1. snowtree

    snowtree Registered User

    Jun 14, 2007
    my dad is 75 been diagnosed with dementia and parkinsons...has not brilliant mobility (he can walk but is slow) and is taking aricept. Some days exceptionally confused others not so bad. However mum lets him drive the car wherever he wants..day or night...and i really dont agree with it or know what to do about it! Mum is in denial about dads dementia really and sticks her head in the sand. Any advice greatly received
  2. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    #2 Grannie G, Feb 19, 2008
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2008
    If there are days when your father is very confused, he should not be driving.
    You can either write or visit your father`s GP and tell of your concerns. Your father`s condition will not be discussed with you but the GP will take what you say on board.
    Or you can phone the DVLA Swansea, and speak to someone there about your concerns.
    You may feel deceitful, but it`s better that, than risk a life.
  3. Jodie Lucas

    Jodie Lucas Registered User

    Dec 3, 2005
    Hi Snowtree,

    We had similar problem with my grandmother after she was diagnosed with vascular dementia. By law the dvla mustbe informed about a diagnosis of dementia. Also witholding this information, if an accident occurred, would invalidate the insurance and may result in being fined and losing licence. Information sheet 439 is on this website, entitled dementia and driving, which may be helpful.

    We arranged for my grandmother to have a test (organised through an occupational therapist) which she passed. We sent all the information through to the dvla (test write up, letter from GP) who renewed her licence for a year. However she has gone down hill a bit since, so we reported our concerns to the dvla, who sent another medical form to be filled in and stated that if she didn't reply to this within 28 days her licence would be revoked.

    Would strongly recommend getting advice from GP or get him/her to write letter to dvla if there are concerns about your dads drving. If you speak to the dvla about your concerns they'll send your dad a medical form to fill in which would have to put down about his dementia and parkinsons.

    It might not neccessarily mean he will lose his licence (in my grandmothers case she had a driving test and passed, so licence renewed for a year). Also check to see when his licence expires, dvla will send out renewal forms probably a few months before this date.

    Hope this is of help, it is horrible having to do it but it is worth it in the end.

  4. snowtree

    snowtree Registered User

    Jun 14, 2007
    Thanks for replies

    I am very grateful for your replies and i think thats what i shall do...get in touch with the dvla. My son has just passed his bike test and i see him go out and think jesus my dad is on the road too!! His reflexes i am sure are just not good enough for an emergency stop.
  5. CraigC

    CraigC Registered User

    Mar 21, 2003
    Hi Snowtree,

    This is not an uncommon question, so you are not alone.

    There have been some good threads on driving so it may be worth running a search on the forum. For many it is one of the first big dementia hurdles to deal with. It is a tough call and can be delicate. We convinced dad to give up the car very early on by saying it was cheaper to sell it and use cabs. Also told him that I really needed the car which helped him feel good about it. OK little white lies but the alternatives were frightening. The bottom line is that deep down I knew dad would hate himself if anything went wrong when he was driving and it was his fault.

    Here is just one of the threads discussing the issues.

    Kind Regards
  6. BeverleyY

    BeverleyY Registered User

    Jan 29, 2008
    Ashford, Kent
    My Dad willingly gave up driving and gave his car away when he realised his memory was going - and that was 5 years ago and his memory problems really were hardly noticeable.

    I agree, ring the DVLA. He could kill himself or someone else.

    Beverley x
  7. Carolynlott

    Carolynlott Registered User

    Jan 1, 2007
    Newcastle upon Tyne
    A couple of years ago my Dad's driving was becoming dangerous - this was just before his diagnosis. My Mum told me that they had had a couple of near misses and I made her promise she wouldn't get in the car with him again. I started to take her for her grocery shopping etc and it led to some friction with my Dad, obviously. I knew he shouldn't be driving but I couldn't bring myself to tell him - I did try to hint at it but he was very defensive. It was about this time that his (rather old) car needed an MOT and we asked the garage to say that it needed so much work it couldn't be repaired, which they did (I suspect it was too old anyway).

    A short while afterwards when he was given his AD diagnosis he was told he shouldn't drive by his psychiatrist. For a long time after that, though, he kept on saying that he missed his car - it was as if he still didn't understand why he didn't have it any more.
  8. gigi

    gigi Registered User

    Nov 16, 2007
    East Midlands

    Hello snowtree....A lot of us have horror stories about driving..or our loved ones driving...

    One of the things that led me to question my husband's condition was his driving..he would switch lanes without looking or indicating..stop on a roundabout to work out which exit..the last straw was when he pulled out of a layby into the path of a speeding lorry..I'm lucky to be alive..
    But he still thinks he's a perfect driver.....
    It was ..thankfully..taken out of my hands.
    The consultant advised him not to drive..and with a diagnosis of AD we have "the law" on our side!!!
    But my husband does not agree..(after almost 2 years) He still has perfect eyesight and is still a perfect driver...:eek:
    And is still(although hasn't done for a while..) threatening to buy a sports car..

