Anonymous asked in Society & CultureEtiquette · 4 weeks ago

My 67 y/o mom is a backseat driver (even with GPS) when we go on road trips. Would it be inconsiderate of me to ask her to drive from now on?

She supposedly has mild dementia.  Therefore, if I were to kindly ask her to let the GPS me, she’ll get all snippy and sensitive as if I don’t know any better and need her to direct me.  I kid you not, she NEVER takes a nap while I’m driving.  And periodically, she tells me to ignore the GPS, as she knows a faster route.  On top of that, she embarrassed me when we got to our relatives’ house...

Relative: How was the trip coming here?

Mom: It was fine.  He drove.  I was the navigator.

Since the GPS was on, my mom basically made me look “slow” to our family.  I really wish she’d relax and take a nap when we go on road trips.  But there’s no use standing up to her, because she’ll get upset as if I’m being sensitive for his mother doing what a mother does: be concerned and caring.  But she’s making driving a nervous wreck for me.  Should I just ask her to drive?  I can’t drive anymore with her in the car, because she patronizes me as if I don’t understand what the GPS is saying.  And her dementia really sets her off to the point where I’ll just get yelled at if I try to reason with her.  So asking her to drive would be the easy way out of this mess.

7 Answers

  • 4 weeks ago

    Time for a talk.  Nicely tell your mother that she is being annoying and to please let you navigate your own way.  If she refuses, then you might have to say she will need someone else to drive her places. 

  • Cogito
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    You'd be an idiot to let someone with dementia drive!

    As for how to deal with her whilst you're driving, just make agreeing noises, like 'Mmm hmm', or 'Yeah, right,' and just drive as you normally would. 

    Be an adult!  There's no need to get upset or stressed.  Ignore her instructions.  And getting embarrassed about her saying 'I was the navigator' is very immature of you.  Just say 'Yes, and a very good one too.  Really helpful.'  

    Be kind.  One day YOU may get dementia.  She can't help it.

  • 4 weeks ago

    You are the driver. Don't listen to her. Just say "Mmhm" from time to time. Don't "try to reason". Just drive. She's not going to snatch the wheel from your hands, is she?

    Concentrate on the road. Let her complain; imagine she's just an annoying insect.

    When she says anything to your relatives that suggests you don't know what you're doing, just smile tolerantly. They'll get the message.

    YOU are the driver. The DRIVER makes the decisions - all of them. GPS or no GPS; windows open or closed, radio on or off. YOU are in charge. She is merely an irritating distraction.

  • drip
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    Tune her out.  My MIL points out everything you drive by. Oh there’s a Mc Donald’s, I see a Kohl’s. Drive 30 minutes with her running commentary you either go nuts or you tune it out. 

    Quit trying to reason with her if she can not be reasoned with. 

    You are being unreasonable if you think the solution is to let her drive. 

    Turn up your GPS or if possible put in your earbuds.

    Agree with her, everything she says. But don’t follow her directions.

    If she says to a relative I had to tell him how to get here. Or I gave him the directions. Smile and say That’s right mom. 

    If she has dementia, then the family should know that, and they can make exceptions for her. 

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  • Anonymous
    4 weeks ago

    Do you really want someone with "mild dementia" drive your car?  If you're driving and feel more comfortable using GPS, then use it.

  • 4 weeks ago

    i wouldnt have her drive if she has dementia

  • Pearl
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    i wouldnt let her drive if shes got dementia

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