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Partner still wants to drive against advice.

Jan Di

New member
Sep 12, 2020
5
My husband is waiting for DVLA to get in touch re his license which expired at the beginning of July., they have told him he can only continue if he fulfils Section 88 of RTA which states he must have asked his GP if he is fit to drive. The doctor told me several weeks ago to take his keys away but I was scared of reprisals. The police said they were contacting DVLA weeks ago but we have heard nothing since. He has lost the car 3 times and curbed two wheels in the last few weeks. Fortunately with a lot of luck I found the car on all occasions but I have now taken the keys away. He says I don’t have the right what can I say to explain that I do have the right.
 

Shedrech

Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
9,311
Yorkshire
Hello @Jan Di
a warm welcome to DTP

sadly, this is a familiar situation .... which doesn't make it any easier to deal with

well done on taking away the keys ... is there anywhere to hide the car so your husband doesn't see it, and say it needs a repair so is in the garage (who have to send away for the required part .... and any delaying fib)

you say the licence expired in July ... so maybe use that as your explanation .... eg 'the licence has expired so you cannot legally drive until it's renewed ... I wonder why it's taking so long, must be a backlog because of Covid restrictions ...we'll just have to wait ... what a nuisance ... let's have a cuppa and see if any of that cake is left (or any other treat)' then leave the room, no explanation or argument, no discussion .... be prepared to repeat over and over again, if you can say exactly the same each time, turn it into a mantra .... if possible, don't mention the keys so he doesn't fixate on those and miss the real reason about the licence

are you able to use buses and taxis when you go out, so he gets used to not using the car
 

Jan Di

New member
Sep 12, 2020
5
Hello @Jan Di
a warm welcome to DTP

sadly, this is a familiar situation .... which doesn't make it any easier to deal with

well done on taking away the keys ... is there anywhere to hide the car so your husband doesn't see it, and say it needs a repair so is in the garage (who have to send away for the required part .... and any delaying fib)

you say the licence expired in July ... so maybe use that as your explanation .... eg 'the licence has expired so you cannot legally drive until it's renewed ... I wonder why it's taking so long, must be a backlog because of Covid restrictions ...we'll just have to wait ... what a nuisance ... let's have a cuppa and see if any of that cake is left (or any other treat)' then leave the room, no explanation or argument, no discussion .... be prepared to repeat over and over again, if you can say exactly the same each time, turn it into a mantra .... if possible, don't mention the keys so he doesn't fixate on those and miss the real reason about the licence

are you able to use buses and taxis when you go out, so he gets used to not using the car
Hi Shedrech,
Thanks for the reply.
The DVLA wrote to him in July saying that there would be a delay of twelve weeks in processing his application because of Covid. This was despite the fact that his doctor, myself, and a neighbour had been in touch with the DVLA to say that he should not be driving. About two months ago the police rang me they had been contacted via social services because they thought there could be a safeguarding issue involved, the police told me they were also going to contact the DVLA and led me to believe action would follow imminently. The GP had a conversation with me on the phone at about the same time and told me I must take the keys away but I was too scared to do it. The final straw a for me was on Thursday last when he went out and lost the car for the third time. It could have been anywhere in Chichester. He had no real memory of where he had been but came up with lots of false memories which obviously doesn’t help as it leads you up blind alleyways, literally!
Very fortunately and quite by chance I found the car for the third time, that was ’it’ for me and I just had to take the keys away. Since then it has been hell, I had to leave the house on Friday because his behaviour was so threatening. Sorry I forgot to say the letter from the DVLA in July said that while he is waiting their decision he can only drive if he fulfils section 88 of the road traffic act, a copy of which accompanied the letter. The first compliance in Section 88 says that you must have contacted your doctor and he must have said that you are fit to drive! So my husband obviously ignored that and continued to drive so was breaking the law.
Yesterday taped a conversation with him explaining the sequence of events he appeared to agree that he would not drive until Monday and then he would contact the doctor but as soon as we got to the end of the conversation he looped back and demanded he keys and the whole conversation began again and which point I suggested he walk to our one and only village shop and buy a newspaper.
Yes we live in a village with one village bus that runs every other day, no trains and not really ideal place to cycle I have been trying to get him to consider that he could use taxis but he believes it is his right to drive and he has been a very controlling person the whole of his life. I do need to keep the car as I need it to tow our caravan, as to somewhere else I could stow it there really isn’t anywhere. I feel sure when the doctor tells him he cannot drive I will be the target for his aggression, he will believe I have ‘put the doctor up to it’
 

