1. Jodie Lucas

    Jodie Lucas Registered User

    Dec 3, 2005
    57
    Eastbourne
    Hi everyone,

    Haven't posted in a little while but to recap, gran was diagnosed with vascular dementia about 2 months ago. She continues to drive but has been getting lost recently. At the weekend my aunt rang her at 12 and told her she would be picking her up at 3 for a party. When my aunt turned up she wasn't there and spent ages driving round the village my gran lives in for ages. She eventually turned up at the venue of the party but it took her 50 minutes to get there (the venue is only about a 5-8 minute drive from her house). I am going with her to the theatre on wednesday and reluctantly agreed to meet her at the theatre ( i insisted on picking her up but she insisted its too far out my way). I'm now wondering whether I should get to hers early with my car and take her from there?

    I know the dvla have to be informed by law if a driver has dementia, but I have also heard that the person with dementia should volunteer this information to the dvla. Is this right? My mum thinks she may be able to get the clinic to write to her about taking a driving test but i'm not sure. my gran still insists that she is confident about driving, however there have been several occassions where she has got lost (usually to places she knows well) and am worried. This along with an incident where she was convinced I was my mother and talking bout where my 'dads' ashes were, has upset me a bit. It took me several minutes to convince her that I was her granddaughter and that my father, her son-in-law was very much alive.

    Apologies for this long winded email, any advice regarding the driving would be greatly appreciated.

    Many thanks,

    Jodie
     
  2. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Jodie, as far as I know, someone has to notify DVLA if there is a diagnosis of dementia. Our consultant told us that he had to do it, and wrote to them immediately on diagnosis. Others seem to leave it to the driver or carer, which seems very unfair. We all know the upset the loss of a licence can cause.

    John in fact lost his licence straight away, but improved so much on Reminyl that we applied for it to be restored. He got it back for another three years, until he himself decided not to drive any more. However, he only drove when I was with him, and I considered it safe. He was fine on country roads and motorways, it ws town traffic he couldn't cope with.

    It does sound as if your gran is confused, so I would either notify DVLA or ask the doctor to do it.

    Love,
     
  3. Kate P

    Kate P Registered User

    Jul 6, 2007
    565
    Merseyside
    I'm having a similar problem - mum is still driving round and because she hasn't got a definite diagnosis yet - the doctor has told me it's demetia but hasn't made a clear diagnosis as mum hasn't had a brain scan yet - she's still driving round.

    Dad won't stop her because he wants a doctor to tell her she can't drive as she'll be very upset about it as she doesn't think there's anything wrong with her.

    Looking at the back of our driving licence it states that if you even suspect that someone has a brain disorder it must be declared - not to mention that I would think it makes your insurance invalid.

    As much as I'm concerned about mum getting lost etc I'm really bothered about her killing someone or causing an accident.

    I was going to ring the DVLA myself but dad will seriously fall out with me and I need to stay in his good books so that I can continue pushing to get mum a much needed diagnosis and possibly medical help.

    I try and do as you're suggesting - I won't get in the car with her and I make sure I pick her up for any event or outing - I use the excuse of I'm passing that way because I was at "such a bodies house" or some such excuse.

    I'd also welcome any advice or tips anyone has on this.
     
  4. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    You're right, Kate, it does invalidate the insurance, and also there's a huge fine if found out. It was £1000, I don't know how much it is now.

    This is the crucial question, isn't it? I found John just wasn't safe at busy roundabouts or crossroads, they were just too confusing. Also the reflexes wouldn't be quick enough if a child ran into the road.

    This is where it's so much harder for sons/daughters. John and I are always together, so it wasn't too much of a hardship for him not to drive. Where a person lives alone it's more dangerous for them to keep the licence (and the car).

    In your case, Kate, I think you are going to have to have a word with the doctor and get him to write. It's going to take a while for your dad to accept the situation. Although I think actually DVLA don't say who has given the information, so your dad needn't know.
     
  5. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,561
    Kent
    Dear Kate and Jodie,

    There are two areas of independence that seem the most upsetting to give up, and they are driving and finance.