    I assume your mum doesn't drive..so it may be that she is worried about how she will cope..
    I'm sorry..I have no answers..I think everyone deals with this problem in their own way because each situation is different.
    For me it was a relief that the consultant told my husband not to drive..if I had had to do it I would have felt I was betraying him..so maybe in your case a third party..plus use the "it's the law" bit..
    Wishing you well!
    Love Gigi x
  9. sue38

    sue38 Registered User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Wigan, Lancs
    Hi Snowtree,

    My Dad was diagnosed some 15 months ago and we immediately informed the DVLA, but due to the slow wheels of administration (no pun intended!), he was not stopped from driving legally for another 6 months. If you think that you cannot wait that long and that your Dad may have an accident in the meantime, you may need to do something more practical, like disabling the car.

    We dreaded telling my Dad that he could no longer drive, and although he took it quite well at first, it is still the one thing that can send him in to a rage/depression/confusion... He believes that all visits to the doctor/consultant/social worker are part of the campaign for him to get his licence back.

    Whatever the fall out has been from my Dad no longer being able to drive (and sometimes it aint good) anything is better than knowing that my Dad is in control of a potentially lethal weapon, and putting himself and others in danger.

    A word of warning, don't tell your Dad that it was you that reported it to the DVLA. My Dad blames his first consultant, who he no longer sees, and we (cowards that we are) let him blame this poor man. He tells us that if he ever sees 'that man' again he will punch him. :eek:
  10. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    I'm not going to say that a diagnosis of dementia should mean that someone automatically should give up their license, because I don't think that's true. However, where is black and white for me is that if you witness some dubious driving, and the person in question either denies that it happened or that it was a big deal, then that's when you have to be firm about it. I don't want to sound insensitive, because it's exceptionally difficult to stop someone driving when they don't have dementia, let alone when they do, but I feel very strongly that when it's time, IT'S TIME. No excuses, no vacillation. This is a safety issue for everyone else on the road: your family, your children. If you can't get the powers that be on your side then you need to disable the car. In other words, you have to do what it takes to stop the person driving.

    Sorry if this is unduly hard-nosed but I feel quite strongly about it (maybe you can tell?)
  11. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    My mother found out that I had reported her to Swansea and said if she had a gun she would kill me. :eek:
    She was an advanced motorist and absolutely loved driving. :(

    If your mother doesn`t drive there are many ways round being without transport.
    I shop online for almost everything and take taxis if the bus is inconvenient.
    We have also noticed a massive financial benefit, which has been a big compensation for my husband .
  12. Helena

    Helena Registered User

    May 24, 2006
    We had this situation with my Mother
    She was reported to the DVLA and they revoked her licence

    You MUST write to the DVLA and tell them then they will send forms and require the GP to write a report or send him for a driving assesment

    Theres too many people on the road as it is who should not be driving one MUST think about innocent lives that could be wrecked in an accident
  13. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    Oo can I reiterate that - my mother gave up driving well before she had her strokes and in the approximately 10 years she didn't have a car she saved well over £30000! She put it down to not just the cost of running a car but also the fact that 1) she had to carry anything she purchased and 2) she didn't go out so much so she wasn't frittering (her word) away her money on impulse purchases. I think she was exceptionally thrifty but even so...
  14. Carolynlott

    Carolynlott Registered User

    Jan 1, 2007
    Newcastle upon Tyne
    You could always take the car keys away.
  15. gigi

    gigi Registered User

    Nov 16, 2007
    East Midlands

    At that time I wasn't even thinking that my husband had AD..I did not know..
    But I was concerned..
    With hindsight it's easy..
    But I agree if there is a diagnosis already in place then you have an obligation to sort this out..
    Others have given sound advice..
    Hope you can find a solution..
    Love Gigi x
  16. bclark

    bclark Registered User

    Feb 15, 2008
    greenhithe kent
    dear snowtree, i had this problem with my husband a few years ago my husband had been a bus driver, to give up driving was the worse thing he was suggested to do, i have taken up driving lessons and have my test soon.alan has his bus pass now which includes a carer to go free, we enjoy using the bus, he has accepted the idea now, and has no wish to drive anymore, he enjoys being taken around with my family and carers it took a while but he has accepted it now, so be patient, and by the way i was also in denial. :) you know in your heart what the right thing to do is. bclark
  17. bel

    bel Registered User

    Apr 26, 2006
    stopping driving

    this was a big deal with my hubby -bob
    it ment a lot to him me and my children had a very hard time trying to stop him driving
    heartbreaking --in fact in the end i wrote a letter to dvla on the part of myself and my son and daughter saying how dangerouse he was

    it hurt like hell but they took his liscence away thank god or he would of killed himself or some one else
    its so hard i know cos he still wants to take car out of garage in morning and back at night he hits so many things
    love bel x

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