Driving

JoJo

Registered User
Sep 25, 2003
38
Shropshire
Has anyone had any experience of someone with Alzheimers who has been given a temporary licence to drive by the DVLA? My father has been given a 12 month temporary licence after they considered his medical reports etc and we are not sure he is up to it.

My mum is concerned his responses and ability to weigh up situations are not up to the job and although I am inclined to agree it is something Dad is keen to do and would do his self esteem and confidence no end of good to be independent again. It would also take the pressure of my poor old mum if he could share chores etc

Any experiences would be appreciated.

JoJo
 

Nutty Nan

Registered User
Nov 2, 2003
790
Buckinghamshire
Dear JoJo,
Experiences many - answers none!!
How I feel for you, as thinking back to the 'driving days' sends shivers down my spine, and I am amazed at the DVLA giving your Dad a temporary licence, although of course I don't know any details of your Dad's condition.
Your problem is that you are well and truly stuck between wanting to keep your Dad and any other road users safe, yet not wishing to dent his pride and self-esteem: a complete no-win situation! If the DVLA have said 'yes', what powers do you have to stop him doing what he desperately wants to do?
I felt nervous as a passenger with my husband for some time, and began to feel that it would be my responsibility to enlist the help of our GP or the consultant to inform the DVLA - but I also realised how devastated (and furious) he would be, if someone actually told him he must not drive again. I kept wondering what we would all do if he harmed himself or someone else ....
He got lost several times, and I had to 'guide' him back to our village. Then his journeys became shorter and shorter, and although he was always cross when I drove, he came to accept it. Then, even his short journeys became infrequent, and although he made plans every evening of where he would go the next day, somehow he just never seemed to 'get round to it'. After the car had been standing in the drive for some time, I asked my son-in-law to immobilise it, as I could not bear the thought of my husband setting off and possibly causing an accident. This was followed by the local garage telling him that the engine was beyond repair, which did upset him, but I have put all the guilt feelings which engulfed me at the time behind me, and although he still talks about getting another car, I am relieved that those particular worries are behind us.
This may not help you much, other than to show that sometimes situations sort themselves out 'naturally' - I wish you all well!
Carmen
 
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lyn

Registered User
Mar 7, 2004
25
surrey
Hi JoJo, my mum didn't get as far as having a temporary licence issued. My sis & I were beside ourselves when mum still had the car. She would drive down to me in her car & park the car in the middle of the road (blocking it), knock on my door & ask me where to park it! Other times she would forget how to start it, put the lights on, even how to open the door. She would leave the keys in the ignition & go shopping & even forgot where she parked it on many occasions. She would run red lights & rode the clutch constantly needing 3 new clutches in 6 months. When we suggested she stop driving she hit the roof BUT we could not live with ourselves if she had an accident, killed herself or someone else so the car HAD to go. We enlisted the help of mums consultant who although breached mums confidence agreed she was a danger on the road & informed the DVLA. Mum now "blames" the consultant for loosing her car and not us, which is what we all agreed was best. We told mum that the car needed another new clutch & sis went & drove it away for good. We sold her car & she was delighted with the money. It was very upsetting to say the least but we don't regret it one bit. She still asks about the car but we just explain how much traffic is on the roads these days & the new roundabouts that keep popping up everywhere are a nightmare & isn't she lucky to have us "Taxi" her to & fro. She agrees with us.
Its not an easy decision but for your dads safety as well as everyone else I wouldn't hesitate. Hope this helps a little.
Good luck
Lyn
 

John Bottomley

Registered User
Apr 7, 2004
30
I agree that if you're all feeling he's unsafe to drive, then it's really scary if he is still driving.

Happen you can have it out with him, and agree that although it's a faff and not what we wants that, grudgingly, he will agree to stop driving.

If not, then just 'cause the DVLA reckoned that, at that point in time, with the limited information they had, that he may well still be able to drive (so allowed a temporary license), it may be that he's now not really in a safe position to drive.

His GP or hospital psychiatrist may be able to help here. You've valid concerns that his health means he's not safe to drive. If a doctor agrees that he shouldn't drive, and advises him of this, then he really can't drive. Once you've had medical advice not to drive, that means your insurance company won't cover you, and you can't lawfully drive uninsured, so he'd be unable to drive (without you being seen as the big bad meanie who stopped him).

Hopefully through your discussions, or input from a doctor, you can stop him driving before anything serious happens!
 

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