1. Amanda1954

    Amanda1954 Registered User

    Nov 5, 2006
    Yesterday I had a phone call from the police station. My mum was there having reported her car stolen at the shopping centre (several large car parks). I know she's been having difficulty remembering where she parked the car as she had told me on many occasions, and a few months ago we had another 'stolen car' incident. It was found a week later near to where she had been looking. (It's a long story and I won't bore you with the details but even though I had looked myself for ages the car was actually in a place that I didn't even know existed!)

    When she saw the consultant a couple of weeks ago she (the consultant) asked her how her driving was and mum offered the information "Do you know, I've never forgotten where I've parked the car". Is this denial common?

    Although her driving ability is still OK, if a little more cautious than she used to be, I am wondering now about whether she should be driving at all if this 'losing the car' is going to happen more often.

    I rang her this morning to see how she was and she was fine because she'd got loads to do, sorting out the insurance details etc. and was keen to get on with it so they could give her a replacement car! I was horrified, not only because I don't want her doing that yet as I hope to find the car myself, (and in any case I would handle that for her) but also because I don't want her to have an unfamiliar car. At least she recognised her own car and knows the registration number. With another one she'd have no chance of finding it.

    I have to go and look for the car this afternoon and will hopefully find it but I'm just so worried about how to tackle discussing all this with her. I want to ask her to stop driving but I know she'll hate it and will strongly oppose the idea. She lives in a small village with no shops and an erratic bus service so the car has always been her lifeline and independence. I live in the next village and could (and will) take her shopping, doctor's appointments etc. and I'm sure other people would pick her up if there's a gang of folk going out (coffee mornings, dinner etc.) but it's the little trips to fetch a pint of milk or just to look at the shops that I know she will miss.

    Does anyone have experience of this bit and can you advise?


    P.S. At this stage I suppose I shouldn't rule out the fact that it might be stolen! But I think this is unlikely.
  2. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Oh dear, Amanda, Your post did take me back.

    My mother was always losing her car. On one occasion, she was really cross with me because I wouldn`t help her look for it, because it was too late. I later got a call from the police, at around 11p.m. `Are you aware your mother is in a taxi, going round the city, looking for her car?`

    The police found where it was parked, the next day and we took her to it. She jumped out of our car, into hers, and sped off like a racing driver. We were terrified. We went back to her house to wait. She eventually got home saying `I had to take it for a spin on the Motorway, as it`s been standing all night.` As if it didn`t stand all night in the garage!

    At Midnight, once, we got a phone call. A man`s voice, very `uncouth` said, `I`m phoning to tell you I`ve learned your mother to drive and she is a very good driver.` Goodness knows how much she paid him.

    She used to say `My car knows it`s own way home`, when I worried about her getting lost.

    I told her GP and phoned Swansea. I couldn`t sleep for worrying about a fatal accident. She was asked to return her Licence. She knew [guessed] what I`d done and said `If I had a gun I would shoot you.`

    Amanda, it`s up to you. Sylvia
  3. Libby

    Libby Registered User

    May 20, 2006
    North East
    HI Amanda

    When my dad went into the hospice, we removed the car from their garage as we knew that Mum was lethal in it - my sister had been out with her and was a nervous wreck when she got back, and a friend of my mums had also voiced her concerns.

    We said in the beginning that it was being serviced, and as we were ferrying her about taking her to visit Dad, and taking her shopping, she accepted this. However, when Dad came home she was awful about it. Dad was too ill to drive, so my brother just kept it at his house. Mum was so cruel to Dad about it - calling him horrible names saying he had taken it away from her - deprived her of her one pleasure.

    I hated hearing her saying this, so I used to tell her that we were the ones who had taken it away - not Dad, but she just wouldn't believe it. It makes me shiver now, just thinking of the things she used to say to him. Even when he died, she would still say that he had taken the car away from her.

    Your mum doesn't sound as bad as my mum, but it's not only her safety you have to consider - the only problem is trying to get her to understand that, and sadly, I'm guessing that you never will. I would hate to think that someone deprived me of my car, and obviously, when you're suffering from AD, you just can't see the consequences of what could happen to other drivers or pedestrians.