    Holding on to financial independence isn`t dangerous and doesn`t involve third parties, but remaining a driver, while unfit, is very dangerous and can involve third parties.

    I was `lucky`. My husband broke his arm, and was unable to drive for 8 weeks. We `lent` the car to our son, my husband lost his confidence, and that was one big problem solved.

    It was a different matter with my mother. She was an Advanced motorist and a very confident driver. But she began to get lost, would tell me her car knew its` own way home, and could never remember where she parked.

    In the end, I asked her GP to inform the DVLA at Swansea, and he did. My mother always suspected, me and once said if she`d had a gun she would have killed me, because I stopped her driving, but better that, than if she`d been responsible for an accident.

    It is a very hard thing to do, but absolutely necessary.

    Love xx
     
  6. sue38

    sue38 Registered User

    Mar 6, 2007
    10,856
    Wigan, Lancs
    Hi Kate and Jodie,

    We have just been though this with my Dad who at 82 had been driving for 60+ years and had been a very competent driver.

    We absolutely dreaded telling him he could no longer drive as his refuses to accept that there is anything wrong with him or his driving.

    At the first appointment with the Consultant we were told to inform the DVLA and to be perfectly honest we ducked the issue as we didn't think we would cope with the fall out. Like you we felt that my Dad was still a competent driver, but would have a tendency to get lost if he was driving somewhere unfamiliar.

    After the second appointment with the Consultant when we received the diagnosis we were left in no doubt that we should tell the DVLA and the Insurance Company. The Insurance Company had no problem and just noted it on the policy. My Dad signed the letter to the DVLA in December, they contacted the GP in March and the letter finally came through confirming the licence had been revoked in late May.

    I have just been re-reading the thread I started in May and this is the link:-
    http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/TalkingPoint/discuss/showthread.php?t=6669

    Some 10 weeks or so on, we have come out the other side, and I can't tell you how relieved I am that we made the decision to inform the DVLA. I cannot imagine the guilt we would be feeling if my Dad had caused a serious accident. Yes, he's still not happy about it but totally blames the Consultant. He regularly says 'If I could get my hands on him... :mad: :mad: :mad:' [ so for that reason and other more complicated reasons (nothing to do with the Consultant who is excellent) we are looking to change consultants.] We have been total cowards and let him blame the Consultant, whilst us and the GP who were the real villains have got away with it.

    We have tried to find ways round it, opening an account with the local taxi firm, but as my Dad's speech is bad he can't tell them where he needs to go...

    I have just got a new car on lease as my old car's lease is due up soon, so at the moment I am a two car family. My Dad is complaining that I have 2 cars and he doesn't have one!

    Today he wanted to go to the Golf Club for a round of golf and my Mum booked him a taxi for 11.30. He was on the phone to me saying this was too late and if only he could drive... Anyway he went and my nephew picked him up at 4.

    We can however cope with him grumbling and it so much better than the constant worrying as to where he was and whether he and others on the road were safe.

    Please consider reporting to the DVLA as soon as possible as you may only be putting off the inevitable and it may be not as bad as you feared.

    Good luck.
     
  7. Jodie Lucas

    Jodie Lucas Registered User

    Dec 3, 2005
    57
    Eastbourne
    Hi everyone,

    Thank you for your replies. I think we are going to sit down and talk to gran and tell her that we need to inform the dvla of her dementia, in a way get her permission, i'm not sure I could live with the guilt if she had an accident 've also been told that there would also be problems with insurance). I am picking her up tomorrow, and will get there slightly early so I hopefully won't miss her! Time to bite the bullet methinks....

    Thanks again,
    Jodie x
     
  8. Nebiroth

    Nebiroth Registered User

    Aug 20, 2006
    3,518
    You might well get away with telling your gran that you must do this because it's the law that anyone with a "medical condition" must report it to the DVLA because of "health and safety rules". I'm sure the GP would tell you to do it, if he/she did not do it themselves. I believe that doctors are legally obliged to report people also.

