Driving

Discussion in 'Welcome and how to use Talking Point' started by Fern73, May 11, 2018.

  1. Fern73

    Fern73 New member

    May 11, 2018
    1
    Hi, my Mum has recently been diagnosed with a mixed dementia. We informed the DVLA as we should. Within a week, she has had her licence revoked. I have spoken to both her GP and her Consultant and neither were contacted for their input. My Mum is very independent and is fully aware of her surroundings. It is the very early stages. She manages to shop on her own, prepare meals, walk the dogs, go to WI, make appointments for the doctor, optician, hairdresser by herself.
    We can appeal, but the wording in the letter is such that it reads along the lines of, if your memory improves then you can appeal, otherwise you can't. Well we all know that is not going to happen.
    Does anyone else have any experience of this? And any ideas on what to do?
    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Mum123

    Mum123 Registered User

    Mar 25, 2018
    11
    The same thing happened to my husband in November last year. When I called the DVLA they said because we has answered yes to the question " do you have a condition that affects your memory or concentration." I argued that the question was very ambiguous and although he has this condition at present it is not affecting his ability to drive. They sent out a form for me.to explain this which I did. However within weeks they revoked his licence. Eventually 2 weeks ago I discovered that a locum psychiatrist on the young onset team who has never seen my husband had told the DVLA that he was unsafe to drive. The new consultant told me that she didn't know.why this had happened and that she is contacting them to request that he be assessed for driving. My concern now is that as he hasn't driven now for around 6 months and there is a waiting list of 3 months for a driving assessment his confidence and and ability to drive will be affected as it's been so long. Very frustrating and has caused distress ro us. Will have to wait and see what happens grrr.
     
  3. karaokePete

    karaokePete Volunteer Host

    Jul 23, 2017
    2,348
    Male
    N Ireland
    Hello @Fern73, welcome to TP. I hope you find this a friendly and supportive place.

    Driving is a frequently discussed topic so I'm sure you will get a few replies. If not maybe a search(box at top of the page) will throw up previous threads for you.

    When it came to deciding this issue for my wife it was easy for me as she has trouble using modern kitchen appliances, never mind all other symptoms, so I just knew safety of herself and others would be an issue in a modern car.

    Don't forget that you must tell the motor insurers as well as the DVLA about the diagnosis.

    In case you haven't seen it, and in the hope that it is of some use to you, here's a link to the AS Factsheet about the issue https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/sites...nloads/driving_and_dementia_factsheet_439.pdf
     
  4. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    6,490
    Suffolk
    Morning Fern. You say your Mum has mixed dementia. I’m assuming that’s Alzheimers and vascular dementia.
    The problem with vascular dementia is that one can get a tia ( trasient ischaemic attack) otherwise called mini strokes at any time. This uncertainly is the reason people are banned from driving. Happened to my OH. Fancy doing 70 down the motorway when she has an attack? I don’t!
    The authorities seem to be keener on stopping people driving who have these attacks. A guy I knew slipped in the shower and hit his head on the way down.......or he may have had a tia and fallen. He didn’t know. His driving was stopped until the docs found out why.

    You can appeal and your Mum can do a driving assessment, but I don’t hold out much hope!
     
  5. techietime

    techietime New member

    May 9, 2018
    2
    Male
    Northumberland
    Thanks to both karaokePete and Spamar for their comments on this post - that's really helped my sister and I with being able to talk to our Dad about why his licence got revoked, as he has mixed dementia - he is still obsessed with losing the ability to drive since the DVLA revoked his licence in November last year and still isn't sure why as he doesn't think he has any issues beyond a bit of short term memory loss.

    He and his partner weren't sure what to do with his car, which therefore sat on the drive for 3 months, acting as a constant reminder that he wasn't able to drive anymore. This is despite him repeatedly telling us for the past few years (well before his diagnosis) that he could easily manage without it as there were good bus links, taxis and friends to take him to activities that he could use instead.

    In February we offered to take the car off his hands as one of ours had failed its MOT. As it's 12 years old with quite a bit of damage, it was going to cost more to repair than it was worth, so no money changed hands and instead Dad just transferred the ownership to us.

