During a recent discussion with the home caregiving service, Mom happily stated to the nurse that she has a car and drives. They were of course surprised to hear this– as was I.
Mom drove longer with her dementia than I think was advisable. Without realizing how quickly she was deteriorating, I moved her into a location that was extremely car dependent but not too far from me. She quickly showed signs of slower reactions and increasingly poor judgement. It was no longer safe.
I had to take action. And yet Mom was always so proud. How was I going to handle taking away that critical piece of inddependence? Luckily, Mom’s memory loss provided an easy solution. The second or third time Mom left her lights on overnight and her battery died, I did nothing to fix it.
Her car sat there, inoperable. And Mom accepted that. We would talk in generality about getting it fixed. And Mom just grew accustomed to not driving. Then finally, one day, she moved with me to the city and her car just went away…
And so, in Mom’s mind, apparently, she is a still a driver. She just happens to live with a daughter who really likes to drive in a place where we don’t need to do that much of it.
(And has absolutely no contact with any car keys. Ever.)