    MOst older people are a bit less questioning about "government rules".

    As has been pointed out...there is a real risk if gran continues to drive. People with dementia have no insight, and someone with problems who thinks they are perfectly well is an even bigger danger because they make no allowances. It will have to be done sooner or later, and an upset gran is better than one who ends up in casualty, possibly with other people along with her.

    As you say, these things are awful but have to be done.

    It may well turn out better than you think. Sometimes the things we worry about turn out all right, it;s the unexpected things that are the worst.
     
  9. Helena

    Helena Registered User

    May 24, 2006
    715
    My Mother frightened the life out of us over her driving skills for many years before her Vascular Dementia was clearly evident

    In the end after she had called out the AA Man 3 times " claiming the garage had put something in her car " both he and 2 neighbours reported her to the DVLA

    It was 3 weeks later she got 8 pages of Tick Box forms in which she ticked that she did not have High Blood Pressure etc etc ........all total lies as her high BP had been diagnosed and treated for 30 years
    She was furious that they dare question her but when i saw what she wrote on the "when did you last see your GP" question

    knot nown ....................other similar bits of nonsense must have had DVLA very confused

    It was still 3 months before they sent her a letter rescinding her licence which she promptly hid

    Thankfully however we drove the car away meanwhile only to discover both MOT and Insurance were 4 months out of date ......thank goodness the Police did not stop us enroute

    The DVLA were supposed to have reviewed ALL their proceedures for older drivers in 2005 but needless to say everything is still in the melting pot and meanwhile people like my Mother who was 90 are still driving and damaging other peoples cars but in total denial that they have a problem
     
  10. fearful fiona

    fearful fiona Registered User

    Apr 19, 2007
    723
    London
    I wish I had been a member of TP when we had to get my Mum to give up driving. We tried everything, the gentle approach, the GP - you name it we did it. In the end the psychiatrist said (in front of her) that as she wouldn't do as she was told he would instruct my brother and me to disable the car.

    We did it and the fall out was appalling, suicide threats, reporting us to the police, etc. etc.

    However - this has all been long forgotten now and Mum thinks it was her decision to stop driving.

    It was very very painful at the time, but there was no choice, we simply had to do it, for not only her own safety but others too.
     
  11. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    9,519
    Frinton-on-Sea
    I think Fiona's post says it all.
    Difficult time, but always think of the consequences..........could you then live with yourself?
     
  12. Jodie Lucas

    Jodie Lucas Registered User

    Dec 3, 2005
    57
    Eastbourne
    Thank you nada for the fact sheet details.

    Am going to talk to mum bout what we are going to do.
    I think either me and my mum or mum and her aunt are going to talk to her and tell that the dvla need to know of her diagnosis from a legal standpoint, insurance etc. And explain the wonderful benifits of using taxis and buses!

    Thank you too connie.. I think the sooner we do this the better.

    Jodie
     
  13. Helena

    Helena Registered User

    May 24, 2006
    715
    Sorry Nada

    But theres ZERO in that advice sheet that would have convinced my Mother to give up driving

    She was so so angry when the DVLA sent her the forms
    "how dare they ask me about my driving!
    "My driving is perfect"
    I cant live without my car"
    They cant take my licence away from me
    I dont have to tell them anything

    These were just a few of her statements .........the dents on her car were incredible , she could not get it started , she could not reverse it , could not get it in the garage and had talked gibberish at times for months

    and she was 90 years old !!!

    Anyone with Vascular Dementia will be perfectly compus mentis at some point and DENY everything ......they refuse point blank to see they are a danger to themselves or anyone else and the same will apply to AD
     
  14. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Sorry, Helena, but that's a gross generalisation.

    Some people with VAD, and some people with AD will refuse to see that they are a danger.

    Equally, some will be aware of their confusion, and will voluntarily give up driving. I never put any pressure on John, but asked him if he wanted to drive, whenever I felt it was safe. Increasingly he said no, and I stopped asking.