    The fact we have it is now the subject of pretty well every conversation with him and, despite us thanking him each time and indicating that we were helping each other out in the process, he still comments that we haven't offered any thanks and that having the car wasn't a permanent arrangement. Hopefully, with time, that obsession will pass and we can help him focus on the positive side in the alternatives mentioned in the factsheet.
     
  6. karaokePete

    karaokePete Volunteer Host

    Jul 23, 2017
    2,348
    Male
    N Ireland
    Hello @techietime, glad to be of help.

    What about a big thank you card for your dad. That way he could see the thanks. Maybe a note on it thanking him for his great idea in transferring the car to you to give him ownership of the idea. Just a thought.
     
  7. Countryboy

    Countryboy Registered User

    Mar 17, 2005
    1,298
    Male
    Cornwall
    #7 Countryboy, May 13, 2018
    Last edited: May 13, 2018
    Once again we have a thread asking for information on Driving, yet once again with No mention or indication of the Drivers age, or the stage of their Dementia, or how many year ago they were diagnosed with a Mental Illness, I fail to understand how we could possible reply without that information.

    Will I have to give up driving if I have dementia?

    Being diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s doesn’t always mean that you have to give up your car straight away. Find out why and when you might need to stop driving

    Being able to drive is often a key part of maintaining independence as you get older, so if you’ve just been diagnosed with dementia you’re probably really concerned that you might lose your driving license immediately. But don’t panic. The good news is that a diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s doesn’t have to put a stop to your driving.

    Could this be you?
    You’ve been driving for decades and consider yourself a safe, responsible driver who’s never been involved in a road traffic accident. After all these years behind the wheel, driving is simply an automatic action that needs very little thinking, you are still perfectly capable of driving your car…

    Two facts worth knowing
    Whilst you have every intention of continuing to drive safely, and the skills involved might feel totally automatic, driving does in fact require a complex mixture of thought processes and manual skills, which sadly can be affected by dementia.

    1. Your spatial awareness –the ability to judge distances between areas – might not be as accurate as it used to be, and this can impact quite noticeably on your ability to work out safe distances while you’re driving.

    2. Dementia can also affect your ability to make sense of road signs, remember routes and rules of the road, have quick enough reaction times to allow for stopping, starting and the actions of other drivers, and being able to read the road.

    BUT: Dementia is a condition that gets gradually worse, many of these symptoms may not be a problem for you yet, and it’s quite possible you could continue to drive for some time.

    Telling the DVLA about your dementia
    It is a legal requirement to declare your diagnosis to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) and you could face a fine if you fail to do so. Once this is done, unless your doctor has already advised that you stop driving, the DVLA will send a questionnaire to get permission to look at medical reports from your doctor. Advisors at the DVLA will then make a decision on whether you can continue to drive based on these reports.

    They may also request that you take a driving assessment at a mobility centre so you can be appraised. If they decide that you can still drive, you’ll get a new driving licence that’s valid for a limited time period (usually one year, but it can be longer). This means you’ll need to be reviewed once the licence runs out.

    If it’s decided that you can’t drive any more, you can appeal the decision, but you won’t be allowed to drive until the appeal is heard.
    Did you know? Most people continue to drive for around three years after being diagnosed with dementia

     
  8. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    6,490
    Suffolk
    I think it’s generalities here, Countryboy. With vascular dementia, age doesn’t matter. If you are subject to TIAs, no driving, dementia or no dementia.
     
  9. captainscarlet

    captainscarlet Registered User

    Feb 4, 2016
    22
    coventry
    The point being that you arent just putting yourself at risk on the road, its everyone else on the roads, paths and crossings. I had to stop my father from driving , he has parkinsons after 2 near accidents. My mother who has dementia was then reliant on others for transport. Huge change but necessary.
     
  10. Countryboy

    Countryboy Registered User

    Mar 17, 2005
    1,298
    Male
    Cornwall
    #10 Countryboy, May 13, 2018
    Last edited: May 13, 2018

    Yes of course your correct Spamar, there are a couple of points I try to make based on my driving for instance there is a difference in the drivers age and stage of dementia at time of diagnoses this is very important information prior to forming an opinion. the problem once the word Dementia is mentioned the media & bureaucrat’s they assume were all the same which obviously were are not so all we can do is give a general reply that fit people in a similar situation as myself and I have been driving with FTD for almost 20 years never a problem and cant see anything change for a while yet

    I wouldn't class a TIA as dementia,
     
  11. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    6,490
    Suffolk
    No, neither would I. But neighbour had one single possible tia, and his driving was stopped until they found out why. As it happens, 5 months of investigations later, they found nothing and he was allowed to drive again. Rightly or wrongly.