Sarasa

Registered User
Apr 13, 2018
1,858
Hi @Jan Di and welcome to Dementia Talking Point. I agree with @Shedrech and don't talk about not being able to drive, but that the car isn't working and needs a part etc etc. Then it isn't you telling him he can't do something, but it's something that is out of your control. Do you have somewhere you could drive it to, so it's out of sight?
I am concerned about your husband's aggression. I'd make sure to have a charged mobile on you at all times and a safe place in the house with a lock you can go to if you are worried about your safety. Don't hesitate to call the police if you feel in danger.
 
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canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
13,685
South coast
He wont be able to remember that he isnt allowed to drive, however many times people tell him. In his mind you are preventing him from driving for no reason at all, simply to be horrible and are insinuating that he is a bad driver, which he knows he is not, so he will be angry. You will have to use "love lies" - the car isnt working etc, or come up with another reason why you should drive instead. Can you park it round the corner or in a friends drive-way so that he cannot see it?
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
324
I would suggest trying to have a private chat with his GP. The DVLA revoked my father's licence permanently within days of receiving a report from the GP, in response to a DVLA enquiry. The DVLA are slow as snails but my guess is that they take notice and give priority to reports from a GP that demand urgency. Getting him to remember is another issue. It would be best for there to be no car available but obviously that might not be achievable if it is also your car. A steering wheel lock might be a cheap simple solution but there is little you can do to avoid the blame and anger except try to blame the doctor, the DVLA, and the insurance company, who won't give cover if they are told.
 

Jan Di

New member
Sep 12, 2020
5
Thank you for the replies and suggestions. He did make the phone call to the GP on Monday (although he didn’t remember what he wanted to ask him). During the call to the GP he was obviously looking for any way to get the doctor to say he could continue to drive so he went in to a character assassination of me saying that we will be getting a divorce and that I have ’set this up’ in revenge. He was never very nice to me even before the Alzheimer’s but it was very hurtful to hear the nasty things he was saying. Needless to say the doctor confirmed that he has already reported to the DVLA that Steve is no longer fit to drive.
Since he came off the phone life has been intolerable, he says I am disloyal and a bitch, he feels that although he needs me to help him in every aspect of his life that only applies if I am covering up the truth. It is impossible to reason with him and, of course, he forget within about an hour what has happened and then we go round the same loop again. I have removed the car from the drive, as the doctor suggested two months ago when he said I should take the keys away, I have put it somewhere safe so that it is not a constant reminder to him. I should also say that on Monday evening in a moment of lucidity he said I had done the right thing and that he would be happy to go into a home (but I don‘t put any store in that, as half an hour later he will be accusing me of all sorts).
I have now left the house, I need a break and thankfully have a caravan that I have come to to lick my wounds . I think I have reached the end of my tether, I really don’t think I can do this anymore.
I do have registered POA both financial and health but I’ve read things about capacity and I don’t know how it is decided if someone has capacity or not, and what difference that makes.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
13,685
South coast
Well done @Jan Di
The doctor has told him that the DVLA knows that he cannot drive and you have moved the car - those are very big steps.

He has no insight to his own condition and has no idea that he has changed, but he is aware that Something Is Not Right, so you get the blame - you are the one who has changed and are making out that it is all his fault [sigh]

I think that retreating to the caravan is a good idea. When OH was more capable than he is now, when I got to the end of my tether I would jump in the car and go out for a couple of hours. I still go and walk round the block, sometimes...........
 

