driving assessmetn

Countryboy

Registered User
Mar 17, 2005
1,458
Cornwall
The object of a driving assessment is to ensure that the person with dementia is well grounded in the basic principles of safe driving, and sufficiently practised in driving and to be able to demonstrate them at time of assessment , that they are competent and considerate when driving and are not a source of danger to themselves or other road users, lets get real here if a person has completed this assessment and passed surly that should be enough to satisfy the doubters come on give them a break
 

Chippy01

Registered User
Mar 6, 2012
13
driving assmt

Hi

My dad had his licence revoked by DVLA because of cataracts which have now been done and vision is good. However, we had to disable his car because he kept driving it and forgetting that he had, walking home and accusing me of stealing his car. We have re-applied for the licence but informed them of Alzheimers diagnosis. He has deteriorated alot over the past year in terms of memory and confusion and will get lost in unfamiliar surroundings and has begun to not recognise our houses, not using our names etc but is in complete denial about it and says he's safe to drive. The GP has referred for an independent driving assmt but we're not sure what this will entail. Verbally he may pass tests but in reality he will get lost, panic, aggressive if he cannot find his way and has damaged the wheels on his car when he was driving because of hitting curbs we presume. We're hoping that these worries will be picked up on the assmt and that he won't be able to drive for his safety and that of others.

I'll post again when we have more details of the assmt and the result. Any thoughts gratefully received. this is 1 of the main issues we have with dad and he can get quite aggressive if we imply that he's not safe so I was very grateful to the GP for taking it out of our hands so we;re not the decision makers as such.

Thanks for all the info you've all posted about this-it's been interesting to read
 

jaymor

Volunteer Moderator
Jul 14, 2006
13,016
England
The object of a driving assessment is to ensure that the person with dementia is well grounded in the basic principles of safe driving, and sufficiently practised in driving and to be able to demonstrate them at time of assessment , that they are competent and considerate when driving and are not a source of danger to themselves or other road users, lets get real here if a person has completed this assessment and passed surly that should be enough to satisfy the doubters come on give them a break
Totally agree Tony, if they pass the assessment then they are allowed to carry on driving. I don't think anyone has said a dementia sufferer should stop driving. My husband had yearly assessments for 4 years and passed 4 times. It was the 5th one where he was assessed as not being competent to drive any longer and I fully agreed he had reached this point.

Jay
 

grove

Registered User
Aug 24, 2010
7,723
North Yorkshire
Agree With You Tony

Hello Tony , Yes fully argree :) with what you said about doing the Assessement & Driving , the only reason Dad did not do the Assessment was that sadly :( he would have failed as he was unable to Drive safely for himself & other road users ..... Mum did not take him to the Assessement as it would have been unfair on Dad as he would have been upset :( etc

Regards Grove x




P S ...... Dad had 3 Unsafe Driving do 's before then & he was not safe to drive at all .... Am glad he is not driving any more x
 
Last edited:

Lesleyljb

Registered User
Dec 30, 2012
4
58
Durham
Don't do it

mcflod,

You are talking about a ton of metal that can kill someone.

" im worried that my mum may not understand the questions etc and want to make sure she is ok."
You have said you are worried your Mum may not understand! Take the grown up decision to not even let that happen

My Dad suffered from dementia. After his first stroke, before the dementia we helped him to regain his license. He had partial blindness but was assessed as being able to drive. After his 2nd stroke, although he thought he could drive, the almost complete loss of his sight meant he couldn't. I contacted DVLA

Regardless of understanding the instructions for the test I cannot urge you strongly enough to discourage your Mam from driving.
I understand you wanting to let your Mam have her independence as long as possible but it would be a sad end if she caused an accident for the sake of wanting to drive.
Sell her car. Use the money from the sale, insurance, road tax, upkeep etc and introduce her to a local, reliable taxi firm you can trust.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Countryboy

