Now what?

banjan

Registered User
Mar 13, 2012
30
Brotton, North Yorkshire
My uncle has Alzheimer's and us getting worse steadily I am his only kin and live 100 mile away
We removed his driving licence as it was due for renewal to fill in necessary forms ( he won't say he has dementia) he is now threatening us with police he does have legal rights to do this even though he willingly gave us his licence to sort out for him
I could not live with myself if he hurt anyone driving his dr said get him accessed he won't go to a driving school for assessment
Where do I go from here?
He has just rang to say if we don't give him his licence he won't be there next time we visit part of me says good I'm afraid to say
Who's side would the police be on
Jan
Please I really need some thoughts about this
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
Has anyone notified the DVLA of his diagnosis? Really his doctor should have done, and it makes me cross that he seems to have left it up to you, that family, to deal with. I'm rather surprised that the fact that he doesn't have his license in his hand is actually stopping him from driving: many people wouldn't have the insight.

Have you read this fact sheet http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/documents_info.php?documentID=144 ?

If someone receives a diagnosis of dementia and wants to continue to drive, they must, by law, inform the DVLA. Notification of the diagnosis should be sent with the person's full name, address, date of birth and the driver number on the driving licence, if known, to the Drivers Medical Group (see 'Useful organisations').

The DVLA will send the person a questionnaire that seeks permission for the DVLA to obtain medical reports from the person's GP and/or specialists. Once the person returns this questionnaire, the DVLA will contact their consultant (or, if no consultant details are provided, their GP). Based on the medical information it receives, it will make a decision as to whether the person can continue to drive. The DVLA may also ask the person to take a driving assessment.

A person with a diagnosis of dementia would be breaking the law if they did not tell the DVLA about their diagnosis, and could be fined up to £1,000. If a person with dementia does not inform the DVLA about their diagnosis and continues to drive against advice from their doctor, the doctor may inform the DVLA if he or she feels that public safety or road safety would be at risk. Other people, such as family members, neighbours or police officers, may also contact the DVLA in writing and ask it to carry out a medical investigation if they are concerned about a person's fitness to drive.

A person with a diagnosis of dementia must also immediately inform their car insurance company. If they do not, their policy may become invalid. It is a criminal offence to drive without at least third party cover.
As it would appear that the GP has copped out, you should contact the DVLA yourself.
 

lady g

Registered User
Feb 5, 2012
43
south yorkshire
Hi, really sorry to hear of your distress with your uncle. You should be getting in touch with your uncles GP or a social worker. Im sure they can help you. He isnt capable of makin decisions and sounds like he is a danger to himself and others. Hope this helps a little. Thinkin of you xx
 

Katrine

Registered User
Jan 20, 2011
2,839
England
If your uncle's licence has expired then he is committing a criminal offence if he drives, and his insurance will also be invalid. I am not clear, is he saying he MUST have the licence in order to drive, or is he theatening to drive anyway? If you think he is unsafe to drive (and not everyone with dementia is unsafe to start with) then you could report him to the police yourself so that they can go and talk to him about it. Obviously, remove the car keys if you can, or perhaps the police can do this pending a driving assessment? Next time your uncle phones I suggest you say "Good idea, talk to the police. They will explain why you cannot drive without a licence."

Your uncle may have given you the forms, but if he was mentally OK and safe to drive he could just ring DVLA and get more forms to fill in, so you taking the forms is neither here nor there and certainly not any type of criminal activity, so you have nothing to worry about from the police point of view. Assume that they will want to help your uncle; they certainly won't be taking any action against you.
 

Delphie

Registered User
Dec 14, 2011
1,269
I wouldn't worry about the police if I were you. In fact I'd probably give them a call myself. Explain the situation and see where it goes from there. In the very unlikely event of them saying that you must return his licence, you can do it with a clear(ish) conscience, but my guess is that they'll be as concerned as you are and will advise against it. I've had reason to speak to the police about various issues regarding my mum and they've always been very kind and had a common sense approach.
 

Chippy01

Registered User
Mar 6, 2012
13
Hi

I sympathise with this situation as my dad has also threatened us with the police because we have taken certain action due to concerns about his driving, not only from the dementia point of view but also a diagnosis of cataracts in both eyes. This has been an issue for some months now - initially dad allowed us to remove his car, voluntarily not driving due to taking new medication etc and we arranged for a driving assessment through the local county council (we were given this info by the early intervention team). However, he was then diagnosed with cataracts too and again decided not to take the assessment until he had his eyes done. However, his memory has declined and his tolerance of waiting has gone and he has been incredibly angry with us. He lives on his own and all he thinks about is driving and that we have taken away his freedom and life is not worth living. He thinks he's cured the cataracts by using optrex and does not believe the diagnosis of Alzheimers. It got so bad with ,making threats etc that my sisters decided to put his car back on the drive last week, but then he accused us all of draining the fuel out of it and threatened to call the police etc. Personally I wish he would call them so that someone in authority can tell him. I wouldnt be worried about the police getting involved as they are most likely to be understanding. They must see this alot! Dad says that no one has officially told him he can't drive. However last week the DVLA did write and say that they want him to return his licence as of tomorrow - we had managed to persuade him to sign the forms (after alot of distress for us and anger from him) to tell them of his diagnosis tho he has since forgotten that. The GP did not want to inform the DVLA because it would damage his relationship with his patient and also has not witnessed dad's driving. that left it up to us!! Now someone official has said this (the DVLA) he is saying that they are just a pen pusher and it's not a legal matter and is refusing to send the licence back. I don't know what the consequences of this will be but it's an on going saga!!!
Dad hasn't driven yet -thankfully! I don't actually think he's capable - he thought the petrol gauge was the rev counter and asked if the car used 3 star fuel! but my fear is that he will and could hurt someone. It really is a very traumatic time. I empathise with his situation but he cannot understand reason and is in denial so that all he does is get angry with us for trying to restrict his life. He actually gets about by bus as he's physically very fit but this does not satisfy him. He thinks he can drive all the way to Rome! in fact when he was driving last year he couldn't find his way to my house in the same town!
I wish you luck with your situation. It really is a very difficult one!
Chippy01
 

banjan

Registered User
Mar 13, 2012
30
Brotton, North Yorkshire
Thanks for your replies Chippy what a struggle you are having I don't know how people cope when it their parent that has Alzheimer's I feel a bit more remote that it is my uncle
I sometimes feel I'm the one with dementia not my uncle and wonder if there is a nice padded cell that I could rent
Love to all that have been touched by the dementia fairy
Thanks again
Jan
 

ggma

Registered User
Feb 18, 2012
1,130
North Staffordshire
You are right to try and prevent accidents, my Mum was convinced that life would end if she did not drive, and then drove out of her cul de sac right in front of someone else, luckily no one was hurt and we did not get the car mended. The following week Mum was diagnosed with Alzehimers so did not drive again.

If you need to leave the car on a drive, is there someway you could disable the car so it would not start (disconnect a lead?), and then make sure the local garage knows not to repair it!