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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
9,240
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
1,687
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.
 
Last edited:

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
13,390
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
220
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
13,390
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
13,390
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 :)
 

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