Convincing aging loved ones to stop driving

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by TERESA YUAN / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @TeresaYuan

KING5.com

Posted on February 27, 2013 at 7:27 AM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 27 at 2:27 PM

ISSAQUAH, Wash. -- Many families struggle with having the difficult conversation with an older parent or relative to hand over the keys and give up their driver's license.

An Issaquah family tried to convince their 88 year old father, David Webster Sr., to stop driving. He was suffering from early Alzheimer's Disease.

"My father was fully convinced, license or not, he would still drive. He wanted that independence so badly," said Webster’s son, David Jr.

Their father was losing his memory and couldn’t remember how he got numerous dents on his car. 

"He’s getting lost. He’s getting into accidents and we’re afraid he’s going to hit someone on the side of the road, a bike rider, then go for help and forget he’s even had the accident," said David Jr.

The Webster family said they filled out paperwork and contacted the Washington Department Of Licensing that their father was unfit to drive. But when he was 86, David Sr. passed the written and driving test. His license was renewed for five more years.

The family ended up pulling the circuit breaker on their dad's fuel pump so his car wouldn't start.

"No one wants to be mean to their parents, but we want to keep everyone safe," said David Jr.

As of February the Washington Department Of Licensing says 500,024 driver licenses are issued for people 70 years old or older. The total driver license count is 5,275,119.

You can use this form to request that the Dept. of Licensing evaluate an individual’s driving ability.

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