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.

How do I deal with the DVLA/Police regarding my Dad?

Discussion in 'Welcome and how to use Dementia Talking Point' started by GailM, Jan 5, 2017.

  1. GailM

    GailM Registered User

    Jan 1, 2017
    34
    Cataracts have been diagnosed. I assume my Dad will have to go back to the Doctors for the results of the Health Check.
     
  2. GailM

    GailM Registered User

    Jan 1, 2017
    34
    My Dad has just told me that the Optician told him not to drive. He has also told me he's going to ignore them and carry on driving. I just hope the dementia side of things has been picked up on and the doctor chases up the eye results. From what I can gather the doctor has no legal obligation to contact the DVLA. Looks like it might all be back on me again.
     
  3. GailM

    GailM Registered User

    Jan 1, 2017
    34
    I phoned my Dad's doctors this morning and asked for notes to be put on the system regarding the fact my Dad had been told by the Optician not to drive but he was still doing so. I received a phone call this afternoon from my Uncle asking me if I had phoned my Dad's doctors. It turns out the doctor had phoned and told him he hadn't to drive. I'm sure she didn't say the info had come from me (but it could only have been me). There was no point lying. In a way I'm not happy the doctor phoned but in another it has brought everything to the fore. I knew my Dad would not have the operation because he would have to stop driving. Luckily he has taken notice now and the time I was talking to him on the phone is when he should have been picking my Cousin up from work. He says he will have the operation. Hopefully in the meantime he will go back to the doctors for the results of his health check and the Dementia will have been picked up. I'd much rather it was done this way than me having to contact the DVLA. Both my Dad and Uncle are fine with me and understand. I've sent my Cousin an email and am awaiting his reply. I've heard nothing from my Auntie and she's the one who will be kicking off. Bring it on if she does. After weeks of all this I'm ready for her:mad:
     
  4. AlsoConfused

    AlsoConfused Registered User

    Sep 17, 2010
    1,958
    Good on yer, Gail:)!

    So glad this horrible situation seems to be resolving itself before anyone gets hurt.
     
  5. Malalie

    Malalie Registered User

    Sep 1, 2016
    307
    Female
    You have been doing so well in this horrible and dangerous situation Gail - I admire you for sticking with it when you could have turned your back when it got awkward and just said "just get on with it then"

    Tell your Dad that the op is painless - bit weird, but painless, and I can now see better than I could at 20!! I can drive without glasses now.....but don't tell him that bit....obviously :D
     
  6. silkiest

    silkiest Registered User

    Feb 9, 2017
    62
    Good luck Gail. From you mentioning confidentiality with the GP I assume there is no power of attorney at the moment. If your dad is still able to make reasonable decisions it would be an idea to get them in place before its too late. GP's, hospital doctors etc would then have to talk to you if you are named on it.
    I have found the simple sentence : 'I have power of attorney' makes all the difference in the world to how helpful outside agencies are. Once registered it does not have to be used but is there as a failsafe. You do not need a solicitor as it can all be arranged online through .gov.uk
     
  7. VickiW

    VickiW Registered User

    Dec 29, 2016
    35
    I'm not sure if this will help but in case...

    I had very similar with my Dad, who had many near misses but we knew taking away his driving would take away his independence. His doctor refused to help, I even left the form for renewing Dad's licence at the doctors asking them to complete and they gave it back and told me to do it. I was stuck - the form was in my Dad's name, he was signing it, if I asked him the answers he said everything was hunky dory. And I couldn't fill it in on his behalf.

    I came across a company called south eastern drive ability, an NHS referral for assessing driving. You do have to pay but if a doctor refers, it's reduced. It's something drs are supposed to know about but don't. You can also do it privately but your father would have to consent.

    I persuaded the dr to refer, told my dad dr was asking him to do it as part of the check up. Needless to say, he failed and was persuaded to voluntarily give up his licence. The centre were AMAZING with him and made an awful experience very easy to handle and treated him with dignity and as a human being.

    This service is in Kent re must be others around the country. I wish you luck!


