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Driving

Sjakeman

Registered User
Oct 13, 2013
3
0
Hi , my dad is 82 and only recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's dementia. Our dr has said he must not drive, but it is so hard trying to get him to understand and remember . We have taken the keys as we had to and he is constantly asking us where they are and gets cross . The car is still on his driveway , we did move it but he got v agitated so we put it back .
Does anyone have any tips to help us With these conversations .?
He was v independent so I'm sure this must feel awful for him .
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,445
0
Have you tried letting him keep the keys, leave the car in the drive, but disabling it? One spends so much of ones adult life wondering where our keys are (well I do) it's not really surprising that he might be upset if he doesn't have them, and ditto if he thinks the car is missing. Of course, if he has the keys and the car and then keeps trying to drive then that will be equally upsetting for him. If that's the case, then yes, I'd bite the bullet and remove the car. But it's possible he just wants to know where his keys are and where the car is and having both in sight (with the proviso that you've made it actually impossible for him to drive it) might be less stressful for all concerned.
 

starryuk

Registered User
Nov 8, 2012
1,323
0
Oh how I sympathise. It is really upsetting for everyone isn't it.
Perhaps you could immobilise the car and then return the keys? In that way it would be the car's 'fault' that he can't drive... just a thought. I think some people take the car to the garage to be 'mended' and then it takes forever to get fixed!

I have to tell you that in between my mum writing off her car and having her licence taken away, she managed to get on a bus, go to a showroom and buy another which was kindly(?) delivered to her home by the salesman:eek:

She spent hours sitting in that car, but thankfully was too nervous to try and drive it. Luckily she lived in a retirement village and she was a long way from a public road. We managed to re-sell it in the end, but Mum was NOT happy!

Good luck.
 

Sjakeman

Registered User
Oct 13, 2013
3
0
Thank you ..you know I had thought that maybe it was just the keys he wanted to see as he is comforted that the car is in sight ... My brother mentioned disabling it . Although we do know he tries to get in it .
 

Georgedh

Registered User
Oct 12, 2013
5
0
North East
Hello Sjakeman,

My dad's driving got noticeably worse long before he was diagnosed. It became obvious that he'd kill himself or someone else so the car had to go. The hardest hurdle we've had to cross so far, persuading him to do the right thing whilst taking away his independence as well as denting his ego. He finally drove off one day with my mother shouting after him that she'd call the police. He returned sheepishly 20 mins later and surprisingly agreed to give it up yet it stayed in the garage for quite a while and he kept going to look at it. This wasn't getting rid of the problem. I'd also considered disabling it in some way as has already been suggested (maybe that's a kinder option). We'd tried every angle conversation-wise but it didn't work so we prepared ourselves to take the hard line rightly or wrongly.

As a driver myself I could understand how he must have felt but we took a deep breath and told him to arrange for a buyer to call as soon as possible which he did. I went along to witness the sale to make sure he wasn't being taken advantage of. I helped him with the transfer paperwork, the car went and he hasn't mentioned it since although I often wonder what goes through his mind when he sees me driving mine.

Once he agreed, the rest was easy so I know we were lucky in that respect. I'd had some hair-raising rides as a passenger in his car and knew that people's lives were at risk. The sense of relief once my dad's car was gone for good was huge for us but it's never going to be easy so I sympathise with you.

Begin with a gentle person to person approach. Avoid criticising his driving skills and try to empathise but explain the safety issues. If he's not accepting and you can't get him to see that it's for the best then your dad's anger has to be secondary to the safety of himself and everyone else and the sooner he stops driving the better but you already know that. You could suggest using his bus pass if he has one and letting 'someone else do the driving for a change while he enjoys the view'. But personally I'd find a way to get rid of it even by devious means. He may blame someone initially but once it's done, it's done then hopefully, out of sight, out of mind although naturally he may well react differently.

Best of luck.
George.
 
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Fed Up

Registered User
Aug 4, 2012
464
0
I think some excellent advice about disabling the vehicle and so do wish you luck in managing to keep him happy and safe. Not sure how much mechanical knowledge he has and hope that he does'nt mend it but keeping onestep ahead did try my patience on more than one occasion.
As one problem is resolved another crops up so I really do mean it that your awareness really does you credit as a loving and thoughtful person.
 

miniladyuk

Registered User
Aug 29, 2012
7
0
Not sure if this is an option but this is how I stopped my dad driving....
I had a Jaguar...dad had a Honda Civic....I pretended that I was struggling to afford to keep running such a big car...over a week or two dad went from "I might not renew insurance as i don't use car very much anymore" to "You renew the insurance and you can have it"
What I anticipated being very difficult actually turned out very easily...and dad thinks he was doing me a favour...not the other way round.
Mind you..I still have to drive an old Honda Civic, at least until dad forgets he has given it to me!
 

Fed Up

Registered User
Aug 4, 2012
464
0
I'd bet that the Honda is more reliable though. I have a Jazz hubby a Civic (sixth one since they came out all from new) and not once has any ever let us down.Love your dads approach to motoring he sounds great and generous so that gift Civic is going to keep going a long time.
 

Noorza

Registered User
Jun 8, 2012
6,542
0
All great advice already given, the only other option that I can think of is to get him a key that doesn't fit his car, it might be easier than disabling it. So he has the car keys, just not ones that will open his car.

You can blame the car/keys rather than his driving. This is always a hard one so I do sympathise.
 

miniladyuk

Registered User
Aug 29, 2012
7
0
Hee hee...the Honda is very reliable...13 years old and 35000 miles...just sailed through its MOT...but I am yearning for another jag...but dad is more important..and affectionately pats the car everytime I leave in it!!