1. Our next Q&A session is on the topic of Christmas and dementia.This time we want our Q&A to involve our resident experts, you! Share tips and advice on navigating Christmas here in this thread.

    Pop by and post your questions or if you prefer you can email your question to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.
  1. Songbird1

    Songbird1 Registered User

    Jan 7, 2016
    How can we convince my Dad that it is not safe for him drive anymore, family members have tried to talk to him also Social care and mental health nurse have advised him not to drive.we know that he should notify the DVLA and insurance company that he has Dementia, very worried he may be tempted to take the car our without us knowing.
  2. helenlong

    helenlong Registered User

    Sep 2, 2014
    Same problem!

    I know how you feel! We have had the same struggle with my mother, who believes she is a very safe driver! We have spent months trying to rationalize with her and get her to make a decision to sell her car, but it is no good because she forgets, or changes her mind again. Your Dad should, by law tell the DVLA., but he won't. His GP now also has a legal duty to inform the DVLA, but in my experience GPs are reluctant. So, in the end I told the DVLA. The report is made totally anonymously and online. Mum will never find out who told the DVLA. I have told her a white lie; that her consultant told the DVLA! Unfortunately I also had to take her keys and I am suffering from the onslaught of that now.:( Good Luck!
  3. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    Janet, welcome to TP. There is lots of support, experience, and good advice here in current threads as well as older ones.

    (Helen, I saw your thread and will respond to you in there)

    I am sorry to hear of the situation with your father and driving. If he is not safe to drive, then you are absolutely doing the right thing, to make sure he does not. Good for you. If that means you have the GP notify the DVLA, or do it yourself, then that is what it takes. I can hear you're worried about him and of course nobody would want an accident to happen.

    Let me please say to you, as gently as possible, that likely nobody is going to be able to "convince" your father that he shouldn't be driving. This is not for lack of caring or trying or saying the right thing, but is the fault of the dementia.

    Having said that, some approaches may work better than others.

    In one of my dementia workshops I was told that when you have to deliver a message the person isn't going to want to hear (and this goes for people without dementia as well), that you have to consider not just the message, but also the messenger. They said that adult children were almost always the wrong messenger. It's much better to have some figure of authority, such as an agency (the DVLA), doctor, social worker, nurse, police officer, et cetera, or a peer, such as a friend/neighbor/adult sibling, or possibly a favored grandchild or niece.

    With dementia, I find the authority figure route is usually most effective.

    So you might say, I know you're upset about not driving right now, Dad; however, the DVLA/insurance company/doctor says you can't. Then use distraction or redirection, if possible, to change the subject.

    I would combine this with some subterfuge as necessary, or if the GP is understanding, get them to deliver the message/write a letter/whatever you think will work.

    I would also physically remove the car, so it's not possible that it can be driven. You can say it's gone for inspection or repairs or something. Again, come up with a kind but clear statement and just repeat it over and over. Dad, I know you want your car; it's having work done right now. I don't know how long it will take to get it fixed. I will find out for you. And then distract/redirect the conversation. (My mother is easily distracted with food, coffee and biscuits or ice cream being sure winners.)

    If you can't physically remove the car right now, at least disable it and secure all the keys, but I think it's really best to get it out of sight. Otherwise you have a constant visual reminder.

    Also please be reassured that if there is upset, it may not last forever. My own mother was livid about losing her car when she moved into the care home, but the angry comments about it soon stopped. She still refers to it from time to time (and often says she needs to go car shopping) but is no longer angry about it and is easily distracted.

    Best of luck and I am sure others here will have some experience or advice to share.
  4. Bod

    Bod Registered User

    Aug 30, 2013
    Driving Assesement

    Check with your local Road Safety Office, they may run an older driver assesment scheme.
    This will "officially" test their driving skills, and give an assesment as to whether or not driving should continue.

    This worked for my FiL, who was advised to stop driving.

  5. Countryboy

    Countryboy Registered User

    Mar 17, 2005
    Yes Bod got it in one your right have a driving assessment is the only correct way , we must remember it having dementia isn't a criminal offence and dvla can only revoke your licence if you commit a driving offence or if they think you incapable send your for an assessment obviously it's up to the person with dementia to pass or fail
  6. 1mindy

    1mindy Registered User

    Jul 21, 2015
    There is no should about notifying the DVLA and the insurance company . Your dad /you/somebody must notify them of any changes. He is no longer insured if you don't. My OH informed both on diagnosis. Had to re apply each year for a licence and for three years it was renewed. This year it wasn't. All hell let loose. It was my fault ,he was going to get it back,he would prove he could drive,no one was going to stop him. This was October and he is still very upset. The mental health consultant told him it was his reply to the DVLA request that has stopped him driving as his reactions and understanding to situations on the road are not quick enough. Yes it is distressing,yes it makes my life harder as ,I need to be taxi,but the alternative does not bear thinking about. If you don't think that your dad should be driving then you can do something about it . Your dad certainly won't.
  7. Dimelza

    Dimelza Registered User

    May 28, 2013
    I knew when we removed dad's ability to drive it'd mean a huge decline and massive issues with him and I was right!
    However I grew more concerned about other drivers and pedestrians than dad so I reported to the dvla and removed his car.
    Initially we said it was being repaired and I know it's not ideal but took advantage of his worsening dementia to repeat this story for some time. He grew more accepting as time went on.
  8. DMac

    DMac Registered User

    Jul 18, 2015
    Surrey, UK
    As Bod and Tony have said, a driving assessment is only sure way to get an independent assessment of your dad's driving capabilities. That's definitely the best way.

