1. Ponddweller

    Ponddweller Registered User

    Jun 20, 2019
    76
    Hello everyone. My dad got his Alzheimers diagnosis on Wednesday and was totally blindsided. He had no idea that anything was wrong other than a bit of forgetfulness. The main issue was being told not to drive. He hit the roof and argued with the doctor. He also blamed my sister who accompanied him. As luck would have it, his car was at the garage at the time as he'd done something to the battery (as well as the many other dents and bumps on it). By the next day he'd forgotten all about the diagnosis, and that he was banned from driving and was really chirpy on the phone. We'd asked the garage to hold on to the car for as long as possible until we figured out what to do, but he managed to get up there and drive it home. My sister took him grocery shopping yesterday (though he was puzzled as to why he couldn't take himself) and managed to take the car keys home with her.
    He's seen her today and was okay, but he's got home and seen her note on his whiteboard that she has his keys and he's been ringing her screaming down the phone that he wants his keys right now and that he never wants to see her again. Interestingly he didn't ask her why she had them, so obviously he knows something's wrong on some level. He's always had a bit of a temper but she's now quite frightened and worried that he's going to turn up in a taxi. He's also threatening to call the garage to get the locks changed on the car. So what to do now? Is it a good idea to call the local police tomorrow and warn them to look out for his numberplate? I know the obvious solution is to remove the car, but my sister is concerned he'll call the police and for her job she needs a clean advanced DBS. And I've also been wondering about calling social services for advice. Does anyone have experience of this? Have they offered help? He's so totally in denial/can't remember about his diagnosis and declining ability. I have a young family and live 150 miles away so can't offer day to day support. My sister is local but works full time and is currently undergoing cancer treatment. She has been visiting him most days, however the way he spoke to her today has shocked and upset her. We have managed to get a carer in once a day to remind him to take his medication but we haven't had the first invoice yet so I don't know if we're in for a fight about paying for them. He already thinks it's silly. We do have power of attorney (although my paperwork from his bank hasn't come through yet). I guess I'm just asking for advice for practical steps we can take now. We knew he would be angry but this has really thrown us.
    Thanks everyone.
     
  2. Woohoo

    Woohoo Registered User

    Apr 30, 2019
    553
    Female
    South East
    Hi @Ponddweller , welcome to Tp , I’m sorry to hear the tough time you are having . Not sure I have much helpful advice , can you get someone to take the car somewhere out of sight ? He won’t be able to get locks changed if he hasn’t a key to get it to garage surely . I personally would get it out of sight , otherwise you will be having to tell him several times a day and upsetting him .Can only imagine how upset your sister feels. Sure others will be along with some good advice soon.
     
  3. TNJJ

    TNJJ Registered User

    May 7, 2019
    970
    Female
    cornwall
    Hi. You need to inform the DVLA about him not being allowed to drive.(The doctor should do it but you never know)
    Do you have any idea of when his license expires??
    I had something similar with my dad who has Vascular Dementia and a stroke.Dad’s license has expired so it was lucky (He still thinks he can drive)

    I would also inform the police about him and give the license plate number. If your sister takes the car keys are there any spares that he can get hold of??
     
  4. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    11,099
    Female
    South coast
    Its time for love lies. Get the car out of sight, keep the keys out of the house, but dont tell him what you have done
    Its at the garage. If he says he will go and fetch it tell him no, not that one, the one near you, that he doesnt know where it is.;);). You are waiting for the garage to phone you. They are waiting for a part to come in and yes it is taking a long time.
    Pre-empt him going to the police by going there yourself, now. Explain the situation and that he has dementia. The police get stuff like this all the time, are understanding and it wont affect your sisters DBS
     
  5. Ponddweller

    Ponddweller Registered User

    Jun 20, 2019
    76
    Thanks everyone. I really appreciate your replies. You're absolutely right, we do have to remove the car, although I don't think we're at the stage where we can hoodwink him I'm afraid. He's got quite resourceful in his dementia - far more than he was before. He also views the car as his lifeline and independence so is absolutely obsessed with it. Last month he drove a long way, broke down and left the car at a garage, but couldn't remember where. A week of searching from us, including the police and we still couldn't find it. I thought this was our salvation as we could quite conveniently never find it. Unfortunately, he had a sudden moment of clarity, called a taxi (for the first time ever) and went and fetched it. He'd been really distressed the whole week as he couldn't remember what had happened and would call in tears at night to ask where it was. To rub salt into the wound, they didn't charge him for fixing it as they felt guilty that they hadn't contacted him! I've started referring to him as Teflon man. I have a friend walking her dog past the house tonight who will tell me the numberplate so I can give the police a call tomorrow and just warn them. He doesn't have spare keys, but he's threatening to get the car locks changed. That's a good point WooHoo - I'll call his usual garage and check whether they'd technically be able to change the locks without the keys.
    His licence is due to expire on Thursday so the consultant said he wouldn't bother to contact the DVLA. I'll do it just in case though. I have already reported him to them in October, and his GP told me he would do it last month, though we don't know if he has received any correspondence from them as he has a habit of hiding letters he doesn't like the look of (such as the bailiff's letter because of unpaid bills that he hid behind the clock).
    Incidentally, does anyone know if the consultant sends a copy of the diagnosis letter to the PWD? He wrote to Dad's GP and copied in my sister, but we don't know if he's written to Dad too. I left a message for the consultant's secretary but haven't heard back.