Registered User
Mar 17, 2005
1,458
Cornwall
Hi must reply to this one Just let me say as person how actually has a diagnoses of dementia myself and been driving since I was 8 or 9 years old starting with a tractor on a farm, Driving was a skill that I learnt didn’t need to read or write
didn’t require any memory involvement , if you shout catch to a dementia person and at the same time through a ball they would instinctively catch , there are hundreds of movements and chore’s we do every day that doesn’t need memory questions and driving is one of them,, also I think Lesleyjp comments in large red letters shows
the stigma anger and aggression there is towards people with dementia “the large letters represent shouting”
as I said previously if a person takes an assessment for driving and passes they have done all that’s required by law ,
 

kingmidas1962

Registered User
Jun 10, 2012
3,537
South Gloucs
.......
I understand you wanting to let your Mam have her independence as long as possible but it would be a sad end if she caused an accident for the sake of wanting to drive.....
I think this is the crux of the matter really. I used to have kittens thinking about my dad driving, not because he didn't have years of experience of driving and road safety, but that he could be thrown by the slightest unusual occurrence - for example he stalled once trying to reverse his car off my drive and he couldn't remember that he had to put the car in neutral to start it and of course every time he turned the ignition the car jumped backwards and he got himself in a real state.

Driving DOES become instinctive over time, this much is very true - many of us get into our cars and toddle off without having to think about how we do it.

HOWEVER judgement and consideration are constantly required to assess situations as they occur - this could be anything from lights turning red when you're very close to a junction, to a child running out in front of you from between parked cars. I'm not sure how a test based in a house can replicate this kind of situation, but maybe I'm not understanding how the practicalities of it work.

Its a very, very difficult issue - the last thing I wanted was for my dad to give up his independence as I knew this signified the end of something - but equally I didn't want him to end up killing himself, someone else, my mum - etc etc :(
 

Countryboy

Registered User
Mar 17, 2005
1,458
Cornwall
Kingmidas1962 yes I agree if someone has lost the ability to judge distance ect they shouldn't dive what I have said repeatedly is If a person has a driving assessment with Professionals at a Driving Centre and pass that assessment what’s the problem they Passed they are competent drivers

dementia is the reason for the assessment afterwards it shouldn’t be an issue
 

kingmidas1962

Registered User
Jun 10, 2012
3,537
South Gloucs
Kingmidas1962 yes I agree if someone has lost the ability to judge distance ect they shouldn't dive what I have said repeatedly is If a person has a driving assessment with Professionals at a Driving Centre and pass that assessment what’s the problem they Passed they are competent drivers

dementia is the reason for the assessment afterwards it shouldn’t be an issue
Is it a practical assessment do you know? i.e. on the road, where normal driving conditions occur? This is what I'm not clear on. And yes, of course you're right - if someone passes a practical test like that of course they should be able to drive. My dad wouldn't have in a million years :(
 

Countryboy

Registered User
Mar 17, 2005
1,458
Cornwall
I think your forgetting I have carried out a dementia driving assessment and I have proved that I can drive


DRIVING ASSESSMENT: On the day of assessment following the table-top tests which suggested, in the assessor’s opinion, that there were no major cognitive issues, the drive was conducted in Mr ***** own manual transmission ******** *********. Weather conditions were dry and bright and traffic conditions were light to moderate. The standard ***** assessment route was used for the drive, and the drive was approximately 45 minutes long taking in various A and B class roads, mini roundabouts and multi-lane roundabouts as well as national speed limit roads and quieter residential roads with numerous parked cars.

Mr ****** maintained acceptable control of his vehicle throughout the drive, changing gears appropriately for his speed and operating all pedals accurately as and when required. Mr ***** was asked to perform an emergency stop and this was conducted to an acceptable standard with Mr ****** locating the brake pedal quickly and accurately and stopping the vehicle promptly.

A reversing exercise was also conducted during the drive in which Mr ***** also maintained acceptable control of his vehicle and carried out acceptable observations.

Throughout the drive Mr ****** responded satisfactorily to the assessor’s instructions and also followed road signs and road markings to a good standard. Mr ***** responded to traffic signals and signals of other road users satisfactorily Overall, throughout the drive, Mr ****** was able to satisfactorily divide his attention, maintaining his concentration on the road/traffic whilst holding a conversation with the assessor.


SUMMARY/RECOMMENDATIONS: In the assessor’s opinion, on the day of assessment, Mr **** drove his manual transmission vehicle to an acceptable standard, and also demonstrated that he was willing to take on board comments made by the assessor that would potentially correct one or two bad habits. In the assessor’s opinion, Mr ******* current medical condition is not adversely impacting on his ability to drive at this time.
 

kingmidas1962

Registered User
Jun 10, 2012
3,537
South Gloucs
No, not at all. My query was actually about what form the test took, not questioning your ability at all!! Thanks for sharing the information- that was exactly what I was wondering. Very interesting and apologies if you got the wrong end of the stick.
 

