1. Expert Q&A: Protecting a person with dementia from financial abuse - Weds 26 June, 3:30-4:30 pm

    Financial abuse can have serious consequences for a person with dementia. Find out how to protect a person with dementia from financial abuse.

    Sam, our Knowledge Officer (Legal and Welfare Rights) is our expert on this topic. She will be here to answer your questions on Wednesday 26 June between 3:30 - 4:30 pm.

    You can either post questions >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll answer as many as we can on the day.

  1. Lynnby

    Lynnby Registered User

    Jun 21, 2006
    My father has had progressive memory problems for the last 8years. He now is very repetative when holding a conversastion, and lacks consentration when driving or doing any task. after much persuasion my Mum took him to the GP, who refered him to a geriatric specialist, who did a CT scan of the brain. Last week my mum was told by the specialist that the scan showed some brain shrinkage and has prescibed him Aricept ( I think thats what its called) which i looked up and found this is for Alzheimer's Disease. The GP has still not had the letter through from the consultant, but has told my Mum he should probabley give up driving, and that we have to inform the DVLA and the insurance. My Mum doesn't know if she should wait the the GP and letter, or will the insurance be invalid fom now? the main problem has arisen from a poor interview with the conultant, who left them with a vauge diagnosis and no information. Has anyone come across this before? and has anyone got any ideas about when we should inform the insurance and DVLA. We feel a bit at sea at the moment.
  2. Amy

    Amy Registered User

    Jan 4, 2006
    Hiya Lynnby and welcome to TP. The fact that your father has been given a prescription for Aricept, and that the GP has told you that you should inform the DVLA and the Insurance, I suspect that if there was a mishap in the car, the insurance may be void. Could you keep dad out of the car until the situation is clarified? Could you speak to the GP and ask if he was saying that he considered your dad unfit to drive - or just that the DVLA and Insurance needed to be notified of his condition, and if so, what diagnosis would he give?
    Others may be able to give you more info, this is only my opinion.
    Best wishes, Helen.
  3. Lynnby

    Lynnby Registered User

    Jun 21, 2006
    Thank you

    Hello Amy,
    thank you for your welcome and information. we are going through a tough time right now, I'm sure you have all gone through this. It is awful, he is very frightenend, and some what in denial. I feel so helpless. I have told him about the site and i have found the forum from people with this disease, the most helpful. When he is feeling up to it I will introduce him to you. He loves his computer, I'm sure he will find you all a great source of support.
    As far as the driving goes, I've told my mum to inform the insurance, that he has been recommended to be put on aricept, but is not on it yet, and that we will inform them when we have more information. That way they can't say they didn't know. Has anyone had problems with insurance since having the diagnosis?
    He is still ok to drive short didstances, I've told him to stick to places he knows, and not to go on motorways, we are looking at getting an automatic, so it is one less task for him to think about. His main problem when driving is he seems less aware of other drivers and is slow to anticipate other road users. He has had times when he has forgot once famillier routes, but then on other days he seems fine. It seems so harsh to stop him driving.
  4. rummy

    rummy Registered User

    Jul 15, 2005
    Hi Lynnby,
    It is really hard to make them stop driving and we have had a constant battle with my Mom over it. She hasn't driven in four years but will forget that and think she just drove yesterday. I tell her if she can pass the driving test, she can drive. Of course not only could she not pass it, she is too insecure to take it. It seems to defuse the subject for awhile.
    Just my opinion, but, if they don't use good judgement, get confused, have poor reflexes and are at risk of getting lost........they should not drive. They could hurt others and themselves. I know it isn't easy asking someone to give up that independence but it is inevitable and may just keep an accident from happening.
    Hope it works out.
  5. Lynne

    Lynne Registered User

    Jun 3, 2005
    Hi Lynnby,

    :( I'm truly sorry that you have to grapple with this awful disease and the situations it throws at us all. The issue of a sufferer being told they have to stop driving is encountered quite frequently and, particularly with men (sorry guys), it seems to be a pride & ego thing. But, I hasten to add, it would be for me too!! Not only do I love driving, but as I live in a rural area it's pretty much essential. As a family, we went throught this scenario over 20 years ago with my Dad (not AD) and you'd think we had cut his leg off, even though (then) we lived in a town with a fairly decent bus & train service.