    Not renewing hs licence was more of a problem, that was a morale thing, and for a long time he carried around his expired licence, and told people that he could still drive if he wanted to.
     
  15. Helena

    Helena Registered User

    May 24, 2006
    715
    I would like to see the actual % of people with AD or VD who are aware of their deficiencies

    Your husband may be the exception to the rule

    Even before the VD was obvious in my Mother she was adamant she did not have to even inform the DVLA she had Cataracts

    Sorry but I do not think anyone at age 90 should still be driving and I believe we should all be tested every year from age 75 as happens in New Zealand and now Japan and I think Sweden

    That way at least a larger number of people would have their poor driving /poor perception /poor reaction times spotted and there would be less angst all round
     
  16. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    Hi Helena

    as you say:
    and not "I know that no-one anyone at age 90 "

    you say
    and of course that may be true, as may the converse...:)

    Everything members say here are personal views, based on their own experiences.

    I agree with most of what you say, but every person has a different route through the dementia maze, and it all depends on their health otherwise, their history, which bits of the brain get hit, and the stage they are at, etc.

    Generalisations should never be taken as gospel, otherwise on the evidence of the other day I might say that all women with children aboard a car should be stopped from driving - whereas I actually believe that drivers are good or bad, depending on their personality, soberness, speed of reaction ... but not their gender, or actually, their age.

    A young mid-20s blonde mum passed me on the inside on the A3 yesterday then cut across me to miss the vehicle in front - doing about 80 and driving a people carrier with kids aboard - causing me to brake as I was in the throes of overtaking the vehicle that was in front of her... she then cut across me to the fast lane, before cutting back across all lanes, causing all cars to brake - as she took an exit from the road. I followed her through Esher but could not keep up because she was always over the speed limit.

    In the same way she does not exemplify drivers, male or female of any age, it is best to take each case of each dementia on its own merits.

    ... and while we're on the subject of drivers and age - my Dad is mid 80s and regularly drives from Cornwall to Bolton, Norfolk, Kent etc to see family. He was an airline pilot many years ago, but his driving is excellent.

    So best not to generalise on age either.... :(
     
  17. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    9,519
    Frinton-on-Sea
    Thats the route Lionel took.......(long time ago that was how he gave up smoking that way but that's another story)

    Realise everyone is different........my point being we have a duty to the unsuspecting public to keep them safe from our loved ones, at least that is if you have a conscience.

    Sorry to be so blunt.
     
  18. Kate P

    Kate P Registered User

    Jul 6, 2007
    565
    Merseyside
    Thanks for the advice everyone - really there's only one thing to be done but it's going to be a hellish thing to do as both mum and dad are going to be seething with me if I report her to the DVLA.

    I may speak to mum's consultant actually - I don't think dad has told her that mum is still driving so she may report to DVLA herself. I think that's what dad is hoping for really.

    I understand why dad is worried (plus he'll do anything, and I mean anything not to have a confrontation with mum) because at the moment she's in some weird obsession that she has to go to Tesco two or three times a day, every day. I can't imagine what the staff there must think!!:eek:

    I think he's worried that mum will try to catch a bus or walk there instead and get lost or get on the wrong bus and as mum can't speak she wouldn't be able to ask for help or tell us where she was (assuming she can remember how to answer her mobile).

    For me, I think if dad wants to keep working, it's time to look at carers for mum in the mornings but he won't do it - again because he doesn't want a confrontation with her.

    Ah it's tricky and messy stuff we're all dealing with isn't it? You sort one problem and a hundred others appear!:)
     
  19. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Absolutely right, Kate. :eek: You're in such a difficult position, having to tread on eggshells.

    Keep in touch, even if we can't do much to help, we can support.

    Love,
     
  20. Jodie Lucas

    Jodie Lucas Registered User

    Dec 3, 2005
    57
    Eastbourne
    Thanks for everyones post. Going to tackle subject tonight... actually need to find out when my grans licence expires as thats probably a good place to start (and to check her licence is still valid).

    Will keep everyone posted of my progress!

    Jodie
     

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