Call To See How I Can Help You 781-433-8665


Taking away the keys.

Posted by Sasha Golden | Feb 18, 2011 | 0 Comments

I've had clients who should not have been driving due to clear signs of dementia, substantially diminished mobility, or obviously impaired visual-spatial skills. Frankly, the idea of being on the road with As their attorney, I can suggest that they consider the liability they face if they cause an accident, but I cannot ethically rat them out without breaching the attorney-client relationship. I can only pray that their kids step up and intervene.

Probably one of the toughest conversations adult children have with their parents is about when to stop driving.It's important for adult children who hold powers of attorney for their parents to know that they are not legally responsible for any accidents or injuries which may occur as a result of their parents' impaired driving. However, that fact does not compensate for the pain and guilt felt if a parent who should not be driving injures another person or themselves.

Telling all this to a parent who is already frightened of losing independence and dignity and may be in denial about the degree of impairment may be difficult and possibly unproductive. You need to be a compassionate and patient listener. You also need to be ready to present transportation alternatives (the social worker at your local Council on Aging can provide information about such services). You may need to have this conversation a number of times before it sinks in. Hartford Insurance has developed an on-line video to coach you about these discussions.

If a direct conversation is not possible, you can file a written request for a medical evaluation with the Registry of Motor Vehicles. The Registry will not tell the elder over the phone who filed the request; however, Massachusetts open records laws require the agency to release the record if the elder asks in writing.

For more information

About the Author

Sasha Golden

Alexandra “Sasha” Golden received her undergraduate and law degrees from Boston College, and has been practicing law in Massachusetts since 1994. Attorney Golden is a long-standing member of the Massachusetts chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) and of the Probate and So...


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Contact Golden Law Center Today

Golden Law Center is committed to answering your questions about elder law and estate planning issues in Massachusettes.

I'll gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Golden Law Center
(781) 465-6078 (fax)
Mon: 09:00am - 05:00pm
Tue: 09:00am - 05:00pm
Wed: 09:00am - 05:00pm
Thu: 09:00am - 05:00pm
Fri: 09:00am - 02:00pm

Disclaimer: The materials appearing on this website are provided for informational use only and are in no way intended to constitute legal advice or the opinions of this law firm or any of its attorneys. You should never hire an attorney without first meeting with the lawyer, reviewing her qualifications, and carefully reading the fee agreement. The use of the material on this website does not create an attorney-client relationship, and you should not rely upon the information provided here without seeking the advice of an attorney. We also cannot guarantee that the materials appearing on this website are not guaranteed to be correct, complete, or up-to-date since the law is always changing.

This website must be labeled “advertising” according to the rules of professional responsibility established by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. This website may not meet the applicable laws or ethical rules in other states. Golden Law Center does not wish to represent persons living in those states who seek our representation as a result of viewing this website.

Links that may appear on this site are intended to provide additional sources of information and are not to be construed as being endorsements by the Golden Law Center or indications of affiliation. We do not imply that we are legally authorized to use any trade name, registered trademark, symbol, logo, or seal that may be reflected in any of these links.