I don't know what to do next!!

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by DMWalker, Sep 7, 2007.

  1. DMWalker

    DMWalker Registered User

    Aug 14, 2006
    145
    West Yorkshire
    Hi all, it's been some time since I last posted a thread. I've had quite a lot going on in my family lately and on top of it all I'm getting very frustrated with the problem of my husband driving.

    After his last driving assessment he was given his licence for a year, This ran out in May this year but he has never received another appointment. After various calls to DVLA (and they will only speak to me after they have spoken to David) I was told they would send me a letter which covered him for driving until 'the medical team have looked at his case'. I tried to say this wasn't appropriate. I don't know what the medical team are looking at as he hasn't had another assessment.

    I had to go into hospital for a couple of days last month and he asked me to ring the assessment centre, I was told he should have received a letter 'allowing him to drive until........' I discreetly told them that he had received this but I thought this was inappropriate. The person said they would get someone to ring back, I asked not to ring after that day as I would be in hospital. The next day as I waited for my op David rang my mobile excitedly saying the assessment centre had rung him and he was free to drive until 'the medical team had assessed his case'.

    The day I was due to come out of hospital I found out he had cancelled my lift from my brother and would drive to town to pick me up himself. I was so upset and asked him not to. In anger he put the phone down and wouldn't answer it for the rest of the day, even when I did finally get home he wouldn't come out of the bedroom for 3 hours.

    I really don't know what to do now, I have to go back into hospital in 2 weeks as I have thyroid cancer and need another operation, I know this will happen again and I am at the end of my tether. I cannot talk to him as he is now so uncaring towards me and we don't have sensible conversations anymore. I cannot speak to DVLA without him being there, I did try to ring them the other day and thought I would just relay my fears to anyone who answered but it was just the automated loop and I couldn't speak to anyone. It could be tha he may pass his assessment whenever he gets one, I don't know, but knowing how he is I really don't think he should be driving.

    Has anyone any suggestion as to what I can do, sorry for the long moan.

    Dee
     
  2. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    9,519
    Frinton-on-Sea
    Hello Dee, welcome back.

    What a predicament you find yourself in. Don't now what to say, as you seem to have really tried to get the DVLA to listen to your fears.

    Sorry to hea about your thyroid problems, you must be at your wits end, trying to cope with your own health, as well as your husband. Do you have a SW or CPN who could intercept on your behalf.

    Do let us know how things go with yourself. Take care,
     
  3. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    68,652
    Kent
    Dear Dee,

    What a lot you`re having to put up with.

    Couldn`t you ask your GP to write to the DVLA saying in his opinion David id unfit to drive. My mother`s GP did it for me, when I was worried about my mother driving.

    You must be seeing the GP about your own health problems, so surely you can have a word with him.

    I`m really sorry about your thyroid cancer. I hope it can be sorted with surgery.
    You need to concentrate on your own health now, especially as you are getting so little, if any, support from your husband.

    Please take care.

    Love xx
     
  4. DMWalker

    DMWalker Registered User

    Aug 14, 2006
    145
    West Yorkshire
    Hi Connie,

    thanks for your reply, I have mentioned this at our monthly AD carer's support group meeting. One of the support group was going to try and speak to the assessment centre. They couldn't believe that no-one seems remotely interested in David's driving ability.

    We have a meeting next Tuesday so I may find out what they said.

    Fortunately I haven't really felt poorly with my illness, the worst thing is not having a shoulder to lean on but then again maybe it makes you stronger.

    Dee
     
  5. DMWalker

    DMWalker Registered User

    Aug 14, 2006
    145
    West Yorkshire
    Hi Sylvia,

    I did write a letter to my GP last year on advice I had received on this forum. I was working then and he rang me at work and thanked me for the information.

    Like I said to David's consultant when he phoned me in May, I don't want to say he should not drive, I know he can get to places near home, but it would only take one incident and it could be others who get hurt. Surely this is why he should be having an assessment, he had a shoulder replacement last February and that has left him with very limited use in his right arm, I think even that would be enough to stop him driving.

