It’s been some time since I’ve posted. At that time, my concern was the lack of communication from health professionals, particularly when we raised our concerns about mum driving. Last week, the inevitable happened. Mum was involved in a serious motor vehicle accident. She was the at fault driver. Fortunately, no one else was involved. Her car is a total loss and extensive public property damage has been caused (she crashed head on into a light pole). Mum sustained chest injuries and extensive bruising. She remains in hospital and will do so for some time. In addition to AD, mum has osteo-arthritis, trigeminal neuralgia and polymyalgia rheumatica. Most, if not all, are reportable conditions for licensing and insurance purposes. She takes a lot of prescription and non-prescription medication which includes oxycodone x 5 times a day, Mersyndol (a strong codeine and antihistamine combo) x 8 times a day (at least) and temazepam. She is also anti-depressants, heart and blood pressure medication, anti-convulsive and anti-epileptic medication and Galantyl. Despite this, and our efforts to stop mum from driving over the past three years, her GP continues to provide her with the yearly medical clearance she requires to continue driving. Mum takes great pleasure in telling us when Dr N has renewed her medical certificate, or (as she refers to it) having her “licence renewed” - kind of rubbing our noses in it. By the way, the medical clearance is unconditional. Here in Queensland, the driver or driver’s health professional are responsible for reporting medical conditions. Clearly mum was never going to do that. The GP? Well, it seems he has a reputation of giving the oldies exactly what they want. I’ve locked horns with him on a number of occasions but he arrogantly continues as he pleases. Family members can provide evidence in writing to the relevant authority, with supporting evidence from a health professional. Mum’s psychiatrist and a geriatrician recommended she undergo a driving assessment. As a result, mum refused to see them again. As long as she has her ever compliant GP, he’ll give her what she wants. She knows the MMSE by heart (that’s if the GP actually administers it) but can’t remember a conversation that occurred 10 minutes beforehand. Her mobility is limited. In most instances, she requires the aid of a walker. This also leads us to believe that the GP doesn’t have her undertake the required physical health assessment either. Just ticks the boxes and sends her on her way. In the aftermath of the accident, mum has remained in good spirits. She’s already talking about enlisting my brother to help her in buying a new car, saying the old one was too big for her anyway. I’ve been dealing with her insurer, and the police will want to interview her in due course. It may be that she will be charged with careless driving and fined. It will be likely that her licence is cancelled … that’s if it isn’t invalid in the first place. A couple of days after the accident, my brother was able to sight the licence she has been carrying in her purse and it expired in October 2013! When he queried how she renewed her licence she said she couldn’t remember. If it is the case that her licence is not current, she can kiss goodbye to any insurance payout, unlicensed driving will be added to the careless driving charge and she will be liable for paying for the public property damage. Am I angry? Too right I am.