    I have to disagree with the proposals highlighted above. Getting him an automatic car would just be encouraging him to continue to drive. Having an automatic gearbox (with which he is unfamiliar) wouldn't enable him to improve his judgement of speed & distance, or hit the brake any quicker. It might ease the tension within the family, but it wouldn't eliminate the danger, or the insurance position.
    As to sticking to the local area and not motorways, statistically motorways are actually safer! I think the figures indicate that a high proportion of accidents happen within 5 miles from home; that might be a neighbour's child then, or perhaps even one of his own grandchildren? Sorry to put it harshly, but reality with AD is harsh, and unfair, on everyone concerned.

    I have read on here of a test people can take in order to prove they still have the necessary abilities to carry on driving. If I can find the post/s I'll come back with details for you. However, keep looking at the faces of your Dad's neighbours' children ...

    Sympathies, regards & best wishes
  6. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    Not going to be popular but I agree totally with Lynne.

    How does a person with dementia know what is short, and if they get lost and then try to find their way back.......

    I'm a typical man - if I get lost, I won't stop to look at a map [and I can interpret one]. I will drive around until I see something familiar on a road sign.

    How will someone with failing capabilities do that?

    how do you, or how does he know exactly what he knows - today, and tomorrow when it might have changed, let alone next week, next month...

    and what if he can't tell he is entering a motorway?

    isn't that a bit of a show stopper already?

    I know how horrible it is for someone to have their car taken from them, but it really is too dangerous a weapon, especially in days when many of the drivers on the road already appear incapable of being in control of their vehicle.

    As a starting point, at least get a test done of his capabilities.... please!
  7. Amy

    Amy Registered User

    Jan 4, 2006
    Lynne and Bruce,
    Thank you, and I'm sorry, I chickened out of saying what you said.
  8. Sandy

    Sandy Registered User

    Mar 23, 2005
    Hi Lynbby,

    You might want to take a look at this previous thread on driving:


    This thread mentions the assessment centres where drivers can have their skills evaluated.

    I have to say that I agree with what Lynne and Bruce have said. All it takes is one "out of the ordinary" moment - a child running out, some roadworks, bad weather causing poor visibility, etc.

    I can understand the logic of the switch to automatic transmission, but unfortunately this is not the logic of AD. One of the hallmarks of AD is the inability to learn and retain details of new systems/procedures. Even though the automatic is in theory simpler, to your father it will just be different. The habits of driving a manual transmission are doubtlessly ingrained for him. It is just as likely that he could be travelling at speed and engage the handbrake, mistaking it for the shifter or the abscence of the clutch could cause him to confuse the gas and brake pedals.

    One interesting "thought experiment" with this kind of situation is to ask yourself "What would it take for us to decide that Dad is no longer fit to drive?"

    Take care,

  9. bel

    bel Registered User

    Apr 26, 2006
    Re new diagnosis

    I am quite new to TP but have had similar problem with my hubby he is 59 he thought he was ok to drive but concentration etc was not there it meant a lot to him as i think it does more to men than women
    I found i tried all the obvious things get children to talk to him GP etc but in his mind he was still safe to drive
    I was at the end of my tether when he did not see a parked car and nearly hit it
    i had to shout it still did not register but as he said a few days later i will stop driving cos i can see how worried you are
    On a silly note weeks later he was adiment he brought a push bike
    At the end of the day i know its terribly hard
    But we as carers and family must not let them drive for there sake and others
    they are driving a fast machine on the roads today you need all your witts ab out you
    There is no easy way but you have to keep on keeping on
    there are a lot of people here with a lot more experience than me
    keep posting they will help and support you
    Love Bel x
  10. jan17362

    jan17362 Registered User

    May 2, 2006
    I too was devastated when told to inform insurance of vascular dementia. I had to stop driving until an assesment was made . I now have a restricted licence which has to be renewed each year. And have a medical . Before they let me drive again.(hopefully.) My next assesment is in December 2006.
  11. twink

    twink Registered User

    Oct 28, 2005
    Cambridgeshire UK

    When my husband was diagnosed in August last year he had an assessment in the same month. He did really badly in the cognitive tests, so much so they weren't even going to take him out driving but they did and said there was no reason why he couldn't drive, he did very well. He is on a yearly licence too and has to have another assessment in the next few months but no-one has mentioned a medical. He doesn't have vascular dementia, we were told he has alzheimer's or dementia, I'm not sure of the difference or if there is any. I informed his insurance company and also the DVLA. He is 55.

