Mother in law advice please.

tipitinmick

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
Jul 15, 2009
Messages
15,614
My mother in law is 84 years old now and insists on driving her car. Yesterday my wife got a call from her distraught sister who said that their mum had mounted a curb and knocked into a child. The child was shaken but not hurt in anyway thank god. Only last week she drove into a wall at the church she attends. Her car is scratched beyond economical repair and does not have a corner left where she hasn’t hit something. Yesterday my wife phoned her mum’s doctor asking if he could take her off the road but, sadly he said that it wasn’t up to him and the decision was solely with the DVLA. We have asked her on numerous occasions to hang up her car keys but, this is often met with a barrage of unladylike language. Has anyone any experience of this and what’s the best way to tackle it ? If she carries on she’s going to hurt someone or at least damage their property. Thanks guys.
 

gingert76

Facts, Stats & Evidence!
Joined
Dec 3, 2002
Messages
3,951
wow, thank god she hasnt hurt anyone already, no idea how to help but if she doesnt understand the consequence of her actions im not sure how you can make her understand but firstly i think you have to remove the car keys so that she cannot use them regardless of the abuse you will receive but already had close calls and god forbid someone gets hurt from her driving
 

Keith Sparky

Regular member
Joined
Feb 20, 2020
Messages
568
My dad was the same when his dementure was starting and i went out with him for a drive and it was obvious he had lost his awareness and was dangerous but would not give up driving.....i removed the battery from his car and we had a blazing row but he then conceded he was struggling.....luckily we had a good local taxi service that we knew very well and they knew him and they would run him around as needed and were brilliant at not ripping him off when he got confused....there were times where he would off £40 for £3 cab ride and they refused his money and called me.....great bunch of honest cabbies....
 

gingert76

Facts, Stats & Evidence!
Joined
Dec 3, 2002
Messages
3,951
you can also get her driving accessed by a independant resource who could recommend she doesnt drive anymore.




a assessment might make her realise its not safe anymore
 

62tucker

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
Jan 30, 2010
Messages
16,156
Should be some sort of check up when everyone gets to a certain age. 80 maybe. Not a full test as the majority of the population would fail a test.
On a separate note my brother in law is having a nightmare getting his license back after dizzy spells and a small brain operation in May last year. Doctors signed him ok for 2 month then decided for no reason to inform dvla to remove his license again. Cost him his job in the end.
 

willothewisp

willothewisp
Joined
Feb 10, 2010
Messages
1,394
wow, thank god she hasnt hurt anyone already, no idea how to help but if she doesnt understand the consequence of her actions im not sure how you can make her understand but firstly i think you have to remove the car keys so that she cannot use them regardless of the abuse you will receive but already had close calls and god forbid someone gets hurt from her driving
I agree. Whatever the final resolution, given the history you describe, the absolute necessity is to stop her driving, regardless of however she reacts to that.
I once had a parallel situation with a younger brothers excessive drinking leaving his wife and teenage kids at their wits end. In his absence I organised a family meeting where all agreed to "give him his marching orders " until/unless he sobered up and changed. We then all arranged to together confront him with this as a united family decision. As oldest in very large family I became "spokesman" but stressed the family unity decision. It "shook him to core", and despite an occasional blemish he's been okay ever since. That was in 1989.
You need a united front and family support for the inevitable necessary action. Just think of the implications if she does kill someone, or herself. Would you be thought of as complicit?
Good luck.
 

spanky

Irregular Member
Site Supporter
Joined
Aug 28, 2007
Messages
10,869
This is quite a good read:


Apparently a GP an refer her to a mobility centre for assessment - this might help defuse the situation as it no longer becomes your opinion, but that of someone independent.
 