Jan Di

New member
Sep 12, 2020
5
Thank you Canary and MartinWL why didn’t I find this forum facility before just seeing what others who are living the same journey think makes me feel I am not going mad.
In the last 48 hours a lot has happened, a friend and neighbour who is a retired social worker was so concerned about me she rang the older persons social workers duty team and didn’t give up until she spoke to the oncall social worker saying that although she knows I have always been a good advocate for my son (who has special needs) she feels that I am not always the best at speaking up for myself. In reality I am so worn down I think I had decided I didn’t have the energy to track down the professionals and I really did not know where to start. I received a phone call back within the hour and then it all came flooding out, I am normally quite a ‘together’ person but I ended up in tears and told this very kind lady how alone I feel. I was told that I must get onto the GP surgery and request an urgent referral to the Dementia Team, I think again it was obvious to the receptionist on the other end of the phone that I was very distressed. By the end of the day I had received 4 call backs from the surgery to ask if I was ok and to tell me the doctor had done the referral.
Yesterday I had a call back from Social Services to say they are in the process of assigning a social worker once that has happened they will make an appointment to come and make an assessment.
Finally I feel that maybe there might be some help and support on the way.
So finding this forum and my friend’s intervention have been good things to come out of this latest crisis. I have spent the day on Dartmoor today which definitely is a place to soothe the soul but now thoughts of returning home are beginning to dominate and I know I have to put the armour back on to face the unknown.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
13,685
South coast
Sometimes it takes a crisis for things to start moving. Thank goodness for your friend.

Things have started moving, but it can still take a while and you have to be honest about how things are affecting you.
You can come on here and vent any time of night or day :)
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
324
If it gives you a bit of hope I have, possibly, made progress in a somewhat similar situation. After my father's driving licence was revoked (there's a saga about that in another thread) I was unable to sell his car due to loss of the V5C registration document. It took 5 weeks to get a duplicate. My father is in denial of his condition and fervently believes that he is fit to drive 400 miles. Hiding the car was not practical, and he would not have fallen for "love lies" and is capable of getting in a mechanic to fix any disablement of the car so last week I defied his strongly expressed wishes and sold the car to a dealer. Like you I was concerned that he might drive without insurance or a licence, he is so utterly sure that he is fit to drive. He was incandescent with rage and said some very hurtful things incl that we might never speak again. ( He depends on me for all sorts of support but conveniently forgot that). He gave me a deadline to get his car back or another car and if I did not he would report the theft to the police. ( I have told the constabulary the circumstances and that this might happen). However this week I went to see him as usual and although he is obviously still upset there were no mentions of the police, and only a couple of brief references to trying to get the car back. He behaved in a civilised way throughout the visit. So I am hoping that "dementia forgets" is the slogan of the week. There's hope that your PWD will move on too.
 

Countryboy

Registered User
Mar 17, 2005
1,487
Cornwall
I have been reading similar driving threads since joining TP in March 2005 and having a diagnoses of dementia myself I fought tooth and nail fought more battles the Field Marshal Montgomery with various bureaucrats over a period of several years,;):(:D

Reading threads over past few months it’s obvious that the person with dementia wanting to continue to drive is allowing family or carers take over and make their decisions so I have come to the conclusion that if they aren’t prepared to stand and fight for themselves and are allowing others to make their decisions then yes it’s obvious they are not going competent to drive why because with the amount of traffic on roads today you need to be 100% alert at all times

maybe I’m more fortunate than others because my Wife and two adult children and close family members would support me 100% until the very end irrespective of my dementia

for the person with dementia although I was dignosed in 1999-2000 it was until 2001-02 I was told / advised I had to inform DVLA possibly everyone with dementia is however 20 years on I'm still driving :):)
 

Duggies-girl

Registered User
Sep 6, 2017
2,101
You are truly fortunate and quite remarkable @Countryboy and I am glad that you are able to continue driving after all of this time and long may it continue. The fact that your family still support your decision to keep driving reflects your driving abilities which are obviously still excellent and long may that continue.