    What do you do, though, if your dad refuses to take the assessment? This is what happened with my mother-in-law last summer. Her dementia has robbed her of her reasoning ability. She admitted if she took the test, she knew she would fail. She said that by avoiding the test, no-one would know, and she'd be able to continue driving...!!! :eek:

    Our only recourse was to employ the subterfuge techniques mentioned here already. We started by temporarily disabling her car by disconnecting a battery lead. My MiL did not have the wherewithal to re-connect it herself, or even to call out the RAC to do it for her, so we knew we were safe with that strategy as a stop-gap to buy us more time.

    In that time, we notified the DVLA (you can do this by e-mail), her GP and the insurance company on her behalf, though the latter didn't take any action as they would only deal with the GP or the policyholder directly. :confused: We did eventually get her licence revoked, but it took about 3 months - far too long. :mad:

    In the end it was my dad-in-law (also with dementia - thankfully long since given up driving) who declared that there was 'no point having a broken car on the drive' and wanted it sold - and MiL just deferred to him!! :confused:;)

    Nowadays, she sometimes makes the odd wistful comment about no longer having a car, about how she needs it for visiting people, shopping, doctor's appointments etc. We always reassure her by telling her we'll take her anywhere she wants to go (mostly true), and then change the subject. It's hard, but there isn't an easy solution to this particular problem. Let us know how you you get on, and keep posting. There will be a solution that works for you, too. xx
  9. Bessieb

    Bessieb Registered User

    Jun 2, 2014
    Huge sympathy Janet, we had the same issue with my Dad just over a year ago. He refused to accept he had dementia - had forgotten that he had ever been to the memory clinic - and refused to give up driving.

    What worked in the end was that I took him for an eye test. I had explained the situation to the Opthamologist in advance and she suggested to him that his eyesight wasn't really good enough to drive (this was pretty much true anyway). And that was it - he stopped driving. A physical reason for stopping driving was acceptable to him whilst a memory issue wasn't.
    I sold the car as soon as possible and whenever he questioned where the car was or whether he could drive I reminded him about his poor eyesight and he said 'oh yes'.

    Might this work with your Dad? does he have poor eyesight / a bad leg...anything that you and his GP could use as a physical reason to stop driving.

    Just a thought anyway
  10. Countryboy

    Countryboy Registered User

    Mar 17, 2005
    reading the threads obviously we have two completely different degrees of dementia suffers , there those with dementia who still have capacity still have a fully acting working brain and completely capable of make their own decisions and take care of their own daily lives including making the decision as to whether or not it’s time to give up driving , if they are unable or lack capacity to make decision well they shouldn’t drive , also no capacity they shouldn’t endanger the lives of other road users by walking unaccompanied on the roads alone either if there that far gone
  11. 1mindy

    1mindy Registered User

    Jul 21, 2015
    Absolutely bob on Tony. As we know there is dementia and then there is dementia. Long may you go on as good as you clearly are.
  12. Sue J

    Sue J Registered User

    Dec 9, 2009
    I have problem with my friend riding a bike:eek: I think she is beginning to cause havoc to drivers, not that she is able to go out much but it only takes one time to cause an accident. DVLA can't help there - would welcome any ideas:confused: I know she has frightened herself but the disease wont let her see that, it's everyone else's fault 'Why didn't they see her?':eek:
  13. 1mindy

    1mindy Registered User

    Jul 21, 2015
    I've let a tyre down on my OH s since he went out for over two hours the other day, got lost and was in a right state when he got home. Very confused and dirty. Said he had fallen off and got lost on the country lanes. He did say he would never do it again. But just in case .......We did think of hiding it but then our son would have got the blame for stealing it.
  14. Sue J

    Sue J Registered User

    Dec 9, 2009
    I am less able to get over to her because of my own limitations and it is taking its toll. Letting the tyre down would be a good idea but she has no help so uses it to shop and doesn't usually go far. I need to speak to GP again and let her know that she cannot be allowed to say no to carers. She's always on at me why can't I drive or why don't I ride a bike - in my good phases I probably could do both but in the bad ones trying to a bike would be worse than trying to drive a car:eek: She has told me she's learnt her lesson and 'You don't think I'd forget that do you?!' of course when you can talk about it you really don't think you'll forget as your brain/mind seems just the same as it always did. Without carers and help getting supplies she wont give it up but it isn't just her saying no to help its the authorities using any excuse not to provide it - because she said 'She wants to be independent', so what do they expect her to say:confused::eek:
  15. trigger

    trigger Account on hold

    Aug 25, 2009
    Plymstock Devon
    Distracted pedestrians taking deadly toll on UK roads
    - One in seven (14%) pedestrians admit to crossing the road without looking, distracted by mobile phone usage -

    • More than a quarter (27%) of motorists admit that they have nearly hit a pedestrian who was distracted by their mobile phone
    • There were 24,033 reported pedestrian casualties on UK roads in 2013 – with the number killed increasing by 3% year on year*
    • Under 18s most at risk as pedestrians death rates increase by 35% year on year**
    • Nearly a third of pedestrians (31%) say their mobile phone has distracted them from looking for traffic on the roads
    • More than one in 10 Brits (11%) believe there should be laws governing pedestrian’s use of mobile phones

    Drivers in particular are feeling the effects of pedestrians taking their eyes off the road with more than a quarter (27%) claiming that they have had to swerve or brake suddenly in order to avoid hitting a pedestrian who was distracted by their mobile phone

    Nearly a third of Brits (31%) admit that their mobile phone has distracted them from looking for traffic on the roads, with texting (66%) and talking on the phone (57%) cited as the most common mobile phone related activities distracting pedestrians. Other phone related distractions causing pedestrians to take their eyes off the road include browsing Facebook (23%), sending messages via WhatsApp (18%), checking emails (13%) and even taking selfies (3%).

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