In considering what to do, or not to do, in the wake of my mom thwaking a parked car the day after regaining her driver’s license I have done the following:
I talked to my attorney child, who thinks it’s time to pursue guardianship over my mom’s affairs. She cites good reasons: see above, refer to prior posts discussing topics involving the condition of her home (most notably her admission of hearing rats in the house for 5 weeks and my discovery of rat poop everywhere, and the condition of her front entry that caused her to fall and acquire 8-9 stitches in the back of her head), her inability to throw charitable requests in the garbage, the concern that the next thing mom hits with her car could be a child (something that has been of grave concern for years, etc.
I spoke today with the deputy that responded to mom’s call in late October when, upon waking at midnight-ish, she couldn’t find my dad, who had died 7 months earlier. The deputy made sure that the car she hit, which I still don’t officially know anything about, didn’t have an open case. IE, it wasn’t a ‘hit and run’ case of their’s. I called him as an interim step before calling the state department of licensing, as my daughter suggested. The Island is very small and connected. The deputy agreed with my daughter: calling the state to find out what, if any, repercussions an accident may have on a newly minted medical reissue licence is a good idea. He also suggesetd e-mailing mom’s friends on the Island to let them know what had happened and to keep me informed of any additional vehicular altercations. He said the department would keep an eye on her safety and to text him with any information I receive.
Today I called the state retesting unit and left voice mail for the examiner that conducted mom’s telephonic hearing. I received a call back that went to voicemail. I’ll follow up tomorrow. I want to know what the parameters are for a newly minted medical reissued license. Does the driver get one or two chances? Or is it like the rest of us, drive until someone turns you in, again, despite the blatant obvious risks? My childrens’ risk of running a child into a brick wall are so slim it’s not worth discussing. My risk is much greater, being twice their age, generally, but still very slim. My mom’s risk of killing a child with her car (and yes, I use a child as an example to grab the attention of those who can do something about this, damn it!) is HUGE. All one has to do is look at the front and back of her car to understand that she hits objects all the time. It will be interesting to understand if there are any state restrictions, verses insurance restrictions, on her license at this time.
I explored our state’s web site regarding gaining adult guardianship today. I don’t think it’s a slam dunk. People are allowed to make their own poor choices. They have to be a documentable danger to themselves or you have to have evidence they are being taken advantage of. While I am convinced of a lot of this, my mother would hire an attorney to prove otherwise. She presents really, really well. She’s a smart intelligent woman, who just happens to have dementia. She is totally coachable (how else did she get throught the telephoic hearing with the state?) My DPOA gives me power to do every and anything except tell her where to live. At this point, in this moment, I have to lean on my DPOA while I find an elder law attorney to consult.
I haven’t talked to the attorney mom hired to help her navigate through the choppy waters of department of licensing. The time will come where, at the very least, I will be able to say to her, “You billed my mother over 5 grand to arrive at a point where she could pass her retest and get into a chargeable accident the next day. How are ethics doing, girlie?”
Right now, my main concern is to protect my mother’s estate. Mom’s driving is the biggest risk she has to living her life out in the manner she and my father saved and planned for. I have her insurance agent shopping an umbrella policy.