I truly wish that dad had been able to continue driving as it would have saved me a lot of anguish and worry but alas his abilities deteriorated to an extent that he was truly dangerous. I don't look at it as a failure to stand by my dad but more of a responsibility to keep him safe and probably even more important other road users and pedestrians. Once my dad stopped driving I continued to support him fully by becoming his driver or minder as he liked to call me.

@MartinWL I am glad that things have cooled down so quickly and hopefully your dad may come to decide it was his own decision after all.
 

Countryboy

Registered User
Mar 17, 2005
1,487
Cornwall
Hi Duggies-girl thanks for the kind words, when I reply it’s never my intention to find fault or sport with anyone’s feelings and I know were all individuals with different views circumstances especially on driving issues which appear to cause so many problems and upsets among so many dementia suffers and their families unfortunately when the Drivers age has been omitted I always assume I’m talking to a driver in late 50’s early 60’s because I myself was 56½ when diagnosed but around 59 or 60 before notifying DVLA mainly because the I was never told by the Consultant I had inform them however the age of the person would be a major factor.

also Driving was at that time important because I was an essential car user for my work and Driving meant I could continued working until I retired aged 65 so I try to hopefully give valuable information to other dementia suffers and possibly their families
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
13,685
South coast
@Countryboy - If the DVLA have withdrawn someones licence, what does it matter what age they are - its still against the law for them to drive.. You seem to be blaming the families for not supporting the person with dementia, but if their driving is dangerous, then stopping them driving is the right decision, irrespective of their age. My OH was told to stop driving when he was 61 and Im sure the advice was correct (actually he wasnt driving anyway, but that was beside the point).

Im aware that dementia is not an automatic ban on driving and that people who have lost their license can appeal, but if they havent got a current license, they mustnt drive.
 

Duggies-girl

Registered User
Sep 6, 2017
2,101
Hi @Countryboy dad was 87 when he had to stop driving but he should have stopped probably 5 years or even more earlier. He managed to keep going by never leaving our home home town and always following the same route, he also drove rather slowly. He shopped every day at the same shop in town.

He had dents on all four corners of the car, a caved in front wing and passenger door on the near side (scraped a parked lorry apparently but no harm done) and a scrape down the whole length of the off side. Some of the dents had dents in and he wrote off a wheel on a traffic island so he was driving around on a space saver wheel. All minor things according to dad. It was a blessing when he finally mislaid the car while shopping as it gave me the chance to get him to the doctors.

I allowed this to go on for far longer than I should have for fear of upsetting dad and I consider myself very lucky that he never had a bad accident or worse.
 

Countryboy

Registered User
Mar 17, 2005
1,487
Cornwall
Thank you Duggies-girl for telling me your dads age obviously there is possibly a vast difference in reaction time between a 60 year old and 80 year old ok not always but in majority of cases it would be and I support you decission fully

To any other TP member, just want to point out that during my 16+ years membership of Alzheimer’s society Talking Point have I never advocated or suggested that a person should break the Law

I have on many occasions informed Drivers who had a driving licence revoked they can challenge that decision in Court DVLA also gives thenm this information
 

Shedrech

Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
9,311
Yorkshire
hi @Jan Di
I just noticed 2 things not really picked up so far

". I should also say that on Monday evening in a moment of lucidity he said I had done the right thing and that he would be happy to go into a home (but I don‘t put any store in that, as half an hour later he will be accusing me of all sorts)."

personally, I would store away that moment, and have it in mind when the time comes for a move to residential care .... it will help your decision and state of mind to know that effectively you have his understanding and permission, however fleeting his memory may be

"I do have registered POA both financial and health but I’ve read things about capacity and I don’t know how it is decided if someone has capacity or not, and what difference that makes."

if the LPAs are just standard wording (ie he didn't add any extra clauses) , then as the Attorney you assess each situation and act in good faith according to your sincere belief that the donor no longer has capacity to manage his finances/make that decision