and remind her they will need to check her insurance documents and tax - don't know if she would realise these are not valid but if she does that may put a stop to some threats.

    As canary says if you can move the car would be good and make sure she has opportunity to get out with lifts and work on getting her to get/use a bus pass.
  8. Quilty

    Quilty Registered User

    Aug 28, 2014
    At the next chance you get i would get rid of the car. Once uts gone there is not a lot she can do about it. She might not be happy about it but she will get over it. Tell her the police said it had to be moved as not taxed or insured.
  9. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    It seems to be the evening for car questions. Most of what I posted over on the other thread applies here as well.

    Helen, I am sorry to hear about the situation with the car and your mother. I think it's great you notified the DVLA. I know I went through a lot of sleepless nights with my own mother, who was also unsafe to drive (Alzheimer's type dementia) but was still driving. She had two accidents--that I know of. I still lose sleep thinking about her getting in her car and injuring or killing herself, or someone else. I would never have been able to forgive myself if that happened.

    I hear that your mother is angry and you and your brother are understandably reluctant to anger her further. That's not an easy situation.

    As others here have said, though, I do think it best to remove the car, as seeing it is a constant reminder, and what if she did have a key hidden somewhere or otherwise got access to it and there was an accident?

    Definitely blame someone else, other than you. It may not stop her being angry, especially at first, but there is no need for you to take the blame. Blame it on the DVLA, the police, the doctor, anybody but you.

    I know it's hard and I'm sorry. I wish I had better advice.

    Dare we ask if you have power of attorney?
  10. helenlong

    helenlong Registered User

    Sep 2, 2014
    Thank you for your supportive words. Thankfully I do have power of attorney!
  11. tigerlady

    tigerlady Registered User

    Nov 29, 2015
    I didnt have to take my husbands truck keys from him - he lost them and when I found them they remained "lost" but he had gone past the point of knowing what keys were then and tried to unlock his truck with his glasses or combs or any other object.

    In the end I told him it had broken down and would cost too much to repair but it was so much part of his identity that it had to stay on the drive - he would constantly ask where his truck was and it re-assured him that it was on the drive. I also told him if we ever found the keys we would try and get someone to mend it.

    It has gone now that he is in a care home, but he still asks if his truck is outside

    Could you try telling your Mum that it has gone wrong and it isnt worth repairing?
  12. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    Go round and give her the keys back but before you do disconnect the HT leads or pull the spark plug caps off, 2 second job for anyone mechanically minded. The when it won't start spin a web about getting it towed away for repairs, waiting for a mechanic or whatever. The knowledge she has the keys but the car won't start may remove the stress short term then you could get it taken to the garage (yours possibly) and hopefully out of sight is out of mind.
    Please ensure that whatever happens to the car the DVLA know, untaxed, un MOT'd and uninsured cars (even on private property) can attract a fine unless you go to the DVLA site and fill in a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) otherwise the fine comes in the post.

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