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Driving

mand7

Registered User
Sep 9, 2016
1
Hi I am new to this, my dad was diagnosed with vascular dementia a year ago and given a year driving licence, his memory and symptoms have got worse and he recently broke his arm which has meant no driving, I have spoken to his doctor about my worries about him driving again (he doesn't recognise his own car) and his advice was he shouldn't drive and hide the keys! some days my dad says hes ready to drive again and that if his licence is revoked he wants to die, I told him he would have to be assessed before he can drive again is this something the doctor should be helping with, I am terrified of him getting behind a wheel again but because i am the only person caring for him I cannot be the one who tells him not to drive, can somebody please give me some advice on how i should handle this thank you
 

chick1962

Registered User
Apr 3, 2014
11,282
near Folkestone
Hello you can just make an appointment with the driving assessment centre . Look one up locally to you . It costs us £50 pounds in 2011 but after that the DVAL pays for it. They will send confirmation of assessment through the post and you can just love lie and say GP requested this . Hope it helps . Best wishes chick .


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looviloo

Registered User
May 3, 2015
463
Cheshire
My dad was the same - very, very attached to his driving (=independence). Sadly a broken shoulder and dementia meant he could no longer drive, but he still talked about it as though he would get in the car at any moment, which was a huge worry. He moved to a care home shortly after, so the risk wasn't a factor anymore, but I would have hidden the keys if necessary as suggested by your dad's doctor.

I placated my dad with promises of writing to the DVLA / waiting for his shoulder to heal / telling him his car was being looked after etc etc and eventually his 'need' to drive diminished. He still asks about it, but the urgency isn't there anymore. He's not distressed about it any longer.

Good luck, it's a difficult situation to be in. You feel so torn, don't you?!
 

Spamar

Registered User
Oct 5, 2013
7,069
Suffolk
Or just get an appt for him with gp, having previously warned him/ her what you want and that such news is far better coming from gp than yourself.
 

Peirre

Registered User
Aug 26, 2015
160
Or just get an appt for him with gp, having previously warned him/ her what you want and that such news is far better coming from gp than yourself.
This is what I did for my dad, the dvla where having trouble getting info from the MC which made the final withdrawal at his licence a protracted affair. So after approaching the GP I expressed my concerns and the GP signed off the forms withdrawing his licence, which he accepted as the decision had come from someone in officialdom
 

jaymor

Volunteer Moderator
Jul 14, 2006
12,799
England
My husband was given an annual licence for four years and was automatically assessed before the next years licence was given.
 

Perfectdaughter

Registered User
Sep 25, 2014
29
London
Could you ask someone to disable the car's electrics (discreetly!) so that if your dad were to climb in and attempt to drive it away it wouldn't start? You could then arrange for it to be taken away for 'repairs', which might turn out to be lengthy...

My 90 year old father also said he would die if he couldn't drive but I was terrified he would kill someone; he drove at speed, had lost his wing mirror and had collected a number of dents and letters from insurance companies about minor scrapes (which he hid from me). Eventually in one go he crunched his car front and back and demolished a wall at Tescos while attempting to park. An ambulance brought him home and the police towed his car back onto the drive. Fortunately no-one had been standing between him and the wall at Tescos. His garage (who were sympathetic to my concerns) said the car was a write-off and somehow we never got round to buying him a replacement. He had enough awareness to understand that he could have hurt someone. We persuaded him to get a mobility scooter instead, which at least limited the speed and distance he could travel, and that kept him independent for another year.
 

nmintueo

Registered User
Jun 28, 2011
847
UK
Hi I am new to this, my dad was diagnosed with vascular dementia a year ago and given a year driving licence, his memory and symptoms have got worse ...

[his doctor's] advice was he shouldn't drive and hide the keys!

I told him he would have to be assessed before he can drive again is this something the doctor should be helping with, I am terrified of him getting behind a wheel again but because i am the only person caring for him I cannot be the one who tells him not to drive, can somebody please give me some advice on how i should handle this thank you
So: the diagnosis has been notified to DVLA already, and your dad got a one-year licence after that being notified and after taking a driving assessment, and the licence has now expired?

Doctors are under a duty to inform the DVLA if a patient refuses medical advice to stop driving. But if that notification has already taken place, I don't know that you could expect the doctor to do more, although you could ask the doctor if he or she can explain the situation to your dad, or try to persuade him.

Otherwise, let your dad take another driving assessment. If he fails, none of this will be your fault (although whether someone with dementia will see it that way is another matter, unfortunately).

How much does he actually need to get around, anyway? Alternative means of transport (such as Perfectdaughter found) might fill the need.

If he doesn't recognise his own car, how is he going to get in and drive it anywhere? But if there is a risk of that, measures people have suggested, such as taking the keys, disabling the car or 'taking it for repairs' seem sensible.

More information:

• From Alzheimer's Society:

Home About dementia Factsheets
https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/documents.php?categoryID=200137

Driving and dementia (439)
http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/factsheet/439


• From the GMC's ethical guidance to doctors:

7. If you do not manage to persuade the patient to stop driving, or you discover that they are continuing to drive against your advice, you should contact the DVLA or DVA immediately and disclose any relevant medical information, in confidence, to the medical adviser.

Confidentiality: reporting concerns about patients to the DVLA or the DVA
http://www.gmc-uk.org/guidance/ethical_guidance/28432.asp

• From GOV.UK:

Medical conditions, disabilities and driving
https://www.gov.uk/driving-medical-conditions

Check if you need to tell DVLA about a health condition
https://www.gov.uk/health-conditions-and-driving

Alzheimer's disease and driving
https://www.gov.uk/alzheimers-disease-and-driving

You must tell DVLA if you have Alzheimer’s disease.

Dementia and driving
https://www.gov.uk/dementia-and-driving

You must tell DVLA if you suffer from dementia.


• Previous discussion (one of many on this topic): http://forum.alzheimers.org.uk/showthread.php?42939

• To report to DVLA, if that hasn't been done already, can use:

DVLA Email Us
https://emaildvla.direct.gov.uk/

including:

I have concerns over a person's fitness to drive and I wish to tell the DVLA
https://emaildvla.direct.gov.uk/emaildvla/cegemail/dvla/en/drivers_med_03.html

All 3rd Party Notifications are treated with the strictest confidence and we never reveal to the licence holder or any other enquiring party where the information came from originally.
 
Last edited:

Debbs3006

Registered User
May 23, 2016
27
This is a really difficult one. I had the same problem with my 90 year old mum who refused to give her car up. The gp and psychiatrist both assessed her and felt she was safe to drive as long as she only did short familiar journeys!! As if that makes you safer!!! This was so unhelpful and I really felt they didn't understand the true implications of mums and other peoples safety. She even forgot where she'd parked her car once and what it was whilst out at a supermarket and they rang me to ask me what car she drove!! In the end the car wouldn't start one morning and I got the AA out who although they got it going, told me it was unreliable and could let her down at any time. At this point I took the keys away and told her I couldn't risk her being out in a car that wasn't safe as it worried me too much. Although she seemed to accept this she constantly told people that I'd taken her off the road! What I would say is that you need to plan alternatives. I organised a community bus to pick her up one day a week and take her shopping, volunteer drivers twice a week and a private care agency who drove her places as part of her care. It's so hard if they've been independent so you need to make sure they don't feel totally cut off and isolated. Often neighbours or friends will help with the odd journey too if it's not too often.


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