Just at the beginning

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by rajahh, Aug 29, 2008.

  1. rajahh

    rajahh Registered User

    Aug 29, 2008
    My husband has not yet been diagnosed but is showing many signs of early dementia. We are awaiting an assessment. However he also has mobility problems and a year ago had to have a hip replacement removed and not replaced. To raise his leg whensitting he needs two hands.

    He is now very determined to start driving again after a gap of 2 years. He is easily confused about the ordinary things oflife and quick;ly loses the thread of any conversation and ofcourse forgets completely all that was said within half an hour or so.

    We discuss driving every two or three days, and although his consultant has told him to not to drive my husband says the doctor is a "prat" and has asked his daughter to return the car which she has been using for the past few months.

    His daughter cannot sayno and the car is returning shortly.

    To go to our gp about him seems like a betrayal but I am very anxious about it. I am going to try and persuade himto be assessed at our local disabled mobility centre. HAve others had similar problems. Encouragement is needed please.:
  2. gigi

    gigi Registered User

    Nov 16, 2007
    East Midlands
    Hello rajahh,

    Welcome to TP....:)

    My husband was diagnosed 2 years ago with Alzheimers Disease...and we still have the same conversation at times..although less frequently now...

    It was very hard for my husband to stop driving..he never thought he was anything but perfect..as a passenger I knew differently..:eek:

    Now I tell him it's the law...if a doctor tells you not to drive,you have no insurance and may go to prison if you have an accident.

    Perhaps your husband should take the test at the disabled mobility centre..again you may have to tell some little white lies to get him take it..but worth it in the long run.

    Could you try telling him that because of his physical disability he must be assessed if he wants to drive an adapted car?

    My sympathy is with you..loss of driving seems to be one of the toughest problems our menfolk face..and one of the hardest for us women to deal with....:rolleyes:

    Hope you manage to sort something out...no doubt others will come along to add their knowledge and advice...please know you are not alone...

    Love gigi xx
  3. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    So help me God :mad: ... if that's one of the toughest problems for anyone at this time of uncertainty and even before diagnosis .... I better go lie down in a darkened room for the next few years ....:eek:

    Rajahh - I echo Gigi's welcome but with a very different slant ... the 'mechanisms' of driving/ making cups of tea will become more and more challenging, balancing independence between safety ..... and all the while you have your own emotions to cope with.

    I recall some years back I felt a 'fraud' because I felt this 'beginning' phase was nothing compared to what others were going through ... but the whole diagnosis - or waiting for the diagnosis period - can be one of the most challenging.

    I hope you gain a lot from TP - and reading back on other 'driving' threads might help (and perhaps your daughter might have some hugely valid excuse to 'keep' the car a little longer on the pretext it is helping her etc etc;)) ... in the meantime, buy yourslef some breathing space and consider that the driving issue is merely a presenting one and there are many more significant issues to face regarding your futures .... and -on a very positive note - how to make the best of it!

    Karen, x
  4. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    I think we'll have to agree to differ Karen, if only because it's probably the only thing (with the possible exception of starting a fire that impacts a whole block of flats) that has a real chance to injure or kill bystanders if family members don't stop them. I don't know if it's specific to men - I remember several threads where the people involved were wives and mothers, but it is a stressful thing to deal with.
  5. gigi

    gigi Registered User

    Nov 16, 2007
    East Midlands
    Thankyou Jennifer,

    And apologies to Karen if my reply seemed to be simplistic...

    But I remember well the first hours,days,weeks,months when my husband was stopped from driving..

    And I know first hand what an impact it had on our lives

    And yes..those of us further down the line know there will be other problems to replace this one...

    But don't trivialise this, Karen..rajahh is at the beginning..and needs support..not a lecture..

    Love gigi xx
  6. Helen33

    Helen33 Registered User

    Jul 20, 2008
    Hello Rajahh

    If the above is the case then it becomes an insurance issue and it must be declared to the insurance company because if it is not declared that he has been told not to drive, his insurance will be invalid in the case of an accident and (I believe) it is a criminal offence.

    My husband didn't see the need to stop driving and I knew that it is irresponsible for him to continue driving because he did have a couple of incidents like driving through red lights, nearly knocking a woman over on a zebra crossing. I knew that I could not cope with the drama and stress of dealing with any such accident that I contacted our GP and explained the matter. She then wrote to him requesting him to stop driving and inform the DVLA which he then had to do. I doubt a GP would do this without a diagnosis but you could tell your husband that because the consultant has told him to stop driving, you must inform the insurance company.

