Mum refuses to stop driving

zc74

New member
Apr 9, 2023
6
0
Hi, I wondered if anyone has any advice on how to stop my Mum from driving. She was diagnosed with Vascular dementia 18 months ago but still refuses to tell the DVLA about the diagnosis and still drives, although not daily and only a mile or so to town. She lives 160 miles away from me and her partner is struggling to discuss it with her as it is causing arguments. Every time I have talked to her about it she gets very cross and won't talk to me anymore. Her partner is unfortunately now becoming very angry with me as he feels i should be doing more to stop her driving. I have given her leaflets and told the GP who just gave more leaflets and gave no other help! Without taking her keys away we don't know what to do. Should we tell the DVLA ourselves and what would they do? Feeling really really lost!
 

Louise7

Volunteer Host
Mar 25, 2016
4,792
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Hello @zc74 this is unfortunately a common problem but legally your mum must notify the DVLA when diagnosed or she could get a £1,000 fine, and she must also inform her insurer as her policy may now be invalid (see factsheet below for details). It's not good that her partner is expecting you to deal with this, but is there a reason why someone can't take her keys away or say that the car needs repairs and then remove it?

You can notify the DVLA yourself about your concerns via the link below - option 3 'I have concerns about someone's fitness to drive'. A diagnosis doesn't automatically mean that someone has to stop driving but the DVLA may arrange a driving assessment for your mum and contact her doctor for more information. It's a difficult situation to be in but I hope that this info helps.


 

SharoH

Registered User
Nov 7, 2023
31
0
Hi @zc74
When the lady from the memory clinic did the initial home visit to confirm my husbands diagnosis, she did have a discussion with my husband about his driving and recommended he stop.
She actual told him that if he didn’t submit his licence to the DVLA, she would write to them and recommend he stop.
It was heartbreaking for him & he couldn’t understand why because after 50+ years driving, he’d never had one accident.
I ended up sneaking his driving licence out of his wallet and sending it off to DVLA.
If you have a support worker from a memory clinic, it may be worth asking if they could do a home visit and discuss this with your mum.
Good luck.
 

Jo 41

New member
Jan 25, 2024
1
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My dad was very stubborn about not stopping driving. He had scratches and scrapes on his car and blamed it on the neighbours cat. When at the memory clinic driving came up and I asked if he could be referred for a driving assessment. The examiner terminated the test half way through as his driving was too dangerous. He got very angry with us all when he got home but I knew we had done the right thing. He sulked for days after. He was still not wanting to give up his license and it was a very stressful time. In the end I had to be very firm with him about it and that he was in danger of killing someone. If I hadn’t been persistent I would have never forgiven myself if he had caused an accident. He eventually gave his car keys and car to my husband. It was very hard for him to lose his independence. If he hadn’t of done this I’d have had no choice but to take his keys myself. I couldn’t risk the consequences. I wish you all the best with the situation with your mum
 

stevec1

New member
Jan 30, 2024
3
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My Dad had to go and have a test. He failed and they took his licence away. This was good as he was able to drive around at home without a problem but once in a strange area for him it showed them that he had no idea what to do as his memory was helping him to drive rather than have the ability to drive (if you get the idea) so anything strange that would happen (e.g. roadworks, people doing something the shouldn't) could cause the problem.
 

Hawrk

Registered User
Aug 6, 2022
13
0
Hi, I wondered if anyone has any advice on how to stop my Mum from driving. She was diagnosed with Vascular dementia 18 months ago but still refuses to tell the DVLA about the diagnosis and still drives, although not daily and only a mile or so to town. She lives 160 miles away from me and her partner is struggling to discuss it with her as it is causing arguments. Every time I have talked to her about it she gets very cross and won't talk to me anymore. Her partner is unfortunately now becoming very angry with me as he feels i should be doing more to stop her driving. I have given her leaflets and told the GP who just gave more leaflets and gave no other help! Without taking her keys away we don't know what to do. Should we tell the DVLA ourselves and what would they do? Feeling really really lost!
Hi , my mum went mad at me when I told DVLA about her dementia but then every year after she had a test at her go to see if ok to drive , she wasn’t happy but needed to be done , she was ok for 2 years then went worse so I just kept saying if you have n accident n really hurt someone you will forget but I won’t n I will get blamed for the accident as I new you were not good to drive n slowly dripping feeding this n how it will hurt me more then her worked n she came to decision to sell car , one big sigh of relief , good luck but please tell DVLA yourse
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
5,293
0
High Peak
Without taking her keys away we don't know what to do
Please - just do it. Better she gets angry and shouts at you than kill herself or someone else. You would never forgive yourself. You've tried asking and she said no so there is no alternative. You need to take charge in order to keep her safe.

