driving car


Registered User
Oct 29, 2005
My father is still driving and we are worried about the future of this but dont know in fact how to proceed to stop him. If we take his car keys away he will just forget the next day and probably get a new set made at the garage. If we take the car away I am sure he will think it has been stollen ... Does anyone have any suggestions / experience about takling the problem of forgetfullness, car driving, alzheimers and a man who does not see there is a problem at all and who obviously does not want to give up this 'freedom'.

Forgive me if the answer to this type of question is somewhere in the list of replys but I could not find anything.

blue sea

Registered User
Aug 24, 2005
Hi Castor

This is a dreadful one to solve. Went through exactly the same with dad. You have to come to a view whether his driving is putting other road users at risk. If you think it is you have a duty to do something. i suggest making an appointment to see his GP and explain your fears. The GP will probably carry out tests then inform DVLC if the tests reveal he is not fit to drive. His licence would then be removed. This removes the responsibility from you and puts it on the medics. Some GPs seem better than others at deaing with this problem. Alternatively use subterfuge (often essential when dealing with dementia sufferers!) such as the stolen idea, removing it during the night and the next day insisting on dealing with all the reporting of it yourself. The trouble with subterfuge is it only buys time and the lies keep on getting bigger as they ask more questions! One thing I do know, he is very unlikely just toagree with you he should stop driving.

Good luck!
Blue sea


Registered User
May 20, 2004
For Aunty we had to remove the rotor arm to disable the car and informed her garage of the problem to make sure they played along with the subterfuge. This was on the suggestion of a local police officer who had dealt with an "unreported accident" that she had been involved in.



Registered User
Jul 12, 2005

Hi Castor,

I am presuming that your Dad uses his car daily?

You should of course, contact his GP and DVLA as soon as possible, but because this might take a while to get sorted, he could of course endanger himself and other road users.

The trouble with "pinching" his car is that he may well report it to the police - who will then be very annoyed with you!!

It is well worth contacting your local police officer and asking their advice you know. (Dont dial 999!!)

It might sound a bit daft - but they are usually very understanding and may offer some suggestions which could keep you, him and other folk out of trouble! They may well play along with a few "pork pies" to keep your Dad from driving. ;)

As Kriss suggested, you could fake a problem with the car and ask the local garage to go along with it. (It's all a bit naughty I know - but some things you just have to do!)

Wishing you all the best

Charly. x :)


Registered User
May 20, 2004
I can totally agree with Charly, Aunts local police officer was brilliant. Who knows - he may well have had personal experience in this department - it's only now that we are realising how many people have been touched by this awful disease.

On a negative note - DVLA were useless - having sent back her licence with an explanatory letter as suggested by the pc they wrote to her 6 months later asking her if she'd like to apply to have it back...


ps - the neighbours and friends had to be brought into the deception as well!


Registered User
Mar 7, 2004
Hi, I had this problem with mum a few years ago. I pretended that her car needed a service & Sis drove it away when she was at my house for lunch one day, then proceeded to invent one problem after the other with her car. This went on and on & everytime we went out together I used to tell her how lucky she was not driving as the roads were soooooooooo busy/dangerous these days. Eventually her AD consultant wrote to the DVLA explaining the danger of her driving and they took her licence away. She hated the Dr for as she put it 'taking her car away' but it took the pressure off me.
Good luck



Registered User
Jul 15, 2005
We told Mom that her license is expired and she will have to take a driving test again to renew it. That intimidates her enough that she doesn't ask to drive very often. We do have to hide the keys though, just incase she gets the idea she can still drive!


Registered User
Jul 2, 2005
West Yorkshire
My Dads licence was revoked in April due to his AD, much to the great relief of us all.
He ranted and raved about how it was the 'biggest disaster the we'd ever had in our family' which was a joke considering at that time Mum was very ill in hospital after suffering a stroke.
Anyway, once the car was actually gone, that was it - he has never mentioned it again. I'd have put money on him bleating on about it for ever more - but no. Not a word.

Hope it gets sorted out without too much heartache.

Mary Poppins

Registered User
Sep 20, 2005

As far as I know the DVLA has a medical dept which is obliged to act on any communications by letter informing them of any person who should not be driving. I am also under the impression that this is kept confidential so if any relative were to report a dementia sufferer the relative would not know who had done it. My own dad's licence was revoked a few years ago, luckily for the family mum had the presence of mind to ask our advice on the form she had to fill in and she took our advice that she should inform them he was no longer capable - even though this meant she would lose the freedom of the car as she has never driven. It is a very difficult area as in our experience my dad was appalled and said there was nothing wrong with him though most of west Yorkshire wouldn't have agreed!! his roundabout manoevres were something else! when the car went he spent a few tense weeks checking the garage many times a day and 'looking' for his car but he never expressed a wish to drive when we took them out. I know mum still misses the car but we all felt better that the roads were safer without him behind the wheel.


Whatever I do it has to come from official sources

Logistically i cant take the keys or the car i am 100 miles away

I dont even know her doctors name

She has already lied on the forms when she renewed her licence in Oct as far as i know

She is secretive and suspicous at the least questions from family and any suggestions she is not able to cope gets met with agressive responses

So I think it will have to be the DVLA

Will try to contact local PC too


Registered User
Dec 6, 2005
We had a long running saga with my Mum related to driving and AD. Based on the doctors' original AD diagnosis he recommended her licence was withdrawn...That was only the start of the problems. We probably had 2-3 years of non-stop battles. It has only abated in the last 15 mths.

I would say there is no easy solution. If as your father sounds similar to my Mum driving can be a huge part of someone's daily existence and identity. My mother had driven since she was 18 yrs old (longer than my Dad as she would repeat ad infinitum in front of anyone when I was small) and always owned her own car even in the 1950s and ever since which was very rare especially for a woman. She always bought her cars herself with her money.

She often became hugely agitated and violent when told she could not drive on a daily basis . She would forget of course why the doctor had taken her licence away during the early period and just say they were idiots. She was always hugely (over)confident in her driving ability anyhow even prior to AD. As my parents often made the most journeys in her car as it was bigger for a period my Dad let her drive quieter bits (effectively illegally) as the only way to get some peace and quiet and effectively the only way to drive more than 5 miles from the house...She also had this bizarre thing of recognising that we were maybe a mile from home on return and would insist she drove the last bit (including on some occasions opening her door as the car was moving to try and get out - scary).

The only way we managed to get the situation to improve was my suggestion that my Dad replace his car with a more suitable midsize car that was a different shape and colour to either of their previous ones...we then put her car in the single garage and I told my dad to not even open the door of the garage when she was present. The car is still there 18 mths on sitting there but effectively hidden from sight...at some point we will get it towed away.

Her AD advanced during this period so she no longer seems to suggest driving or remember that she can't. She often asks whose car the new car is...and my Dad has made sure she never ever sits in the driving seat and therefore ever gets familiar with the controls.

Frankly there is no easy way round this for you. It is one of the most difficult hurdles to cross especially with a generation where driving represented freedom and personal pride.