    David's support worker tried to talk to him and say he hoped he would be sensible when the day came he didn't think he should drive, but of course David does not think he has any problems as yet. Of course he thinks I am trying to stop him from driving and gets very angry with me at times. Oh beam me up Scottie!!!!!

    Dee
     
  6. sunny

    sunny Registered User

    Sep 1, 2006
    598
    Highlight of a common problem

    Hi Dee,

    Really feel for u in these circumstances. I think u have highlighted another problem for the spouse in this situation, usually the wife, re driving issues.
    Obviously, driving for men especially is such a sign of their manhood and independence and looking after the family that having to stop driving is really a difficult issue for them to face whatever the illness. So this puts the onus on the wife or partner in having to be the one to "grass" them up to the authorities (i think thats how somebody must feel) and then taking the stick from the other partner who feels betrayed. I can only say perhaps you should have a word with his GP or CPN if he has one re their advice on this matter. I think when somebody is diagnosed with dementia and they drive, surely a system must be put in place so the emphasis is not put onto the carer/spouse to be the one that has to put the "boot" in so to speak, because this surely must cause many a marital rift, even under normal circumstances. Does anybody know legally what the situation is re driving and dementia eg insurance etc.regards. Sunny
     
  7. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,418
    According to the AS factsheet, if you have a diagnosis of any form of dementia you must inform your insurance company, otherwise you may 1) not be covered and 2) be subject to criminal charges (because if your insurance is invalid you are driving without 3rd part coverage). I would suppose that is because every insurance policy I've ever seen indicates that you must inform them if you have a change of health status. However, I would also suppose if you have informed the DVLC, then the insurance would not be cancelled (although specific policies might vary). You're right though: there should be a better system than there is for doing this. After all, judgement is one of the first things to go when it comes to dementia, so expecting a person to turn over their license like a lamb is expecting too much in my opinion, and it is extremely unfair for the spouse to have to act as gate-keeper. Dee: I wish I had some suggestion for you but I don't, I'm afraid.
     
  8. susiewoo

    susiewoo Registered User

    Oct 28, 2006
    82
    Bromley Kent
    How worried are you about his driving? Do you refuse to get in a car with him? Do you fear him having an accident?
    What would be the consequences of you hiding the car keys or even giving them to a trusted friend to hide.
    If you are seriously worried how far are you prepared to go to prevent him driving?
    I had to deal with this issue with my Father and with support from the rest of the family he finally accepted that he shouldn't drive but it was a delicate manouver.
    The over riding fear however was how could I face another family and explain why we hadn't stopped my Father driving and ultimately killing their child or wife etc
     
  9. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    3,725
    North Derbyshire
    CAr driving

    I'd just tell the insurance company of his mental state. They will cancel his insurance immediately and he will be unable to drive. That will protect himself and other member on the road or pedestrians or whatever.

    But that curt advice doesn't help with how you tell him about this. It might be worth asking the insureres what the premium would be if they did still allow him to drive, I suspect many thousands of pounds, so that might be the answer.

    Oh, how sad for him. But you have got to do what is safe. I don't want my daughter to encounter him on the road.

    Love

    Margaret
     
  10. Helena

    Helena Registered User

    May 24, 2006
    715
    The lack of action on behalf of the DVLA is totally shocking

    It took them 3 months last year to issue a licence revocation letter to my 90 year old Mother and it had taken them 2 months from the AA man filing a complaint before that to even send out forms which were merely tick box ones that a monkey could fill in

    Only when other neighbours wrote to DVLA Medical Director did they take matters seriously

    As others have said its likely his Insurance is invalid and your best option is to remove the keys and disable the car
     
  11. sue38

    sue38 Registered User

    Mar 6, 2007
    10,856
    Wigan, Lancs
    Hi Dee,

    I know what you are going through. After my Dad was diagnosed in December, the biggest dlemna we faced was how to stop him driving.

    Like your husband he refuses to accept that there is anything wrong with him or his driving.