    Sent from my iPad using Talking Point
     
  8. GailM

    GailM Registered User

    Jan 1, 2017
    34
    Thanks for the info Silkiest. However if I bring something else into the mix at the moment, it will just cause more problems. My Dad wouldn't agree to it, I do know that. In fact I would guess that it will have to be done after he is unable to understand what's going on (which I know is a longer process). It may even be that my Uncle applies for it, especially since they live under the same roof and my Dad pays for the food. My Dad wouldn't consent to the driving assessment, although it would be a good idea. I'm hoping once he's had his cataracts done, the dementia test results will stop him driving. However he said the other day that he had passed and the doctor commented on how well he'd done, although he admits he got a few wrong. Whether this is true or not, I have no idea. He's ringing me every few days so I'm hoping he tells me the results. I can't see any way that he has passed that check...
     
  9. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    9,880
    Female
    South coast
    Im afraid that lots of people with dementia think that they have passed the tests when they havent.
    I was with mum when she was asked the questions. She thought it was 1953, she very confidently gave her childhood home as her address, etc etc. She hardly got any right, but the doctor smiled and said "well done" and she turned to me and said "see - I passed" :(

    I dont think you can trust what what your dad says now. Did anyone go with him? I have learned the hard way that a PWD needs someone to go with them so that they can get an accurate report about what was said.
     
  10. GailM

    GailM Registered User

    Jan 1, 2017
    34
    I know to take most things my Dad says with a pinch of salt. I think the same thing may have happened in my Dad's test Canary. He will have gone into the Surgery on his own. At a guess my Uncle may have been with him but stayed in the car. It's a pity I can't find out his diagnosis from his doctor. I'm just going to have to hope he tells me himself. If he starts driving again after his cataract surgery I may have to contact the Surgery again and tell them my Dad is driving, and is he supposed to be, and then they will maybe intervene like they did last time if he's oing something he shouldn't be. I know I can report him to the DVLA, but I need proof that he is driving when he shouldn't be. At the moment he is still taking notice of what the doctor said and is not driving.
     
  11. nmintueo

    nmintueo Registered User

    Jun 28, 2011
    847
    UK
    They do have an explicit ethical duty, however (although they commonly ignore that, as many accounts in this forum attest).

    Somewhat similar with opticians:

    The College of Optometrists
    If you think a patient is unfit to drive

    http://guidance.college-optometrist...ive/if-you-think-a-patient-is-unfit-to-drive/


    Well, that's good. (I wonder how the nephew is getting himself to work now.)
     
  12. GailM

    GailM Registered User

    Jan 1, 2017
    34
    I contacted the Doctors and the Optician regarding my Dad's driving and neither of them would get involved in anything to do with the DVLA. They said I would have to be the one to report it. I feel strongly that it should be a legal obligation for them to do so, maybe more so the Doctors. There is more than likely going to be a Dementia diagnosis on it's way and yet they STILL won't get involved. It's crazy. My Cousin is getting to work and back by bus. Out of the house at 6.50 and not back in till 7 so my Dad says. It will be about right. He used to get up at 6.30 to be out of the house at 8.15. so God knows what time he gets up at now! I haven't heard anything from my Auntie or Cousin (although not hearing from my Auntie is not unusual). I never got a reply from my Cousin from the email I sent the day the Doctor rung my Dad and he stopped driving. I'm guessing I'm not very popular with those two. I will find out in April as I'm always invited over for birthdays. If I get as far as being invited, one word out of place from either of them and they will see a side of me they've never seen before!!!!I will tell it like it is and they won't like it.
     
  13. GailM

    GailM Registered User

    Jan 1, 2017
    34
    Regarding buses Nmintueo, I reckon at least two each way minimum. My Cousins employers moved offices about six weeks ago. He is now very central, as in near to the bus station otherwise it would be worse than it is. I see he is not dipping into his deep pockets and using taxis. He has at least two hundred thousand in the bank...
     
  14. Oh Knickers

    Oh Knickers Registered User

    Nov 19, 2016
    500
    Hi Gail,

    This is sounding tough for you. I really get that. However, by asking the GP and the Optometrist to take the action you are putting them in a very difficult position. Tough, but true.

