How can I help my father who has Alzheimer's accept he cannot drive anymore.

Discussion in 'I have dementia' started by Marmar, Sep 1, 2015.

  1. Marmar

    Marmar Registered User

    Aug 21, 2015
    four weeks ago my father was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, and was told he can no longer drive, so my father gave me the car keys, I use his car to take him shopping and anywhere he would like to go, the problem is he forgets he cannot drive and sometimes phones me at work very aggressive saying I have stolen his keys and if I don't return them he will go to the police.
    After a while he calms down, and when I see my father I have to explain things why he no longer can drive and he is fine, but then the following week he feels down and isolated misses his independence and then I go through the same process again of stealing his car ( I now have his car at my house so it is not a reminder, it has helped that he no longer phones me for the car keys) but when I visit he asks for his car back so he can drive to the shops.

    Is there going to be a time when he accept he can no longer drive or would it be best to

    sell his car?

  2. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    I'm sure everyones different on this one but my husband gradually asked about his car, licence, keys etc less and less as time went on. Just make sure you stay calm and have plenty of diversionary tactics up your sleeve.
  3. Sue J

    Sue J Registered User

    Dec 9, 2009
    Hi Marmar

    Does your father have a bus pass? If so maybe you could find details of journeys that he could do or you do with him to lessen his loss of independence.

    It is harder to accept you can't drive anymore when your vehicle, minus the keys, is still visible.

    He has my sympathies, you too.
    Best wishes
  4. kennedy1948

    kennedy1948 Registered User

    Oct 7, 2013
    Hi Marmar,

    My husband had to surrender his licence 12 months ago and still asks if he can drive. A few weeks ago he was in the car and I stupidly left the keys in it while I dropped something off at our doctors. When I came out he had driven the car home, leaving me to walk, thankfully he got home without a problem. A big lesson for me. The other downside is that he has turned into the most awful back seat driver and it is getting to the point where I really dislike taking him in the car.

    Hopefully it will get easier for you as your Dad can't see his car outside but it might be easier if you sell his car and replace it.

    Good luck

  5. Barry

    Barry Registered User

    Oct 14, 2006
    This is always a very difficult and sometimes touch subject for many of us who have Alzheimer's my self included now for some ten and a half years BUT for me it was not a difficult decision to make and I stopped driving voluntarily from the moment I was diagnosed, as my main concern and fears were that I might be reasonable for an accident or loss control of the car, my reflexes had diminished or even the worst scenario of "Maybe" hitting and killing a child or even causing and accident on my darling wife, the list could go on!

    You just have to be patient and try to explain to him so of the VERY possible serious consequences of still driving

    Best wishes
  6. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    Hi Marmar, welcome to TP
    I'd sell the car even if you have to get another one get a different type and a different colour to replace it so he won't recognises it as being "his" car.
    The old car failed its MOT and had to be scrapped. Show him the price of a new car (an expensive one) and ask if he wants to spend al that money when you'll run him round for nothing.
    I'm I like to think one of the most honest people you could meet but I lie everyday to my wife over something, where her late mother is, her late dad, why her brothers and sisters don't visit basically whatever she's obsessing about, yes it's wrong but if it put her mind at rest the it's the kindest thing to do.
    Put the car back in his drive and take the fuses out, when it won't work get it "taken away for repairs" and "it can't be fixed" so it never comes back, emphasise the cost of a new car they're very expensive. As said the car thing does fade in time more that many other issues.
  7. Marmar

    Marmar Registered User

    Aug 21, 2015
    Sue j; 1158949]

    Thank you for your reply, my dad has no bus pass, he is 2 mile walk to the town that runs a bus, I am going to arrange dial a ride which is a service that would pick my father up from his home and leave him in town for an hour, the only problem is, is whether he is capable of meeting the dial a ride to take him home, otherwise it is a two mile walk.
  8. Marmar

    Marmar Registered User

    Aug 21, 2015
    Kevin; 1159108]

    Thank you Kevin, that sounds like a good idea, I used my dads car today, and he was fine for me to take him shopping, but once I took him home and was going to take his car away he wasn't happy, I may use my car in future to take my dad places, and use his car for work, ( mine is and older car ) my dads car has low mileage and not very old.

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