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  1. #1
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    Advice needed please. My dad is obsessed about driving...

    My dad was diagnosed with Alzheimers last Sept time, but he is in complete denial about this diagnosis and wants to see other doctors to get their opinions. To complicate things more he also has cataracts in both eyes (waiting to see consultant at the end of april and we've been to 2 separate opticians as he doesn't believe them ). He voluntarily gave up driving for a few months and we were relieved as he kept getting lost and stressed when driving anyway. However he has become completely obsessed about driving and refuses to believe that he needs to inform DVLA about both his diagnoses (we have checked this out and he has to by law) and i think this is because he doesn't believe there's anything wrong and also because he's worried that they'll take his licence off him. We have the same conversation every day and tonight he has called 3 times in 2 hours and we've gone through the same thing each time. he lives on his own by the way.
    I'm worried because he's so obsessed that he's unable to talk or think about anything else and is getting distressed and sometimes aggressive about it.

    What can we do? Is it worth going to the GP again? I think he's depressed as well and probably has been since my mum died 10 years ago but his views on that is that he has to pull himself together etc

    Please can someone help?

    thanks
     

  2. #2
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    Hio there. Yes I think a trip to the GP might help. I would ask the GP to write to DVLA and let them do the rest.

    It does sound as though he should not be driving. I had similar problems with my own husband and it took about 2 years to recolve, He too did not believe Drs. he was told by 5 professionals he really should not be driving and when he came home and I repeated what they had said he was they are all prats!!!

    It is hard but in the end someone has to be brave enough to inform DVLA.

    Jeannette
     

  3. #3
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    Thank you for your reply. It is really difficult isn't it! my dad thinks all the doctors are prats too! The DVLA have said that the only person that can inform them is my dad - which seems like a mad system if he is incapable of telling them what they need to know. They said that if dad gives permission for them to talk to us in his presence then that is ok...but he's not going to like what we say as he doesn't believe it .. so I'm not sure whether he'd agree or whether he'd grab the phone off us and tell them that it's not true!
    I will try to get an appointment with the GP, not least so that he can see how muddled and distressed dad is getting about it, but I suspect that dad will put on an act infront of the doctor as usual and then get angry once we've left and then forget what was said anyway!
    Thank you for your advice - it's nice to share experiences
     

  4. #4
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    It is a legal requirement that when someone is diagnosed with Alzheimers DVLA have to be informed.

    I actually got my husband's permission to write for him as he was incapable of composing a letter. I did get him to sign it but explained it was me writing it.

    My GP also wrote.

    They sent a form back and he asked me to fill it in for him which I did!!!!

    He got a latter back asking him to hand back his licence.

    If he has been told absolutely NOT TO DRive by a medical person then his insurance will be null and void.

    My husband was not told NOT TO DRIVE. He was advised not to drive there is a very big difference. I rang Insurance company and they said as long as he had not been told NOT TO DRIVE he was still covered.

    As soon as he agreed to send his licence back I took it off him and posted it the same day, and cancelled his insurance.

    It is a complete nightmare.

    You can write to DVLA to say you are reporting his diagnosis. There is another thread on here started by BUTTER ,either today or yesterday you should read that too.

    Jeannette
     

  5. #5
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    Tell his GP. GP's have a duty to stoppatients from driving when they believe they're not capable of doing it safely. The guidelines say that the GP should make reasonable efforts to convince the patient to stop voluntarily and to inform the DVLA themselves, but if this fails then the GP will tell the DVLA instead. Once that happens the DVLA will revoke your dad's driving license, if he drives after that he would be arrested.

    I know it sounds horrible to be so harsh but at the end of the day, the safety of other raod users takes precedence over your dad's feelings and you may have to put it to him in a brutal way to force him to accept the reality.

    I think there's a good chance he never will, though, in which case allyou can do is to take the practical steps to force him to stop driving however much he dislikes this.

    A belief that there is nothing wrong is really common in those with dementia, they will reject any evidence contrary to this belief. Your dad genuinely thinks he is completely capable and thus resents being told he isn;t safe to drive and won;t be allowed to as much as anyone else would.

    Ultimately, I'm afraid that many drivers with dementia have to have their cars confiscated or disabled because of that. They would never stop voluntarily, regardless of having licenses removed and threats of the police and the courts.
     

  6. #6
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    I have just written to DVLA:

    The Drivers' Medical Group
    DVLA
    Swansea
    SA991TU

    as they asked, giving husband's name, dob, medical conditions .... telling on him infact, because he is not safe to drive.
    I will have to deal with his distress later but if I don't do that and some innocent person gets hurt I would never forgive myself.
     

 

 

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