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Husband refuses to accept he has dementia

Kay 14

New member
Jun 23, 2022
7
0
He has been officially diagnosed with denentia Alzheimer’s. He says he is fine and never felt as good! He is 83 and still insists on driving if we go out together. (Which is very rare now) his driving is not bad but he has no sense of direction. Even simple drives I have to tell him to turn left etc.
I could report him to DVLC but I know he would ignore it as he absolves nothing. I am sure the insurance would not cover him. What to do?
 

jaymor

Volunteer Moderator
Jul 14, 2006
15,162
0
South Staffordshire
@Kay 14 welcome to the forum.

When you have a diagnosis of dementia you must inform both your insurance company and the DVLA of the diagnosis. it doesn’t always mean someone has to stop driving but the decision to continue is not your husband’s.

It’s difficult, no one wants to loose the independence of being able to drive but you have to think of the safety of the person with dementia and the public.
 

Kay 14

New member
Jun 23, 2022
7
0
Even if his licence was taken away he would have forgotten after being told. Totally confused.
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
3,430
0
High Peak
Disable the car. Remove the keys. Remind him he's not allowed to drive as he does have dementia, even if he thinks otherwise. Insurance will not be valid.
 

Thethirdmrsc

Registered User
Apr 4, 2018
674
0
This is a tricky one and one in which you have to be hard. My OH automatically lost his HGV on diagnosis, which made him very bitter. It then took 2 years before he lost his drivers license and by then I wouldn’t let him drive as he was awful and at times I was scared, and as my daughter said, what if he had an accident? I sold both our cars and bought another one with a month.
 

try again

Registered User
Jun 21, 2018
512
0
You will never persuade him he has dementia, it will probably only cause arguments so it's not worth it.
You do need to inform DVLA and insurance, I believe he may be asked to do a retest. As far as the car goes, if you want to keep if for yourself then can it be parked away from the house. If not, sell it or disable it.
 

Lawson58

Registered User
Aug 1, 2014
2,900
0
Victoria, Australia
When my husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, he refused to accept the diagnosis either.

However, 18 months prior, his driving was so bad that I insisted on driving which made him cranky but no one was safe with him behind the wheel. The consultant was required by law here to report him to our licensing authority and he was required to take a test. It was very expensive as he had to see an OT, took two driving lessons and then pay for the test. He failed it miserably and tried to find all sorts of excuses but he was required to surrender his licence.

The fact that it was an authoritative person and not me, he accepted the decision and hasn’t driven since.

Apart from the insurance question, how would you feel if he hit someone, a child perhaps? Time to be tough. Hide the keys.
 

yosser

Registered User
Nov 12, 2020
209
0
Hell0 @Kay 14 , I gave up my licence over 3 years now, once I started having seizures . Not having any over for a year my Neurologist, asked why I haven't applied for licence. A process which I am going through now, they have informed that I may need to have a medical . Firstly there going ask my Neurologist all about my medical history, by the time that's done, I will have given up & told DVLA to forget it. I do suffer with Vascular Dementia, which does not have much effect on my day to day activities. Once a month I work with a Alzheimer's activities group.
 

Kay 14

New member
Jun 23, 2022
7
0
When my husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, he refused to accept the diagnosis either.

However, 18 months prior, his driving was so bad that I insisted on driving which made him cranky but no one was safe with him behind the wheel. The consultant was required by law here to report him to our licensing authority and he was required to take a test. It was very expensive as he had to see an OT, took two driving lessons and then pay for the test. He failed it miserably and tried to find all sorts of excuses but he was required to surrender his licence.

The fact that it was an authoritative person and not me, he accepted the decision and hasn’t driven since.

Apart from the insurance question, how would you feel if he hit someone, a child perhaps? Time to be tough. Hide the keys.
The keys are hidden I keep them all the time but on the rare times we go out together he insists on driving. There are some who are too far gone to reason with. If told his licence was revoked he would have forgotten 10 mins later. Your Husband is not my Husband. No two are alike.He doesn’t even know if he is eating fish or meat fgs. Social services are aware.
 

CAL Y

Registered User
Jul 17, 2021
362
0
@Kay 14 . The problem here is that, even if your husband thinks he is fine to drive, he could, at any time suddenly do something dangerous.
This happened with my husband when he performed an extremely dangerous manoeuvre in a busy town centre. The next day I sent his licence back to the DVLA.
Whether we like it or not, we have to be strong and just take these decisions out of their hands.

Just imagine how you would feel if he had an accident and injured or even killed someone. I have a friend whose grandmother was killed by a driver who had dementia.
I know how difficult it is but please be strong and do all you can to put a stop to his driving as soon as possible.
Also, if he has a dementia diagnosis he will not be covered by insurance and is actually driving illegally.
 