    My mum informed the insurance company of the diagnosis and they said he was fine to carry on driving.:eek:

    In our case my Mum got my Dad to sign the notification for the DVLA (without telling him what it was) and they contacted the GP who confirmed he was not fit to drive.

    Even so it took another 3 months before his licence was revoked.

    I would avoid at all costs letting your husband know that you are the one who has instigated the loss of his licence. My Dad blames the consultant entirely and although he forgets all sorts, he still threatens to punch the consultant's lights out for causing him to lose his licence.

    On the plus side the furore when he finally lost his licence soon calmed down, and we are so much less stressed knowing that he is no longer driving.

    Good luck.
     
  12. DMWalker

    DMWalker Registered User

    Aug 14, 2006
    145
    West Yorkshire
    Thank you to all who took the time to reply, it is so interesting for me to hear other people, like Sue with her father are having to face this problem.

    I have contacted the insurance company but they say as long as he has this letter from the DVLA he is ok to drive.

    I cannot understand what we have to do to arrange another driving assessment, I have even offered to pay for an assessment to the DVLA when I did manage to talk to someone there, but he said there was no need and that it would be looked at. That must have been 2 months ago.

    My husband was a long distance lorry driver, driving all over Europe until he had a bad accident in France in 1998, not his fault I might add. You can imagine he thinks he is a first class driver. My daughter will not be driven by him and I certainly wouldn't let him drive with our grandchildren. I haven't been in the car with him driving since his shoulder operation in February.

    I must say he does not put up any argument when we have to go out anywhere, he just gets into the passenger seat. The problem is now I am going into hospital again he will see this as a need to drive and the arguments will start again.

    I am certain that if he did not pass another assessment he would accept this with not much fuss. I don't think he would blame me for losing his licence if it came from an official body.

    I do think the DVLA should be made aware of this communication problem but how I just don't know - they won't communicate!!!

    Dee
     
  13. Kate P

    Kate P Registered User

    Jul 6, 2007
    565
    Merseyside
    Hello,

    I'm so sorry you're having such a difficult time with this especially with your own health problems.

    Is disabling the car while you're in hospital an option? Would he be able to contact someone to fix it or would he just accept that it was broke and wait for you to come out of hospital?

    I finally had enough of dad letting mum drive last week and got her consultant to report her to the DVLA. I thought immediate action would have been taken but nothing has happened as of yet.

    I find it crazy that they're not more on the ball with this stuff - let's face it a car is a deadly weapon!:mad:

    Anyway, I wish you all the best and hope your hsopital treatment goes well - take care of yourself.

    Kate P
    XXX
     
  14. DMWalker

    DMWalker Registered User

    Aug 14, 2006
    145
    West Yorkshire
    Hello,

    Thought I would give you an update on the driving saga with David.

    If you have read my earlier thread you will realise I am having great difficulty the DVLA making an appointment to have my husband's driving ability assessed after his licence has run out.

    He took it upon himself today to go to town on the bus and visit the local DVLA office. Not wanting to have yet another argument on this subject I wrote down when he had his last assessment and the date his licence ran out. I left the rest up to David.

    After he had left I noticed he had not taken the letter that the DVLA medical section had sent him saying he could drive until the medical board had looked at his case. I thought this would be in my favour as he would get confused trying to explain it to whoever.

    Wrong!! He came back, full of confidence, stating that he had been told he could drive wherever he wanted on the strength of the letter, and, 'if you are stopped by the police, just ask them to ring us'. (Hope they have better luck getting through than I have.)

    I tried to appear calm but was gobsmacked, my daughter too. However, I have now written to the medical team at the DVLA and asked them what on earth they are looking at, indeed it is not on any assessment. I hope from the tone of my letter they will understand my concerns, but hey, maybe not, they haven't up to now!!

    I have written in confidence and hope they respect that, if David finds out I have sent a letter he will be so angry.

    It may be that he could satisfy an assessment, I do not know, but I do know I cannot live with myself or my conscience knowing he is driving about without trying to do everything in my power to do what I think is right.

