Registered User
May 15, 2008
I'm Katie and this is my first post.
My dad is suffering memory loss, is becoming more and more confused and vacant.In fact he's getting lost on a regular basis, still drives and I worry that he's a danger to himself and others. My mum doesn't want to know cos it scares her and won't discuss it. My brother lives abroad and can't help. I want to get my dad to a doctor but my mum won't let me talk to them "behind my dad's back".
I'd just like to get him a diagnosis and help.


Registered User
Jan 1, 2007
Newcastle upon Tyne
Hi Katie,
Welcome to the forum. There are many, many people here who have been through what you are going through now. I was there myself a few years ago with my Dad - exactly. Does your Dad have check ups with his GP for anything? My Dad had blood pressure checks every 6 months so I wrote to his GP with all my concerns - eventually he took notice and he was referred. Even if your Dad doesn't have any check ups, you should write to his GP and ask him to see your Dad.

The driving is a huge problem. My Dad was a danger to everyone and I was too afraid to do anything about it. It was only after my Mum told me they had had a very narrow escape one day that I told her not to get in the car with him. What I should really have done was taken his keys away - he would probably have thought he had lost them anyway. In the end his car failed its MOT at the same time as he was diagnosed and told he mustn't drive, but even so he longed for another one.

I know how hard it is going behind your Dad's back, but if you are right in your suspicions you will have to in order to get him and your Mum some help.

Best wishes,


Account Closed
Nov 23, 2007
Hello, and welcome

Please get your Dad some help. He should not be driving.
I had to take step's to get Ron to stop driving.
I could not let him kill someone, or himself.
With the kindest regard's
Barb & Ron


Registered User
May 1, 2008
Dublin, Ireland
Hi Katie,
dad was like this too many years ago. he had two minor (fortunately) accidents after which we were able to convince him that he knew himself it was time to stop driving before he killed someone (we put it like that because that was the truth. He mounted the footpath as he was turning a corner; luckily no one was there.). He agreed to sto p driving then. Could see the sense then. we sold the car and and he took the bus, walked or we drove him where he wanted to go.

Dads sight was failing a bit too and he couldn't read the signs, and sometimes forgot where he was going. Try to get him to see that good drivers know when it is not safe to drive.

Now, 3/4 years on he is convinced we took the car off him, that he can still drive, and he wants a car of his own, We say " you were a great driver, yes, its sad not to have a car, but they are so expensive to run, etc ... and try and distract him.
Big hug

Kate P

Registered User
Jul 6, 2007
Hi Katie,

Yes been in your shoes.

Mum was unwell and showing signs of dementia for a good three years before we could get dad to take her to the doctor.

We did as others have said - made an appointment to see mum's GP (who fortunately was mine as well) and gave him a list of everything that had been happening. We continued to do this even though we couldn't get mum to the GP because it meant when she finally went he had all the information to hand.

Unfortunately if your mum will not listen to reason and is afraid to confront things you are very limited as to what you can do. I found that my dad was more willing to listen to other members of the family - his brother etc because I think he still looks at me as his child so I didn't have as much clout as others. Is this a possibility - are your parents a member of a church? would the vicar etc speak to them?

I think you do need to keep trying especially as your dad is still driving - this is a big issue for many of us and unfortunately not one that can be ignored as it is other people's safety as well as your mum and dads.

Good luck I hope you can find a good starting place soon as I remember how frustrating and stressful it was when I was in your position.


Registered User
May 13, 2008
Portsmouth, England
Hello Katie, I couldn't help but smile when I read your post because you could have been writing about me and my father ! Sadly my mother died 2 years ago so it's just me as an only child trying to help my father. This week I finally got him to go to his GP having made an appointment for him and just told him when he had to go - the GP then said would he mind if he tried some memory tests on him - and he has been referred to the hospital now - I have tried to explain to him in the simplest terms that he is possibly going to start taking 1 or 2 tablets a day to help his memory which he is quite happy about. He still has his car in the garage but hasn't driven for some time although he wants to keep it 'just incase' he needs to but I think he is afraid of getting lost and I haven't done anything about its flat battery so he is not able to use it anyway. Hope you can manage to get your father to go to his GP even if a small 'fib' is needed to do it ! Best wishes from Sue


Registered User
Nov 7, 2004
Hi Katie

I would agree with everything that has been said before but add two things.

Don’t expect to be able to put forward logical arguments when you are talking to your dad (or mum). When you are talking to a person with Alzheimer’s it does not help because they can often find it difficult to process what you’re saying. With my mum I was gently assertive and I moved things forwards slowly. I never actually confronted her with any question that made her make a YES/NO decision.

Have you got your parents to write a Lasting Power of Attorney so that you can look after them (if either of them gets knocked down by the proverbial bus).

All the best



Registered User
May 15, 2008
Hi All,

Thank you all so much for your kindness and much needed support.
We (me, my husband and our 2 youngest children - they're 2 1/2)spent the afternoon with the lovely lady from our local Alzheimer's Society branch. She has given us loads of info and some local phone numbers, including one for a nurse who specialises in care of the elderly with dementia. I couldn't get through to her today but I hope to catch up with her Monday to find out how I can get my dad an appointment without my mum thinking I'm betraying the family and going behind his back. I've also been invited to a coffee morning for carers on Tuesday.Up until now I've felt quite helpless and have done a lot of crying, but now I feel motivated. Thank you all again so much,