    If only they would/ could diagnose dementia that quickly!

    OH, of course, with Alzheimer’s and vascular, had lots of TIAs. Some quite large, verging onto a stroke, others so minor I dont think anyone else except me would have noticed. His driving was stopped and we were both really annoyed. I’d been out with him about 10 days before and his driving was fine. However, within three months, I had to acknowledge that the decision was right.

    However, he had problems reading maps ‘on the go’ for years. That, apparently is one of the first signs.
    Cheers
     
  12. techietime

    techietime New member

    May 9, 2018
    2
    Male
    Northumberland
    Thanks for the suggestion. We're going to be taking that up and sending him something.
     
  13. Mipsydoo

    Mipsydoo Registered User

    Jan 16, 2018
    14
    Female

    just read your answer on driving and strikes an instance cord with my circumstances . My mum got the phonecall last week her licence was being revoked by a doctor . As it was a phonecall ive had numerous conversations from mum confused and angry and unsure. We were advided by her OT as her recent assessment left her OT concerned and so concerned she would discuss with her doctor to advise driving is stopped . As mum has the same condition (mixed) im guessing it adds to the result . I have said to mum it would be only for her saftey and others but as you can imaging no reasoning . She is adamant she wants a driving assessment , which we are supporting just try and keep her calm ,,, not easy
     
  14. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    6,490
    Suffolk
    Yes, OH was the same, he actually had two! He said they turned him down cos he wasn’t putting enough weight on the brake pedal. Whether that’s true or not, well your guess is as good as mine. I could certainly understand that he knew it was not a proper vehicle - they start on a rig first - so didn’t realise the importance of braking properly. But...shrugs shoulders!
    To do the assessment was the easy way out for me as well!
    Best thing I learnt when dealing with pwds, pick your battles. Driving was not a battle I was going to fight when there was somebody else that could be blamed!
     
  15. PJ

    PJ Registered User

    Jan 26, 2017
    247
    Female
    Bristol
    I passed my driving assessment months ago & they contacted the DVLA to say I’d passed but they reccomended I be re checked in 6mths due to the cognitive issues I was having.
    Since then I’ve had a diagnosis of FTD & they have had a report from my gp but I haven’t contacted anyone myself to report it so I’m guessing I just wait to be re-tested.
    I tend to only drive locally as we live in a fairly quiet area & I know the roads well.
    No one has officially told me to inform anyone eg Insurance.
     
  16. PJ

    PJ Registered User

    Jan 26, 2017
    247
    Female
    Bristol
    That fact sheet is really useful Pete :) I will be informing our car insurers tomorrow.
    My gp phoned me the other day to ask how I felt about my driving & we agreed I would continue for the time being.
     
  17. Countryboy

    Countryboy Registered User

    Mar 17, 2005
    1,298
    Male
    Cornwall
    Keep going PJ don’t surrender you diviving licence whilly nilly have a long think about it before you act , i have been driving arouud Minorca now for a week got another week to go no problems driveing other than im a bit worried thinking i may have been caught by a speed camera but i find out soon enough so no point in worrying until i get a ticket
     
  18. Countryboy

    Countryboy Registered User

    Mar 17, 2005
    1,298
    Male
    Cornwall
    This is what my children think about my driving
     

    Attached Files:

  19. PJ

    PJ Registered User

    Jan 26, 2017
    247
    Female
    Bristol
    Hope you don’t get a speeding ticket :) We are off to Minorca 2 wks today, we can’t wait!!
    I’ve contacted our car insurance & it doesn’t appear to have gone up in price which I thought it might have so that’s s bonus. I have my ‘medical’ licence for 1year then re test
     
  20. PJ

    PJ Registered User

    Jan 26, 2017
    247
    Female
    Bristol
    Brilliant card :)
     

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