    I sometimes wonder if I am being too cautious, but then I read what other's have said and realise that where driving is concerned you can never be too cautious.

    Dee
     
  15. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    68,652
    Kent
    Thanks for the update, Dee. I`m sure you have done the right thing. The DVLA will respect your confidence.

    Love xx
     
  16. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,418
    Please don't take this the wrong way Dee, but is it possible that he wasn't in fact told that? Because frankly, that's mind-boggling, and it really makes you wonder who else is out there on the road with you. I hope you get some level of response to your letter (did you by any chance send it recorded delivery or whatever the current name for that service is). Because in your place, I think I'd want some paper evidence that I had tried my hardest to get something done about this.

    Best wishes
     
  17. DMWalker

    DMWalker Registered User

    Aug 14, 2006
    145
    West Yorkshire
    Hello Jennifer,

    I do believe David was told he is ok to drive by the DVLA office in our city. David is wanting to have a driving assessent as much as I want him to, not because he feels his driving skills may have deteriorated but to prove to me how good a driver he is!!

    I know by the response I have had when speaking to these people that they think this is the way it works, they seem unaware that after nearly 2 years his driving skills will have changed.

    I could kick myself for not sending it recorded delivery, I saved a copy only. If I do not see some action in the next 2 weeks I will ask advice from my local MP.

    I will update you if and when he or I receive a reply.

    Dee
     
  18. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    3,725
    North Derbyshire
    I wonder if you can notify the DVLA by email. Does David use the computer? I do all sorts of things online that my husband doesn't know about cos he simply doesn't use the computer. Not secretive things in my case, but maybe it is worthwhile in yours.

    There are enough accidents on the roads from supposedly competent drivers, without that being added to by people who are not. My friend's mother was driving at 90, and clipped the wing mirror so many times on the neighbour's car that she got an ASBO! But the DVLC still did nothing about it.

    I think a letter from the doctor is the best idea. Get him to say that David is not competent to drive, send it to the DVLC, but as I said earlier, to his insurance company, and I bet they will act.

    Regards

    Margaret
     
  19. Kate P

    Kate P Registered User

    Jul 6, 2007
    565
    Merseyside
    Hi Dee,

    I'd love an update on how you get on with this because I'm in the same predicament.

    My dad told mum's consultant that her driving was fine and that's good enough for her so mum's still driving despite the fact that I know for sure that her reactions are too slow and she would plough someone down if they walked out in front of her.

    I too have been worried about my own guilt if she does hit someone (or even worse kills them) but I have done all in my power to stop her and I can't be responsible for the lack of judgement on the part of my dad, the consultant or the DVLA.

    You too need to try and take that stance because you are clearly doing all you can to prevent a situation and you cannot be held responsible for other people's lack of judgement and responsibility.

    Jennifer - I quite agree that it is utterly shocking - I couldn't believe it when I got this news yesterday - given that a car is a deadly weapon I find it astonishing that it is taken so lightly.
     
  20. Nell

    Nell Registered User

    Aug 9, 2005
    1,170
    Australia
    My suggestion may seem extreme, so I do hope I don't offend anyone.

    Dear Dee, I think you might be wise to send another letter to DVLA (registered - must be signed for on receipt!). This letter could state clearly that you cannot be held responsible in any way for any accident that may occur when your husband is driving, as you have tried to notify the DVLA of the fact that he is no longer safe to be driving, and your information appears to be disregarded. I would cc. it (send a copy of it) to the relevant insurance agency as well. Be sure to send this one by registered mail too - and for it to be signed for on receipt. (This gives you proof that the letters have been received.)

    In truth, you could not be held responsible legally for any accident your husband may be involved in, but no doubt you would feel a moral concern.
    It is really only a bluff (of both DVLA and insurance company) but it MAY result in them taking you more seriously.

    Like others, I am stunned at the apparently cavalier manner in which this is being treated by DVLA. My heart bleeds for you - this is an awful battle - one many of us have fought previously.

    Thinking of you.
     

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