Husband insists on driving

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by DMWalker, Sep 24, 2006.

  1. DMWalker

    DMWalker Registered User

    Aug 14, 2006
    West Yorkshire
    My husband was diagnosed with AD in March this year, I have known for a couple of years he has had problems with his driving.

    He had a driving assessment earlier this year and he was told he has to have another one after 12 months. They took his HGV licence from him.

    The problem is he thinks he is a good driver, we nearly had a crash last weekend with our toddler grandaughter sat in the back when he turned into a side road in front of another car. I gasped and he pulled the handbrake on suddenly, got out and told me to go on my own.

    Today we have had another disagreement because we had to go onl a 200 mile round trip to see a relative, again we took our grandaughter so I insisted on driving. He never spoke all the way there. He said he wouldn't go at first and I had to persuade him. I can't believe he seems unconcerned.

    He is not too bad at the moment, he has the odd memory lapse but insists there is nothing wrong with his driving. He doesn't seem bothered when he's in the wrong lane or forgets to indicate.

    We spoke about it to his new doctor a couple of weeks ago at the AD clinic but he just told him he must e honest with himself.

    Has anyone had to deal with this? How do I tackle it tactfully?

  2. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    Dee, I'm not sure tact is the way to go - I understand what you're saying, but this is dangerous, not only to himself and any passengers but everyone else on the road. I'm glad you put your foot down over the long journey, but you'll have to do the same thing for every other journey as well (what are the statistics? Most accidents happen within 5 miles of home?) What about your granddaughters parents? How do they feel? I think the only thing you can do is refuse point blank to get in the car with him driving, and/or hide the keys. It doesn't solve the problem vis a vis other road users, but it will keep you safe. If he sulks, well he sulks. He's alive and sulking, as opposed to any other situation.

  3. DMWalker

    DMWalker Registered User

    Aug 14, 2006
    West Yorkshire
    My daughter would not want us to take our grandchild if my husband was driving. Last weekend was so nice we decided to take them to the coast, he insisted on driving, we were on our way to pick up another young grandchild so I thought I would suggest driving once we had picked him up, were only about half a mile from home when we nearly had the accident. My husband walked off and didn't come home for about 5 hours, he said he had been to see a friend and never spoke about the incident.

    The main problem is he is so argumentative about driving. He doesn't think he has any signs of AD at the moment, he acuses me of making mountains out of mole hills, it's all very hard.

    He does go out driving sometimes when I am at work. I am finding this very stressful.

    The last visit to the AD clinic as I said earlier, was with a new doctor as my husband is now 65, who saw us both together, much to my husband's delight! He doesn't like to think I am telling the doctor anything. The doctor told us there was no need to see him for six months and he would see a nurse for the next visit.

    My husband tells me that this means there are no problems and he probably has another 18 years before he will have any symptoms.
  4. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    Well if he was without symptoms they wouldn't have taken his HGV license, would they? I know the standard are higher, but still....

    What about calling the DVLA? It's not as if they're not already aware of the diagnosis, and they may be able to make suggestions about a possible solution. Also, could your daughter's partner lay it on the line? When my FIL was still alive, and the children were still young, I refused to allow him to drive them. It seemed to go down better coming from me, rather than from his son.

    As a last resort, what about your Insurance company? I sure wouldn't want to be responsible for insuring a driver like your husband. If the insurance was rescinded, he wouldn't drive then, would he?

  5. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    Sorry but, NO, NO, NO,. Would you be able to live with yourself when he has a serious accident.

    I have been in your situation, NOT EASY I KNOW, but, forgive me for being blunt, neither is the death of another individual.

    (Sorry if I sound hard)it is a situation that does have to be faced. Grandmother of five,
  6. Amy

    Amy Registered User

    Jan 4, 2006
    Hiya Dee,
    Contact the GP, the insurance, the DVLA - tell them all that you do not feel that he is fit to be driving - you will have to take the flak - but that will be better than living with the guilt of an innocent person's injury or death. If you really believe that the dementia is causing him to be a liability, act straight away, please.
    Love Helen
  7. Helena

    Helena Registered User

    May 24, 2006
    Get as many people as you can to write to the cheif medical officer at DVLa expressing your deep concerns

    They will do what they did with my Mother and revoke her licence
    You have to write its no good phoning and more than one letter from different people is taken very seriously
  8. DMWalker

    DMWalker Registered User

    Aug 14, 2006
    West Yorkshire
    I will refuse to go anywhere with him in future if he wants to drive. Hopefully he will calm down although is a very stubborn man.