    Could you not dissconnect a lead in the car, or would she just phone a garage?

    It's an awful situation to be in, especially if you're dealing with a strong willed person. Sorry that I can't be more helpful:(

  4. Amanda1954

    Amanda1954 Registered User

    Nov 5, 2006
    Thanks to you both for your quick replies and helpful advice. I don't think that my mum's driving is the problem (yet) - it was more that I was worried about her 'losing' the car and not remembering where it was.

    Anyway, I found the car, in the car park where she had left it. It seems she, and consequently the police, had been looking in the wrong car park. I notified the police that I'd found it and they were very understanding. I drove it back to her house and had a talk with her about it all over a cup of tea. I told her how upsetting it was for me and how disruptive it is, not to mention wasting the time of the police, security people at the shopping centre etc. plus of course the safety issue for her. I felt a bit mean telling her all these things but I wanted her to realise how serious it is. I think it worked and remarkably, she made the decision herself. She is going to limit her driving to my village and another one nearby (both within 2 miles of her home). She said she'd already decided before I even found the car, so I feel much happier about it now.

    The consultant had made this suggestion herself (only going to these two villages) and we all feel that mum is still ok to drive for the time being. I shall obviously keep a close eye on the situation and plan to get her to drive me at least once a week so I can see what her driving is like.

    She was very apologetic about causing me distress but I told her it wasn't her fault, it is the illness that is doing it. That seemed to help her as she knows she doesn't have to feel bad about upsetting me (although she probably will!)

    Mum herself said this afternoon that she knows that she will have to give up driving altogether at some stage and it was great to be able to talk openly about the future. I just hope she will remember all this when it gets to that stage! She even brought up the subject of the need for a nursing home in the future.

    I feel so much better now, thanks again. I'm so glad to have found TP, it's brilliant to be able to call on people for support when it's needed. And I'm sure I will need you all in the future. I feel like Basil Fawlty - "Piece of cake - now for the hard bit ......"

  5. BeckyJan

    BeckyJan Registered User

    Nov 28, 2005
    Car ? stolen

    Oh dear what a mess for you.

    If your Mum has a good GP I think they are a good way of handling the non-driving issue. She is more likely to take notice of a doctor than of family members - maybe not immediately. However with him/her on your side you will feel less 'guilty' about notifying the DVLC yourself and perhaps there will be less chance of a hate response to you.

    My husband adored driving, was brilliant at it, and was very stubborn, but in the end he voluntarily wrote to the DVLC to tender his licence - we all admired him as he hated doing it (but all this followed the advice of the GP). We used things like 'better to stop with a clean point free licence' - ' you have never caused an accident' etc etc.

    I worried so much about his driving but in the end the conclusion was quite easy!! - try not to worry as the issue does get resolved.

    (Second thought, you may wish to get local police on your side too - I did that when my brother was driving badly through MS - (they followed him once, got him on a careless driving warning after which I persuaded him to hand in his licence and then the case would be dropped - it did the trick!).

    Good luck with it and best wishes Beckyjan
  6. BeckyJan

    BeckyJan Registered User

    Nov 28, 2005

    Just saw your last post - glad you found the car and driving not an issue at present. Perhaps the tips obtained will be helpful in the future or at least to someone else with a 'driving' problem. Beckyjan
  7. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    I have an embarrassing confession to make - I'm always losing my car in multi-storey carparks. So much so that my children gave me a keyfob that records about 10 sec of voice message - just enough so that I can say "15 st parking lot, level 7, bay 27". Now, all I have to do is remember to acturally use it! When the children were young, it was no problem, they'd always remember the answer to "now, where's mummy parked the car?" but when they got older, and most of my shopping was done when they were at school, it quickly became obvious that this is an area where my memory was no use. Actually, I blame them - I got so use to relying on them to remember, that I forgot how to do it. That's my story, anyway, and I'm sticking to it :)

  8. Sandy

    Sandy Registered User

    Mar 23, 2005
  9. Libby

    Libby Registered User

    May 20, 2006
    North East
    Hi Amanda

    Glad to hear that you found the car and that your mum is limiting her driving. At least if she drives you somewhere on occassion, you can see how she's doing.