tipitinmick

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
Jul 15, 2009
Messages
15,614
My dad was the same when his dementure was starting and i went out with him for a drive and it was obvious he had lost his awareness and was dangerous but would not give up driving.....i removed the battery from his car and we had a blazing row but he then conceded he was struggling.....luckily we had a good local taxi service that we knew very well and they knew him and they would run him around as needed and were brilliant at not ripping him off when he got confused....there were times where he would off £40 for £3 cab ride and they refused his money and called me.....great bunch of honest cabbies....
We had that idea last night pal. We could organise a couple of taxis a week for her at specific times when she wants to go out. Any other time she could give them a call. She’s mega stubborn though. That’s our problem. 😩
 

tipitinmick

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
Jul 15, 2009
Messages
15,614
the police need to get involved if she's mounted the pavement and hit a child.
A neighbour phoned them but, because no injury was sustained and the mum was happy they wouldn’t come out straight away. They’ve said that they will visit the mother in law and have a word when they get chance. That’s basically what they’ve said. 🤷‍♂️
 

tipitinmick

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
Jul 15, 2009
Messages
15,614
I agree. Whatever the final resolution, given the history you describe, the absolute necessity is to stop her driving, regardless of however she reacts to that.
I once had a parallel situation with a younger brothers excessive drinking leaving his wife and teenage kids at their wits end. In his absence I organised a family meeting where all agreed to "give him his marching orders " until/unless he sobered up and changed. We then all arranged to together confront him with this as a united family decision. As oldest in very large family I became "spokesman" but stressed the family unity decision. It "shook him to core", and despite an occasional blemish he's been okay ever since. That was in 1989.
You need a united front and family support for the inevitable necessary action. Just think of the implications if she does kill someone, or herself. Would you be thought of as complicit?
Good luck.
Not sure how we would stand legally taking the keys or removing the battery from her car. It’s getting to that though. Mounting curbs and running into the odd wall is all we have heard of but, there’s always new damage to the car when we pay her a visit. We do need a solution to this before she really does hurts someone. 🤔
 

tipitinmick

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
Jul 15, 2009
Messages
15,614
This is quite a good read:


Apparently a GP an refer her to a mobility centre for assessment - this might help defuse the situation as it no longer becomes your opinion, but that of someone independent.
That’s good. I’ll show the missus that tonight when she gets in from work. Thank you. 👍
 

62tucker

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
Jan 30, 2010
Messages
16,156
It’s a bit like seeing someone have a couple of pints in a pub knowing they are going to drive home.
Apart from its family
 

gingert76

Facts, Stats & Evidence!
Joined
Dec 3, 2002
Messages
3,951
i think from a legality point of view you taking her keys/battery is much lesser than her hurting someone/herself, i clicked on the gov links and did a bit of reading on the mature driver assessments and i really think that would show her its time to give back her license, good luck with whatever you decide to do and fingers crossed its sorted without anyone getting hurt
 

pikey123

Regular member
Joined
May 2, 2002
Messages
425
I would immobilized the car, nothing drastic disconnect battery or spark plug leads,drag your heels on getting it fixed,an try an get her used to using taxis.it's the independence a car gives that's her that is the problem.
 

spanky

Irregular Member
Site Supporter
Joined
Aug 28, 2007
Messages
10,869
That’s good. I’ll show the missus that tonight when she gets in from work. Thank you. 👍
You're most welcome. Good luck in reaching an amicable solution.

The only other thought is whether you could (anonymously) have a quiet chat with the police and see if they have any advice they could give you. Whilst it might not be their job to sort this out I'm sure they will have come across the scenario before and might be able to give you a few pointers.
 

Robwooly

Regular member
Joined
Jun 8, 2020
Messages
712
My dad's driving went downhill, not to that extent but was getting iffy, luckily it coincided with a set of expensive mot repairs so meant the car was scrapped and he was confronted with the reality of not getting another car. He still thinks he can drive despite all of us saying different but deep down knows it's not an option now. She must know she's dangerous, your wife has to tell her she hit a child again and again until reality dawns, this has to be offset with offers of a lift whenever she wants and point out the money she will save that can be used on cabs and other things, so her indenpendance isn't threatened.
 

160642fishing

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
Aug 12, 2010
Messages
5,406
I had a husband and wife pair of clients neither of who could drive,when I asked them how they managed without a car they said that by being organised, using public transport and the odd taxi they got everywhere they wanted and the cost was less than buying.maintaining and running a car.
 

david white

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
Jan 6, 2011
Messages
2,491
What a dilemma don’t envy you or anyone being in that situation
Maybe your wife ( or even you ) could quietly ask her how she would feel if it had be a fatal accident or if it had been her own kin she’d hit as she would run the risk of being prosecuted
Sneaky, but needs be, ring the police and report the car being driven unsafely next time you know she’s out in it
 
Top