    When we were going through this journey with my mum I asked the GP to help. He, as yours did, ask my mother to do the driving assessment. She point blank refused. He also asked her to consider giving up driving. Again, point blank refusal.

    I did take things in my hands as sibling was pfaffing. I decided I could not live with myself were mother to hit someone. She had clocked up quite a bit of superficial damage on her car. So I wrote an approximate diary of what the damage was and when it had occurred. Stating mother had refused to take the driving assessment. Sibling agreed to the action.

    The DVLA wrote to my mother rescinding her driving licence. There could be no argument on the basis of the letter. It was the DVLA. I was not mentioned. However, I suspect sibling may have dobbed me in it. My mother asked recently whether I had informed DVLA. This is a woman with a 5 second memory. Her licence was taken away over 1 year ago. :(

    I do no have quite the family political situation you have. It must be heard being stuck between a rock and a hard place. Your dad has been advised not to drive. He will not be covered by insurance should he drive. It will take a little, not much, time to recover from cataracts. So either a case of writing to the DVLA now or after the operation should you still feel he is not safe.

    By giving the responsibility to the GP or the optometrist, as a friend pointed out to me, it is asking them to play God. And that is not fair.

    Best of luck in your decision.
     
  15. GailM

    GailM Registered User

    Jan 1, 2017
    34
    I think my Dad is having the first cataract removed on Friday and then the second one two weeks after that. I gather he then has another eye test. In the meantime he should have/already have a diagnosis regarding Dementia. My worry is that he will receive a Dementia diagnosis and be told not to drive, but will do so. Maybe even avoiding coming to see me yet starting to take my Cousin to and from work again. Unless my Dad actually tells me, I have no proof of the diagnosis (and of course he could lie!). It's a case of sit and wait at the moment. He's definitely not driving at the moment as I know that his Sister in Laws Brother in Law is driving him to his appointments. If I know for certain he is driving again after his Cataracts are removed I may have to contact the Doctors again. I know they will not give information but her intervention worked last time.
     
  16. nmintueo

    nmintueo Registered User

    Jun 28, 2011
    847
    UK
    The GMC sets out, explicitly, an ethical responsibility for doctors to act where the patient refuses to inform the DVLA of a notifiable condition.

    If you ask them to do this, you are not "asking them to play God" and being unfair to them -- you are merely expecting them to fulfil their existing professional obligations.

    In short: it is expressly part of their job and they should not refuse to do their job.
     
  17. GailM

    GailM Registered User

    Jan 1, 2017
    34
    I've just had a good look at the GMC website. It's very difficult to get past the receptionist. I've only ever managed to speak to a doctor once. If I find that my Dad is driving again I won't know whether he should be driving or not but what I can do is insist I speak to his doctor and quote from the GMC website if she is initially unwilling to help (if the help is needed which I'm pretty sure it will be regarding the Dementia). I just wish I had access to that information but realise the doctor can't disclose anything. However, she will have the results in front of her...
     
  18. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,429
    Hear , hear nmintueo.
     
  19. GailM

    GailM Registered User

    Jan 1, 2017
    34
    I've had a phone call from my Dad today. He has his first cataract removed on Thursday. He has realised that once they are both removed, he then has to go back to the Optician who will inform him as to whether he can drive. I've asked him about any further contact with his doctor regarding his Over 75 Health Check. He says he hasn't been called back in (and I believe him). I don't know whether they will send for him once he's had the cataracts done, or whether the don't need to see him again. Can anyone shed any light on what happens?
     
  20. GailM

    GailM Registered User

    Jan 1, 2017
    34
    I had a phone call from my Dad yesterday. He has been back to the Opticians and can now drive again. He told me he was told her can have the other cataract done later. He is now driving again. It also looks like he passed the dementia test at the health check as nothing has been done about it. I've been reading up about the check and seemingly if that person was "high functioning" they are more likely to pass. The only other scenario is that he was advised to go to a memory clinic and has refused. He's stubborn so I wouldn't put it past him, but I think it's more likely a very basic test was done and he managed to pass...Yesterday he said "pressed the button twice". I said what do you mean? What button? He said I don't know. It was said as a sentence yet had no meaning...:confused:
     

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