Should we tell the DVLA ourselves and what would they do?
Yes, and you can do so anonymously if you wish. (Some doctors inform the DVLA automatically so you could also blame the doctor.) They will write and ask about the diagnosis and probably ask her to take a driving assessment. Having dementia will also invalidate insurance if they are not notified.
 

Violet Jane

Registered User
Aug 23, 2021
2,039
0
My elderly friend was instructed to stop driving by the DVLA but refused and went on driving. After a while both her surgery and I contacted the local police who sent an officer round to speak to her. The next day, although she said that the officer had come round to reassure her that the neighbourhood police were looking out for elderly people who lived alone, she agreed to hand over her keys to me. Because I wasn't a relative I didn't feel that I could take her keys without her permission. If she had been I would have done. Interestingly, she never asked for her keys back although she offered to give me a lift home a couple of times! After a while, as her mobility declined and I was running her errands, ordering her shopping etc, she seemed to lose interest in driving.

I would contact the DVLA and the car insurers yourself and take her keys away. Some people disable the car, or take it away (say that it's got a fault and has gone to the garage) as seeing it can trigger the desire to drive / habit of driving. Dealing with driving is one of the earliest things that you have to do as a relative or friend - and it's one of the most important.
 

Collywobbles

Registered User
Feb 27, 2018
180
0
This happened for us, with Mum driving off and getting lost on roads she’d been using for decades. Unfortunately our Dad had a blind spot about Mum’s abilities - even after it had taken him and my sister two hours to find Mum, when she’d parked on an industrial estate three miles in the opposite direction from where she’d intended to go, and just stayed there as she was completely lost and couldn’t work out how to get help.

We agreed that my sister would inform the DVLA about Mum, which she did. I emailed Mum’s GP at the same time, outlining why I and my sister were worried about Mum driving and explaining what had just happened (she had a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s by then). The DVLA wrote to the GP asking for information, and he submitted both his information and ours. Mum was written to and told she needed to take an assessment. She was furious, but never did, so her licence was cancelled.

The problem for us remains that Dad insists on maintaining Mum’s car in drivable condition and he is adamant that she has to keep her car keys. He’s convinced she’d never try to drive again, but she doesn’t remember that she no longer has a licence.

In your situation, I’d advise telling the DVLA, letting her GP know you’ve done that and what led up to it, then somehow disabling her car or “losing” her keys. We hated doing it as Mum was always so independent and her car was a symbol of that. But it really was a matter of life and death - hers and other road users/pedestrians.
 

Chizz

Registered User
Jan 10, 2023
3,559
0
Kent
This happened for us, with Mum driving off and getting lost on roads she’d been using for decades. Unfortunately our Dad had a blind spot about Mum’s abilities - even after it had taken him and my sister two hours to find Mum, when she’d parked on an industrial estate three miles in the opposite direction from where she’d intended to go, and just stayed there as she was completely lost and couldn’t work out how to get help.

We agreed that my sister would inform the DVLA about Mum, which she did. I emailed Mum’s GP at the same time, outlining why I and my sister were worried about Mum driving and explaining what had just happened (she had a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s by then). The DVLA wrote to the GP asking for information, and he submitted both his information and ours. Mum was written to and told she needed to take an assessment. She was furious, but never did, so her licence was cancelled.

The problem for us remains that Dad insists on maintaining Mum’s car in drivable condition and he is adamant that she has to keep her car keys. He’s convinced she’d never try to drive again, but she doesn’t remember that she no longer has a licence.

In your situation, I’d advise telling the DVLA, letting her GP know you’ve done that and what led up to it, then somehow disabling her car or “losing” her keys. We hated doing it as Mum was always so independent and her car was a symbol of that. But it really was a matter of life and death - hers and other road users/pedestrians.
Hi @Collywobbles
A friend who was caring for her elderly father with Alz's in similar circumstances you set out - told her dad she was taking the car in for a service. She took the car keys (and the spares in his desk drawer plus the "log book" and papers) and drove off in the car. She took it to the garage and sold it.
The dad forgot all about the car and never raised the subject!
One has to do what one has to do.
 

annieka 56

Registered User
Aug 8, 2022
275
0
We took our car in for its MOT and some small jobs that needed doing as my husband had had a few scrapes and dents. I then told him it was irreparable.
I actually parked it on a nearby street for 6 weeks and took a short walk to use it for shopping etc.
One day I just drove it back home and he was oblivious.
 

Violet Jane

Registered User
Aug 23, 2021
2,039
0
I'm afraid that this is one of the situations in which you cannot go on reasoning with the PWD. It is essential that s/he stops driving if s/he is no longer allowed to drive. It may be counter-intuitive but if you have to lie or be evasive then that is what you must do and you shouldn't have any qualms about that.

Sadly, as the PWD loses insight you have to lie or be evasive about other things as well otherwise nothing gets done.