    I do wish you all the very best and can say that there will always be someone on Talking Point should you want support and information.

  7. Nebiroth

    Nebiroth Registered User

    Aug 20, 2006
    One of the most difficult aspects of dementia is that people with it are often utterly convinced that there is nothing wrong with them. And they will cling to this, will reject any evidence to the contrary, will ignore what anyone has to say.

    Regretably, I think your only recourse is for your daughter to find a reason to fob him off for a while ("the car is being serviced" or something like that) whilst you contact your husband's GP.

    Anyone with a diagnosis of dementia who wishes to continue to drive must by law notify the DVLA of the diagnosis, and will receive forms which include permission for the DVLA to consult with the patients doctors etc. The DVLA may then require them to be assessed (this is not a driving test, but rather, assesses how dementia affects someone's ability to drive).

    If the DVLA decide someone is not capable of driving, then the license must be sent in. Obviously it is against the law to drive unlicensed.

    Also, doctors who know patients are driving against their advice, and who believe this will endanger the patient or others, can inform the DVLA.

    I would suggest that you consult with your husband's GP - if necessary make the GP the "villain"!

    If your husband loses his license, then you will be able to tell him if he drives he will be breaking the law and face arrest.

    This sounds harsh, but (in my view) is a lot better than the alternative of your husband continuing to drive.

    Of course, it's possible that your husband could pass the assessment and be able to drive.
  8. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    My support was for Rajahh and my lecture for YOU, Gigi! YOU are the one trivialising!

    I remember too well when my dad's licence was revoked and the angst that caused ....... both him, my mum and me in managing the situation.

    There is a brilliant comment on a thread I started in the 'Raising Awareness' Section ...... regarding the 'Elephant in the Room' ..... perhaps you need to read it ... it is precisely what I am trying to do to support Rajahh ... to look beyond the minutiae of the immediate problem and seek help and support for a more global picture of immediate and future concerns.

  9. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    Moderator note:

    Can I remind everyone that we are here for support. We will not always agree with each other on a personal level but we should not let those disagreements impact on other people. On a forum I can't tell you "to take it outside" but I can say take it to PM. My concern at this point is for rajahh who has posted so lets keep our focus there shall we?
  10. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    Rajahh - can I ask: why did he give up driving in the first place? Is there anything there you can use to dissuade him?

    I understand that you feel it would be disloyal to approach the GP, but if you can't stop the car returning (which would be my first choice) I don't see you have any other option. Unfortunately, one of the things this disease does is make the rest of us "managers". As Nebiroth says, insight tends to be lacking, which means the well family members must find a way to manage the situation: often that entails being disloyal or even duplicitous. If you can try and see it as tricking the disease rather than the person, you might be more comfortable with it.

    Best wishes
  11. Chrissyan

    Chrissyan Registered User

    Aug 9, 2007
    N E England
    Rajahh, Welcome to T/P. [​IMG]

    Once you have a diagnosis fill in the form for DVLA informing them of the illness they will write back & revoke his license. My dad was devastated but accepted it because it was official. I pinned it up on his cork board in the kitchen so he didn't forget.

    This will of course take many months to implement so other measures are needed until then.

    Getting used to telling to white lies to our loved ones, is one of the necessities of this illness. Perhaps something has happened to the car & it is the garage getting fixed.;) Who's name is the car in, can it be exchanged for a different make and colour?
  12. crazyjude

    crazyjude Registered User

    Nov 30, 2007
    Yorkshire UK
    I had a lift with my Dad towards the end of his driving career and realised he was absolutely terrifying with no awareness of anyone else on the road!! His sense of direction was rather dodgy too with us making long detours and getting cross if i suggested a direct route. After he had three minor accidents I hid his car keys and enlisted the help of his friends to convince him the roads were much busier and more dangerous than when he'd been younger. A few drives in my car around town at rush hour finally convinced him to hang up his driving gloves.
  13. Dgirl

    Dgirl Registered User

    Sep 6, 2007
    Dublin, Ireland
    Maybe its different in Ireland to the UK but my Mum was allowed to keep driving for some time after diagnosis but only if she had a driving assessment by a qualified assessor every 6 months. That report was then sent to her specialist who then wrote a letter to the insurance company saying she was still ok to drive. Fortunately before she was told she couldn't drive any more she developed problems with her eyesight so happily enough stopped driving until her eyes get better (they won't). Not sure if this is of any help

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