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Dear Miriam,

My dad insists he’s good to drive, but he’s not. The DMV even took his license away, but that doesn’t matter to him. Nothing I say seems to make a difference. What do I do?

Pietro

Hi Pietro,

This is, unfortunately, a common problem families face. In your dad’s mind, he is safe to drive, which is why talking to him logically may not be an effective approach. And even if you convince him today, he may forget the conversation tomorrow and then you’re back with the same problem.

This is a time when a therapeutic fib and some creativity can be helpful. Here are some things to try:

  • Leave the car at someone else’s house, and when dad asks for it, say it’s in the shop getting repairs.
  • Hide the keys or remove the car battery.
  • Come up with reasons why you need to drive. For example, “I get carsick if I’m not driving.”

He might be a little upset over some of these, but that’s ok. You’re acting in his interest , and everyone else’s safety.

Best,
Miriam

More tips about driving and Alzheimer’s:
Caregiver Tip Sheets | Driving