Taking Away the Car Keys—How Did Your Family Handle It?

It’s a watershed moment for those with a loved one who has dementia. This writer wants to hear from you about it.

Posted in , Dec 15, 2021

Edward Grinnan

I will apologize first for the brevity of this blog…or maybe not, since brevity is the soul of a good blog, to recoin a phrase. At any rate, I am well into writing a book on Alzheimer’s and my family that I’ve been blogging about, and I need to devote as much writing time to it at this point as possible. 

One section that I am currently working on seems to be a watershed moment for many families dealing with a loved one with dementia: taking the car keys because that person can no longer drive safely, though they may not be willing or able to admit it. It can be a traumatic moment when the realities of Alzheimer’s come into high relief. 

It was the case with my mom, and it is painful to write about. She saw it as a deprivation of her freedom and independence and to some extent that was true. To say that it was for her own good were just empty words. But it had to be done.

I prayed for strength before joining my sister and brother in confronting my mom on this issue. If I knew how difficult it was going to be, I would have prayed harder!  

Please share with me your own experiences about taking the keys away from a family member whose increasing dementia makes it unsafe for them to drive. I would like to know how other families have handled it. 

Thank you for all the help, advice, hope, wisdom and even humor you have shared with me these past months. And especially your prayers. You have been my greatest source of inspiration.

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