    My daughter, bless her, is bringing up her two children on her own, she found her partner was seeing someone else when the baby was four weeks old. The is another problem I have had to cope with, Dave was round at her house all the time , she has stopped him taking the baby out as it was too worrying.

    I do sometimes wonder if I am reading too much in to his illness at the moment. If it is mentioned he gets annoyed and says I'm imagining it. But I agree the driving has to stop.

    We very rarely talk about AD unless it is because of the driving as that is the one thing that worries me so much.
  9. Nell

    Nell Registered User

    Aug 9, 2005
  10. bel

    bel Registered User

    Apr 26, 2006
    Re Driving

    I understand how you feel my hubby has had his liscence taken away it was and still is a big deal to him i and our daughter wrote to DVLA without him knowing it was hard but he thought and still does he was ok safe nothing wrong it was and is still hard i feel awful about it BUT I KNOW THEY WILL kill someone or themselves if we dont stop them give me a shout if you want more info
    Love Bel x
  11. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006

    I have been through this with both my mother and my husband.

    My mother had passed her advanced driving test but got to the stage where she drove like `King of the Road` and seemed erratic. I was really nervous for her and anyone who might have ,literally, come into contact with her.
    Whenever I mentioned it to her, she would say `My car knows it`s own way home`or `My car knows me better than I know myself.`
    One night the phone rang at 12.30a.m. It was a man who claimed to have tested my mother`s driving and was pleased to inform us she was a very good driver. Goodness knows how much she paid him to say that.
    The next day I phoned Swansea and reported the incident. They wrote to my mother and asked for her Licence.
    She knew I`d been responsible for this and said `If I had a gun I would kill you`.

    My husband was beginning to make small errors of judgement after 30 years of driving for a living. Our son began to `borrow` the car and as my husband would never refuse him, the `borrowing` would last for longer periods. Then unfortunately [or fortunately as it happened ] my husband fell and broke his arm. He couldn`t drive for 8 weeks. When he did get back behind the wheel, he had lost his confidence and gave the car to our son.
    If this hadn`t happened, I would definitely have reported my husband to either Swansea or our GP.

    Don`t wait for an accident to happen before you take action. It will be too late to be sorry.
  12. Jool

    Jool Registered User

    Apr 21, 2006
    Kendal, Cumbria
    Hi Dee

    I agree will everyone else - just don't let him drive. My father failed his driving assessment but still insisted he was ok to drive. One day he found the keys, got in the car and went to get some petrol, He collided with a large wheelie bin on the garage forecourt but fortunately no one was hurt. Since then the keys have been locked away in a key safe with a number code on it. 18 months on - he still asks for the keys even though he can hardly walk to the car. You will find from reading other posts on this site that "denial" is a way AD sufferers cope with the disease

    You need to be strong to cope with the demands for the keys

    best wishes
  13. DMWalker

    DMWalker Registered User

    Aug 14, 2006
    West Yorkshire
    so annoyed.
  14. DMWalker

    DMWalker Registered User

    Aug 14, 2006
    West Yorkshire
    Sorry, I wrote too much and lost the first part of the tale.

    I won't write it all again, basically I was saying thank you to all who replied. I will contact the DVLA though I know I will have a battle on my hands.
  15. Helena

    Helena Registered User

    May 24, 2006
    You could unfortunately have a much bigger Insurance claim or even a legal battle on your hands if you do not stop him driving

    My Mother managed to do untold damage to her car and obviously others (i feel for them because she obviously just cut and run) in just the few short weeks between the DVLA being asked to stop her and her getting the 8 page questionaire

    We were terrified she would injure a child etc and since her insurance co had not been notified a legal minefield could have ensued

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