    Dad did visit a care home recently and contrary to expectations absolutely loved it and said he could see himself living there. Since the diagnosis though, he's re-written the narrative of the visit and now says it's a living death. We really feel it would be the best option for him at the moment as he's so agitated by himself. I can't help feeling that it would help reset our relationship with him too. I've seen it said so often on here that before the PWD goes into residential care the relationship is all about fighting fires. I hate this feeling of being terrified of calling or visiting him. It all feels so very wrong.
    Thanks for your time.
     
  6. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    11,099
    Female
    South coast
    You would be surprised. I didnt think OH would fall for some of the love lies Ive told - but he did. Just sound confident.
     
  7. Ponddweller

    Ponddweller Registered User

    Jun 20, 2019
    76
    Thanks Canary, I'll give it a try.
     
  8. Woohoo

    Woohoo Registered User

    Apr 30, 2019
    553
    Female
    South East
    Hi again, if Dvla are told surely they will ask for his driving license , if he doesn’t have a license then he won’t get insurance . I think if you had a chat with the local police they would pay him a visit and explain , they can say his gp notified them . Also you could ask the garage or a good mechanic to come round and make it undriveable .It’s not an easy one and I think men struggle more with the loss of independence a car brings . Good luck.
     
  9. BryanG2001

    BryanG2001 Registered User

    Mar 2, 2014
    79
    Taking the battery out is a simple and quick fix or just leave the lights on to drain the battery. Otherwise depending on the age of the car there are many ways to disable it, ask that helpful garage. It would be a strange call to the AA or RAC asking them to come and break a car.
     
  10. Ponddweller

    Ponddweller Registered User

    Jun 20, 2019
    76
    Funnily enough it was a drained battery that meant it was at the garage last week. He called his usual garage and then another one to fix it. He's at home on his own so I'm afraid we cannot distract him when he's talking about this stuff. He just goes ahead and does it. He has now decided that my brother in law is to blame and has been leaving abusive messages on his phone. I had a long talk with him last night and calmly explained that they are protecting him and he calmed down but now all talk is of overdosing. I've got a message out with his GP to call me urgently as he keeps saying that his doctor hasn't told him any of this stuff so he won't believe anyone else. I know and fully accept everyone's advice about not confronting him with the truth, but he's angry and volatile and working himself up into a frenzy when he's alone.
     
  11. TNJJ

    TNJJ Registered User

    May 7, 2019
    970
    Female
    cornwall
    My dad was talking about shooting himself a few months ago. The doctor came out within 48hours as it can be a safeguarding issue....
     
  12. Ponddweller

    Ponddweller Registered User

    Jun 20, 2019
    76
    Well this has become a living nightmare. The abuse continued along with the overdose threats. The GP called me to say he was on it, and we weren't to worry and he was speaking to the mental health crisis team (all very difficult conversation with my children in the car). I heard nothing so emailed him later to clarify what the triggers were and that I think there's a sundowning element and he replied to say that he'd spoken to Dad and he was fine, cheerful, and said he wasn't driving because he has memory problems. At the same time the carers rang to warn me that he was planning on getting the car locks changed.
    Today while I was out his neighbour called to say the van was there and they were changing the locks. Again, I'm in floods of tears in the supermarket with my poor children looking on. Our lovely afternoon we had planned was instead spent on the phone calling the police, DVLA, memory team, carers etc. The carers called this pm to say they'd got there and the door was wide open, the car WAS there, but no dad. Turned out he'd gone to the dentist. So I wondered whether he just wanted some control back over the car. Oh no. He's just called my sister demanding his keys again because he's lost the new ones. She is about to have a breakdown. She has cancer surgery on Friday. I'm supposed to be driving the 8 hours round trip to his to take him for lunch that day. I'm seriously considering trying to get him into emergency respite care instead. I am not bringing him back here. We have my in laws staying next week, FIL with advanced Alzheimers and the end imminent and I'm pretty sure my husband would walk out if I brought dad back. I just don't know where to turn or what to do. My poor son keeps coming to hug me. Please don't say tell love lies. He was absolutely frantic when he lost his car last month and rang every 10 minutes crying to know where his car is. I just can't seem to get any answers on what we do next.
     