  12. Lynnby

    Lynnby Registered User

    Jun 21, 2006

    I'd like to thank you all for your kind words and advice.
    I have persuaded my dad not to drive until he has had his assessment. we are trying to be optimistic, maybe he will improve with the Aricept. has anyone found they have had an improvemnt in these skills and if so how long does it usually take to have effect?
  13. Helena

    Helena Registered User

    May 24, 2006
    My Mother is 90 and its taken the DVLA at least 2 months to revoke her licence

    She truly is not fit to drive nor has she been fit to drive for a long time
    Even 13 yrs ago at our daughters wedding other guests commented on her lousy driving ability

    I appreciate the removal of a driving licence and the loss of freedom it entails is a bitter blow but seriously is it realy wise for anyone with any form of dementia to drive ?

    I most certainly do not think anyone should be driving at 90

    In New Xealand its mandatory to take a driving test every year from age 75 and its high time they introduced that here
  14. Lynne

    Lynne Registered User

    Jun 3, 2005
    Re. Aricept & ?? improvement

    Hi Lynnby,
    My Mum has been on Aricept (5mg per day) for 5 weeks now, with no noticeable improvement. I should say that I do realise it's unlikely to have a retrospective effect & turn back the clock, but I would say she's still deteriorating in both short-term memory & physical skills. However, I have read (on TP) that I should expect it to take 1 or 2 months to really get going, so it's just wait & see what happens - as usual! Would be interested to hear anyone else's feed-back, please.
  15. wendy43uk

    wendy43uk Registered User

    Dec 22, 2005
    driving when u have ad

    y hubby was told to tell the dvla about his alz he was then 57 i did not drive and could not beleve we could have the car took off the road i started to learn as soon as possoble we was told if we did not inform the dvla we would get a one thousand pound fine i wrote the letter myself wich i felt rotton about but i had no choice one day while hubby was driving he went the wrong way round a roundabout affter that i drove the car hubby sat with me and my Lplates john had to go and have a assasment at the hosptal he was asked lots of things about dist\ance and how he saw it and stuff i was not allowed in with the gp after 3 weeks of this test johns driving days was over nobody took him on the road for a test at the time:) we was gutted but ,loooking back i am so glad it was sooner rather than later
  16. bel

    bel Registered User

    Apr 26, 2006
    Driving with Ad

    This is hard i have just gone through it and still am with hubby he went from car to push bike thinkig that was safer for him yes but for others ---
    Love Bel x
  17. Poll

    Poll Registered User

    Jul 20, 2006
    My Hell

    God I thought I was the only one who is goimg through it. I empathise with all of you, only found this site tonight. It's good to know that people will know what I'm talking about. My friends are good but when i tell thrm that my mum is in 3rd stage they haven't got a clue, bless em
  18. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    Hello Poll, warm welcome to TP. So glad you found us. Post again soon and tell us a little more of yourself.

  19. bel

    bel Registered User

    Apr 26, 2006
    Dont know if it is of any help but hubby is poorley i knew for a while he should not be driving it meant a lot to him in the end i knew he was not safe i wrote to DVLA saying my self and daughter knew he was not safe but not to tell him we had said so to save him cos Specialist we see wanted and still does sit on the fence our own GP said THIS IS A LEATHEL MACHINE you are driving to him
    he still could not see it there is a lot more to the story
    But if i know now what i did not know then if it is some one you love and know very well you know whats right to do as hard as it is he could of killed some one
    and i was trying to save his feelings
    Love Bel x
  20. wendy43uk

    wendy43uk Registered User

    Dec 22, 2005

    when we was told about the ad driving was a worry as i dont drive one day john went round the roundabout the wrong way i uesd to drive with him sat with me a was terrified he might crash the car when he went to the hosptal for tests it proved he could no longer judge distance his linance was taken away i was gutted but it was for the best

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