Dutchman

Registered User
May 26, 2017
1,826
0
74
Devon, Totnes
He has been officially diagnosed with denentia Alzheimer’s. He says he is fine and never felt as good! He is 83 and still insists on driving if we go out together. (Which is very rare now) his driving is not bad but he has no sense of direction. Even simple drives I have to tell him to turn left etc.
I could report him to DVLC but I know he would ignore it as he absolves nothing. I am sure the insurance would not cover him. What to do?
My wife also refused to believe she couldn’t drive and the waiting for the letter from the DVLA was horrendous.

No matter what your husband says if he’s been told he cannot drive then he cannot drive. Think of others, a child, a family, you’re all in danger of someone drives with dementia. And procedures must be put into place straight away after a diagnosis. The doctor should be writing to the DVLA anyway.

Take away the keys, disable the car and be firm.
 

Lawson58

Registered User
Aug 1, 2014
2,900
0
Victoria, Australia
The keys are hidden I keep them all the time but on the rare times we go out together he insists on driving. There are some who are too far gone to reason with. If told his licence was revoked he would have forgotten 10 mins later. Your Husband is not my Husband. No two are alike.He doesn’t even know if he is eating fish or meat fgs. Social services are aware.
When I say be tough, that is what I and others mean. It is not a matter if husbands are alike but they all have one thing in common, they are dangerous drivers.

When I started insisting that I drive, he really went off. I simply stood my ground, told him that if I could not drive, then we weren’t going anywhere. And I meant it because he was putting MY life in danger just as your husband is doing to you.

When he finally agreed that I should drive, he started being a dreadful back seat driver. When he started that, I would pull the car into the kerb and tell him to get out. Told him that I was driving the car, not him and that he should shut up. He eventually learned that I meant business.

He is not capable of being responsible so that responsibility lies with you.
 

Bijou

New member
Jul 1, 2022
2
0
He has been officially diagnosed with denentia Alzheimer’s. He says he is fine and never felt as good! He is 83 and still insists on driving if we go out together. (Which is very rare now) his driving is not bad but he has no sense of direction. Even simple drives I have to tell him to turn left etc.
I could report him to DVLC but I know he would ignore it as he absolves nothing. I am sure the insurance would not cover him. What to do?
There are way too many seniors diagnosed with Dementia and Alzheimer's, especially if there is a greedy Memory Care Center in play. There are other diagnoses that could be causing forgetfulness. As for driving you could ask him to consider driving classes to lower insurance rates and help stabilize his driving.
 

Bijou

New member
Jul 1, 2022
2
0
My wife also refused to believe she couldn’t drive and the waiting for the letter from the DVLA was horrendous.

No matter what your husband says if he’s been told he cannot drive then he cannot drive. Think of others, a child, a family, you’re all in danger of someone drives with dementia. And procedures must be put into place straight away after a diagnosis. The doctor should be writing to the DVLA anyway.

Take away the keys, disable the car and be firm.
Nope. Many times a diagnosis is solely for insurance purposes. Adults and especially seniors are humans. Young drivers have just as many accidents if not way more, than seniors. Unless a JUDGE takes away a senior's capacity, it is NOT your job to do so.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
18,895
0
South coast
Hello @Bijou
I must ask - what experience do you have of dementia?
Or is it, perhaps, that you have been diagnosed with dementia yourself, but think it is a wrong diagnosis?
 

Rosettastone57

Registered User
Oct 27, 2016
1,747
0
There are way too many seniors diagnosed with Dementia and Alzheimer's, especially if there is a greedy Memory Care Center in play. There are other diagnoses that could be causing forgetfulness. As for driving you could ask him to consider driving classes to lower insurance rates and help stabilize his driving.
Perhaps you are based in USA? This forum is based in the UK and memory clinics don't make money from health insurance from patients . There is a different health care system here . Although courts and judges can take driving licences away, it is down to the driver and vehicle licensing agency to also manage drivers and their authority to drive.
 

Kay 14

New member
Jun 23, 2022
7
0
Just an update. I have managed to stop him driving. Now been taken off insurance. He still asks for keys sometimes and I have to remind him. So far so good. His Social Worker suggested I keep a letter to show him if he questioned it which tells him due to his diagnosis he is unfit to drive. Worked so far but I am not sure if he can actually read anymore?
 

update2020

Registered User
Jan 2, 2020
275
0
Just an update. I have managed to stop him driving. Now been taken off insurance. He still asks for keys sometimes and I have to remind him. So far so good. His Social Worker suggested I keep a letter to show him if he questioned it which tells him due to his diagnosis he is unfit to drive. Worked so far but I am not sure if he can actually read anymore?
Well done you.!

My husband also started to lose the ability to read and write around the time that he was stopped from driving. It was a gradual process.