1. Expert Q&A: Living well as a carer - Thurs 29 August, 3-4pm

    As a carer for a person living with dementia, the needs of the person you care for will often come before your own. You may experience a range of difficult emotions and you may not have the time to do all the things you need to do. Caring can have a big impact on both your mental and physical health, as well as your overall wellbeing.

    Angelo, our Knowledge Officer (Wellbeing) is our expert on this topic. He will be here to answer your questions on Thursday 29 August between 3-4pm.

    You can either post questions >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll answer as many as we can on the day.

  1. anglebangle

    anglebangle New member

    Aug 13, 2019
    Hi everyone

    I have just joined this evening. I am feeling out of my depth and don’t know what to do for the best.

    My 82 year old aunt was diagnosed nearly two years ago, after seeing a psychiatrist, with dementia. Shortly after she also had a brain scan but refuses to go back to get then results. The psychiatrist told her she had to stop driving, but she has refused. My uncle, who is nearly 90 and is very fit, is her Carer. I am not saying he is doing a bad job, but he is still letting her go off in the car to the supermarket. Can someone enlighten me as to what the procedure is after being diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s when it comes to the DVLA.

    My aunt and uncle do not have children and so I am having to support them as best I can. I don’t want to stick my nose in too much as they can both be a little defensive as they have both been in denial about the prognosis and what the future holds. I have noticed a big decline in my aunt’s cognitive ability in cooking and looking after the house in the last year. I also don’t think she is showering as often as she use to. She also forgets to brush her hair in the morning. She was always so fussy about this, She is also bladder incontinent which my uncle is getting frustrated with. I bought incontinent pants for her recently but she is still having to change her trousers through the day due to the pads leaking. She has taken to sleeping in her dressing gown at night as she thinks this will keep her bed dry. I don’t know much about incontinent pants, but are they not suppose to stop outer clothes from getting wet by keeping the liquid in?

    I am reading over other postings and learning a lot from you all. I look forward to reading more and sharing my concerns and future experiences, that I am sure have yet to come.

  2. karaokePete

    karaokePete Registered User

    Jul 23, 2017
    N Ireland
    Hello @anglebangle, you are welcome here and I hope you find the forum to be a friendly and supportive place.

    I see you are taking time to take a good look around the site, it is a goldmine for information. When I first joined I read old threads for information but then found the AS Publications list and the page where a post code search can be done to check for support services in ones own area. If you are interested in these, clicking the following links will take you there



    You will see that there are Factsheets that will help with things like getting care needs assessments, deciding the level of care required and sorting out useful things like Wills, Power of Attorney etc., if any of that hasn't already been done.

    Now that you have found us I hope you will keep posting as the membership has vast collective knowledge and experience.

    With regard to the driving, there is a legal duty to inform DVLA and Insurers about a diagnosis. It's always a difficult issue but innocent third parties have to be protected. There is a test that can be taken to see if a limited licence can be issued. You will see details in the Factsheets.
  3. Glokta

    Glokta Registered User

    Jul 22, 2019
    If she’s driving after being advised she should not, her insurance will be invalidated. If she has an accident, they will not pay out and she could be prosecuted. Can you contact the psychiatrist to explain what is happening? If not, her GP could tell DVLA. I don’t think you can do much more for your aunt and uncle but I’m sure someone on here with more experience might have some good suggestions.
  4. BluTinks

    BluTinks Registered User

    Dec 7, 2018
    I wrote a letter to my mum’s psychiatrist & he got on to DVLA & revoked her licence. Maybe talk to your uncle as licences need to be reviewed every 3 years after the age of 70 . If your uncle is filling out her paperwork it’s also his duty to inform DVLA of any illness as he would feel terrible if anything happened. It’s then up to DVLA to check with her doctor, suggest that she might be able to resit her driving test. Then it’s not you forcing the issue, but you and your uncle can not be held responsible if anything happened
  5. Bunpoots

    Bunpoots Registered User

    Apr 1, 2016
    Welcome to DTP @anglebangle

    I see @karaokePete has given you information about getting support. Your uncle can't manage your aunt and the household by himself so encourage him to get some help in whether that's help with housework or help with care for your aunt. A good care agency should be able to provide support in all areas including housework, laundry, food preparation and cleaning.

    I know incontinence caused me a lot of frustration when dealing with my dad. Pads and pull-ups will keep most things contained most of the time but they have to be changed regularly (probably 4 times a day) when they get wet or they will leak - carer's would help with this if it's difficult for your aunt and uncle.
    Has your aunt been referred to the continence clinic? I had to ask dad's GP to refer him but I think in some areas you can ring the clinic directly. They will assess your aunt's needs and provide suitable pads or, in some cases, pull-ups.

    In the meantime I found that incontinence choice had a good selection of products and at higher absorbancies than available in the supermarkets. I found that these worked for my dad although prettier ones are available if your aunt is fussy.

  6. RosettaT

    RosettaT Registered User

    Sep 9, 2018
    Mid Lincs
    Welcome to TP.

    We were told to inform the DVLA about the medcation my
    OH was put on. They immediately withdrew his license. My OH challenged that decision and got his license back after having a asscessment at the Derby Asscessment Centre, it's not the same as a driving test. They went through a medical for range of movement particularly neck, hands and feet, perception and spacial awareness tests, then a 15 mile drive. He was told in my presence it was one of the best drives they had ever accessed. It doesn't always go hand in hand that dementia means someone is unsafe to drive. If I had, had any doubt about his ability I wouldn't have suported him. I think in hubbies case it was withdrawn because he was prescribed Memantine which is for moderate to sever alz because Donepezil gave him headaches and they assumed he was worse than he actually was. However it is a legal requirement to inform the DVLA of any medical condition that could affect driving ability. In fact OH consultant stated that she was legally bound to report his diagnosis and suggested we should too to make sure there was no come back.
  7. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    There is at the moment a fairly infamous case near me where a gentleman with dementia hit a cyclist, did not stop and the cyclist subsequently died. The gentleman has ben charged with causing death by dangerous driving.

    I do not know all the circumstances, but if the DVLA has not been informed then the insurance is not valid. It may be, of course, that he has continued to drive without a licence or insurance. Whatever, it is concerning, and goes to show that these things happen.
  8. Louise7

    Louise7 Registered User

    Mar 25, 2016
    You can report concerns to the DVLA anonymously if you are concerned about any come back, but you have a duty to report your aunt if she and your uncle are refusing to do this. As above, you need to consider other road users/ pedestrians who are being placed at risk. I can't find the DVLA link at the moment but I'll post it later (unless someone else posts it in the meantime)

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