    Good luck

  10. Cate

    Cate Registered User

    Jul 2, 2006
    Newport, Gwent
    Ditto Jennifer, I'm always forgetting where I left the car. My worst episode was when my son was about 6 weeks old (now 23!). I had driven from S. Wales to Heathrow Airport to pick up mum who had been to visit my brother for 3 months in the Far East. Early morning arrival of mums flight, so arrived at HR at about 5:30 am. Met mum, all going well until we looked for the car, couldnt find it, was sure it had been stolen. Went to the Police, all a bit manic, son now fed up and wanting a feed, mum hanging from all night flight, and didnt have a clue what Reg my car was!! To cut a very long story short, Police found it 2 floors up, talk about felt stupid. Since then I always try to park it in the same place, especially at the supermarket, and get really miffed if someone is in my spot!! Failing that I write it down where I left it!!!
    PS Still never remembered the reg of any car I have ever owned, so got that written down too, saves a red face!!
  11. maria29al

    maria29al Registered User

    Mar 15, 2006
    I am glad the car was found safe and sound!
    I think one of the first signs we had that dad was not his usual self (easy to say now in retrospect) was that his once brilliant driving became so dangerous..he crawled along at about 10 mph holding up traffic wherever he went. Once diagnosed he had to have a check through the doctor who had to make recommendations to the DVLA...we all held our breath...and the DVLA granted Dad permission to continue to drive!!!!!!...none of us could believe it! After a while and a number of bangs and scrapes to the car...plus a near miss with a white van man...I had a word with Dad...he was adamant he was a safe driver still...however, the doctor re-wrote to the DVLA but before they replied, Dad decided of his own volition to give up...and that was just before he was taken so poorly. It certainly was a headache. I wonder what it takes to make the DVLA realise the potential danger!

  12. DMWalker

    DMWalker Registered User

    Aug 14, 2006
    West Yorkshire

    My husband too insists he is a good driver. I have posted this problem on TP some time ago.

    Yesterday I persuaded him to open a joint bank account with me, that has been such a worry to me but we've made it and I'm so relieved.

    Now I have to yet tackle the driving problem. Sometimes he is happy for me to drive. He has a shoulder problem and I use that as a reason why he should give it a rest. A couple of weeks ago driving to see his family 100 miles away he took the wrong turning, I guided him back onto the motorway but he couldn't recognise it and wanted to take the slip road into the airport! We have been doing this trip for 30 years.

    I have thought of writing to his GP but I wouldn't want my husband to know. When he was diagnosed of AD in March this year he had to take a driving test. They took his HGV licence from him but said he could drive for 1 more year and then take another test.

    I refuse to let him drive when we have others in the car, especially the grandchildren, it causes some rows and he has in the past refused to go out with us. I am selling my own car next month but I know he will be difficult when I want to use 'his car'.
  13. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Dear Dee, you could write to the GP or the DVLA in confidence. Better that than suffer an accident.

    My husband was just the same. He went too slowly and was far too anxious. He was forever getting horns tooted at him from impatient drivers as he held the traffic up so much. He also had a bump and kept damaging his wing mirror, because his spatial awareness was out of sync.

    As I don`t drive, my fears carried no weight, and we had countless arguements as I felt so unsafe.

    The issue was resolved when he fell and broke his arm and was unable to drive for 8 weeks. By then his confidence had gone and we gave the car to our son.

    I wouldn`t wish for your husband to break his arm, but I resolved the problem with my mother by contacting her GP and the DVLA.

    Take care. Sylvia
  14. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    Really hesitate to be a 'killjoy', but could you live with yourself if an accident occured. This is one area I have really lived through, but at least we all lived through it. (myself, Lionel, and any one else who might have got in his way)

  15. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    SW Scotland
    John didn't mind when I said I thought I should take over 'most' of the driving, to save him stress. But he wanted to keep his licence. It's a morale thing! He's still got his licence, doesn't realise it's out of date. He wouldn't know how to start the car now anyway!
  16. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    My husband still has his licence. It`s a good job he has no car. His licence, to him, is his identity, and far more important than a car.
    I only hope DVLA will never ask him to return it.

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