Countryboy

Registered User
Mar 17, 2005
1,458
Cornwall
Hi Kingmidas1962 no problems it fine obviously sometimes were looking at things differently and I think we did agree on several points anyway unfortunately I don’t just get a driving Licence by submitting an application, its not nice to retire and go through this after having worked 51 years paying ones dues
 

mcflod

Registered User
Oct 17, 2012
44
Hi all

Gosh I apologise if my ? Has upset anyone that really wasn't the intention

Thankyou for all you replies

I'm going to call the community nurse tomorrow who I met for when the time comes I need them to come out to see mum. I'm going to ask her if she knows what's involved in it. There is absolutely no driving in a car at all in this and it's all done sitting in my mums. It appears that no one else has come across this type of assessment before so I do feel in the dark about it

Can I clarify that if they say my mum fails this I am sad because it's a part if her independence gone but I know it is the right thing. I am not saying I will argue with them etc etc. the test is there for a reason I wood juste to know more about what's involved. None of us has noticed anything at all when we have been in the car with her to suggest she doesn't know what to do when driving, or she doesn't get lost, forget junctions etc.

She doesn't venture far in her car just 10 miles to mine once a month ish and in the same small town to
Get her groceries.

I have tried the DVla but just can't get through to them but I'll keep trying

Thanks again for all the info and comments
 

minniemouse01

Registered User
Nov 27, 2012
243
scotland
My Dad had small scrapes and bumps on his car bumpers that he couldn't explain. This was towards the end of 2011. I was already worried about his driving, but he had an umblemished record of over 50 years, and as we live in a remote village, his car was his independence, so I was reluctant to press too hard for him to consider stopping driving. His memory wasn't too good at this point, and he was physically having difficulty even getting in and out the drivers seat. Then he had a near miss whilst overtaking another vehicle and nearly hit a car. He said that the car he was overtaking pulled out ???? When I broached the subject of giving up driving, he said I should just shoot him now, as it would be the end of him. I was distraught, and it is the hardest thing I have had to do, but I begged him to stop and reluctantly, he did. Two weeks later, in February, he had a TIA and he deteriorated quite a bit. He actually said to me that I was right to stop him driving, and asked me to sell his car asap.

Sorry to ramble on, but in my experience, if you are worried about someone's driving, don't hesitate to confront the situation. It's not easy by any means, but the alternative is scary. Near us, an elderly man drove the wrong way from a roundabout onto dual carriageway - he killed 3 in an oncoming car and himself. Very sad.

My Dad was eventually diagnosed in Dec 12, but I now know he had the symptoms for a couple of years beforehand.

kind regards

M :)
 

optocarol

Registered User
Nov 23, 2011
315
Auckland, New Zealand
"It appears that no one else has come across this type of assessment before so I do feel in the dark about it"

Hi Mcflod, I don't know if you read my previous post, but this is what my husband had before he did the practical test. It predicted with 75% accuracy that he would fail the practical test and he did.
 

mcflod

Registered User
Oct 17, 2012
44
Hi all

Just updating

Mum had the test today and hasn't passed it. So basically she now has to surrender her licence, I'm relieved as she will be safe but my heart breaks for her as sheis so upset about it and really has no one to talk to about it apart from me.

Thank for Your support
 

optocarol

Registered User
Nov 23, 2011
315
Auckland, New Zealand
Sad but glad, I hope you understand. I know it's a blow to them, but I was so relieved when my OH failed his test, to be honest. Mind you, your mother sounded better.

If you need to vent because she can't forget about it, I'll understand! OH still talks about getting it back and comes up with crazy schemes, which eventually tends to get to me. Guess, it's like someone else said - sometimes we keep trying to be rational when it's pointless.

Would be interested in a bit more detail about the test, if you like.
 

Countryboy

Registered User
Mar 17, 2005
1,458
Cornwall
sorry to hear your Mum failed obviously if she was struggling with road signs it wasn’t going to look great for her however I expect if 75% of elderly people were asked to identify road signs they couldn’t name them , when I knew I was having a driving assessment I revised the road signs and was surprised how many new signs there were since my test in 1961 how does your Mum feel about the result