  13. CardiffGirlInEssex

    CardiffGirlInEssex Registered User

    Oct 6, 2018
    126
    Honestly? I think I’d call 999 and ask the police and ambulance to go to him. If he’s going out leaving doors wide open and making abusive phone calls, all is clearly not well and the GP is useless by the sound of it.
     
  14. TNJJ

    TNJJ Registered User

    May 7, 2019
    970
    Female
    cornwall
    I would phone the Social Services and say he is a vulnerable adult and that they have duty of care..This is a crisis !!
    Why are you driving 8 hours to take him for lunch??Has he been assessed as having "capacIty" ?If he has been assessed as having "capacity" or " fluctuating capacity "there will not be a lot you can do..The medical profession love this word and will not interfere until a crisis..

    Your poor sister does not need this nor do you..If your dad does not agree"capacity" again to respite there will be not a lot you can do until the crisis. ..You and your sister will need to step back..Inform the GP and Social Services of your intentions and tell them that that you cannot deal with this any longer.
    .
     
  15. Sarasa

    Sarasa Registered User

    Apr 13, 2018
    748
    I agree, this is not your problem and certainly not your sisters She will need all her strength to get well. Phone social services, explain what happened and say you can no longer take care of him. I'd certainly think twice about making such a long journey to take him out for lunch.
     
  16. Ponddweller

    Ponddweller Registered User

    Jun 20, 2019
    76
    Thank you so much for your replies. I’ve been feeling like I was going mad as with all the authorities I’ve spoken to today, everyone is very kind and calm but I don’t seem to have got any further, so it’s reassuring to know other people think it’s serious. I’m driving down (actually booked a hotel for the night before) because very sadly it’s his 85th birthday. I’m taking the children but if he starts on me I have a friend in his village they can go to. I talked to the memory team a couple of times today and asked what to do and explained through a few tears that we would like him to be in residential care and also about capacity but it’s all so wishy-washy. He just said he’d benefit from day care so I said I’d try and set it up. He presents very well to outsiders as a nice old man, hence the infuriating reply from the GP. The doctor is incredibly reassuring when I contact him but doesn’t seem to achieve anything. So no, there hadn’t been any capacity assessment yet. Would that help? And how do I go about it? I haven’t been in contact with social services because I’d been told they’re just interested in keeping him at home and his needs are emotional and psychological not physical. So what do you reckon? Let his GP know and then ask our preferred care home if they can take him over Christmas? And if not, or he won’t go, just leave him to the daily Carers and tell sister to take phone off hook? Of demand urgent capacity assessment? And from who? I saw a thread earlier about a capacity safeguarding assessment. Does that apply? Thanks again.
     
  17. Woohoo

    Woohoo Registered User

    Apr 30, 2019
    553
    Female
    South East
    I am out of my depths here as I have no experience in this area , if you could get him in to respite they would assess him and may even change or prescribe medication that could help , would you be able to sell it as a nice hotel ? Failing that I think it will need to take a crisis for any intervention . I’m so sorry for you and your sister . I wish her a speedy recovery and that her surgery goes well . Good luck in getting something sorted . Have you tried the Alzheimer’s helpline ?
     
  18. CardiffGirlInEssex

    CardiffGirlInEssex Registered User

    Oct 6, 2018
    126
    You will have to be very firm with Social Services. Phone them, and follow up in writing. Say you are not able to care for your father, nor can any other member of the family. Say he is a vulnerable adult and his safety is at risk, therefore they need to take all the necessary steps to ensure his safety and wellbeing. And then (this is the hard bit) step right back and let whatever happens, happen.
    I am about to do something similar, in that if a safe care placement is not found for my mum in the next few days, I am going to independently find a respite place for my dad, move him into it and tell social services they are now responsible for mums safety.
     
  19. Ponddweller

    Ponddweller Registered User

    Jun 20, 2019
    76
    Hi Cardiff girl, thanks for this. I’ve been following your thread. It sounds like you’ve been facing a really horrible time. We’re going to try and persuade my MIL to get some respite/extra care for FIL when they’re with us over Christmas as I’m really concerned that she’s trying to do too much. Well I’ll approach SSs tomorrow but do you mean only if I meet resistance elsewhere? I wonder why the memory team and gp haven’t suggested getting them involved. I keep saying he’s vulnerable. Also, he does have Carers in 6 days a week but I guess that doesn’t count if he’s putting himself in danger by leaving doors open and driving.
     
  20. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    11,099
    Female
    South coast

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