Your advice: Driving problems

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HarrietD

Staff Member
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Apr 29, 2014
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A question for people living with dementia:

Do you have any advice for other people with dementia about dealing with difficulties driving - including having to stop driving?

Our magazine, Dementia together, is looking for your tips to share with its readers. They'd like to know:
  • Are there things that have helped you to keep driving safely and confidently?
  • If you've had to stop driving, has there been anything that's helped you to adapt to this change?
They'd love to share your advice with readers of our magazine. Please feel free to post below or email magazine@alzheimers.org.uk before 1 November.

Thanks everyone :)
 

MatthewB

Registered User
Oct 3, 2022
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Arkansas
My daguter hide my truck keys but im find them they are scare for me to drive i dont now why but im promise just drive the dirt roads and cant go to town. So im feel some normal but cant go to the store so my boys do that.
 

yosser

Registered User
Nov 12, 2020
264
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Shenley Brook End Milton Keynes
Yes I started driving again, in January of this year. After a gap of three years , this was down to my Neurologist & Doctor who could see no reason for me not too . I found it a bit strange at first driving along with my wife who is an excellent driver but now, I'm very confident when out & about its second nature again🚙. Will be getting my new licence in November as I receive it yearly.
Things to remember to stay driving local with someone else, till you build up your confidence to drive on your own. (+ for me we drive an automatic, if the car is manual things may be a bit different getting used to gears & clutch again.) Then there's speed some people drive at behind you. My way of coping with that is to tap the brakes. Filling out the the form for DVLA can be a bit of a pain if you're not used doing it. Or get some else who is.


Geoff
 
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HarrietD

Staff Member
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Apr 29, 2014
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Thanks so much for sharing your experience @yosser, and for your helpful tips. I'm so glad to hear you're feeling confident with good support from your wife when out and about, and that it's feeling like second nature again.
 

smokey 14

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Aug 25, 2023
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Yes I started driving again, in January of this year. After a gap of three years , this was down to my Neurologist & Doctor who could see no reason for me not too . I found it a bit strange at first driving along with my wife who is an excellent driver but now, I'm very confident when out & about its second nature again🚙. Will be getting my new licence in November as I receive it yearly.
Things to remember to stay driving local with someone else, till you build up your confidence to drive on your own. (+ for me we drive an automatic, if the car is manual things may be a bit different getting used to gears & clutch again.) Then there's speed some people drive at behind you. My way of coping with that is to tap the brakes. Filling out the the form for DVLA can be a bit of a pain if you're not used doing it. Or get some else who is.


Geoff
Thanks for sharing. Husband is applying to get licence back . I'm very worried, but you have reassured be a little
 

yosser

Registered User
Nov 12, 2020
264
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Shenley Brook End Milton Keynes
Hello Smokey 14 : Yes I can understand your reservations about you’re husband applying for his driving licence.
How long has been since he’s driven, which health professional signed to say he was fit enough too.

Geoff
 

MrStephenC

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Jul 24, 2023
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Hi all above. Can I ask what age you guys are? I'm 44. I was diagnosed this year after a long winded nearly 4 year investigations. I am still driving. I swapped to automatic which I suggest is a must, as it does allow you extra time away from clutch and gear changes, to concentrate on the road/surroundings.
It's strange actually that this landed in my email list today as I said to my wife yesterday that my driving felt a bit different. I've thought it twice before and actually came out with it yesterday. Now having slept on it I feel maybe it was other drivers. They just made me a little hesitant is all. But I'm super acutely aware as I have children with me at all times. (They keep me sharp at all times but this is not a hint to have more/children).
Could also have been a bad day. I tend/try not to drive on bad days.
Having someone with you also helps. I find they are an immediate source of reassurance should you need it.
Keep to speed limits is a must. No matter if the wally behind can't drive safe.
Use a satnav, I use the cars satnav. Even if you know where you're going the Sat nav' nowadays show you what's ahead. And may divert you away from traffic - accidents - closures. To which can stress or worry you, which then can compromise your driving abilities.
Try to always stay positive 😀
They are looking into whether I should be driving at the moment. I passed a DVLA driving examination with no errors in March 2023. My licence was reduced to a 3 yearly, but that was pre-diagnosis. (They were updated) I think I'm good for now but you never know. Especially as my memory is very poor. I do hope that's not credibility to remove my licence.
I wish you all a very pleasant weekend.

Stephen.
 

yosser

Registered User
Nov 12, 2020
264
0
Shenley Brook End Milton Keynes
Hi all above. Can I ask what age you guys are? I'm 44. I was diagnosed this year after a long winded nearly 4 year investigations. I am still driving. I swapped to automatic which I suggest is a must, as it does allow you extra time away from clutch and gear changes, to concentrate on the road/surroundings.
It's strange actually that this landed in my email list today as I said to my wife yesterday that my driving felt a bit different. I've thought it twice before and actually came out with it yesterday. Now having slept on it I feel maybe it was other drivers. They just made me a little hesitant is all. But I'm super acutely aware as I have children with me at all times. (They keep me sharp at all times but this is not a hint to have more/children).
Could also have been a bad day. I tend/try not to drive on bad days.
Having someone with you also helps. I find they are an immediate source of reassurance should you need it.
Keep to speed limits is a must. No matter if the wally behind can't drive safe.
Use a satnav, I use the cars satnav. Even if you know where you're going the Sat nav' nowadays show you what's ahead. And may divert you away from traffic - accidents - closures. To which can stress or worry you, which then can compromise your driving abilities.
Try to always stay positive 😀
They are looking into whether I should be driving at the moment. I passed a DVLA driving examination with no errors in March 2023. My licence was reduced to a 3 yearly, but that was pre-diagnosis. (They were updated) I think I'm good for now but you never know. Especially as my memory is very poor. I do hope that's not credibility to remove my licence.
I wish you all a very pleasant weekend.

Stephen.
Hi Stephen,
Hopefully you’re right, but if that was pre-diagnosis & the memory is not good now . I personally would stop. In my case it was down to my neurologist & Doctor. Otherwise I would never thought about driving again.
Geoff
 

smokey 14

New member
Aug 25, 2023
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Hello Smokey 14 : Yes I can understand your reservations about you’re husband applying for his driving licence.
How long has been since he’s driven, which health professional signed to say he was fit enough too.

Geoff
Hello Geoff. He hasn't driven for about a year .only the GP has signed to say he his fit enough Brenda
 

HarrietD

Staff Member
Staff member
Apr 29, 2014
9,544
0
London
Thanks so much everyone for your helpful and insightful comments. Please feel free to keep sharing your feelings and experiences around this if you haven't already.
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
5,214
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High Peak
Hello Geoff. He hasn't driven for about a year .only the GP has signed to say he his fit enough Brenda
And has the GP ever been in a car with him? Would this GP happily let your husband drive his children?

I'm sorry people, but it worries me silly to read these posts about people with dementia continuing to drive. I think there should be a complete ban following diagnosis.

It also concerns me greatly that GPs and other medics can say 'It's fine for you to drive for the next year/3 years,' or whatever when they haven't a clue what the person's driving is actually like. No doctor can say, 'You're OK today and there will be no changes for at least a year.' We all know too that dementia symptoms can vary widely from one day to the next and even at different times of the day. A person with dementia may well be fine driving mid-morning when at their best but does that mean they're also OK to drive at night whilst sundowning? Dementia affects so many things that are really important when driving. It's not just memory and forgetting the way home, it's also things like depth/spatial perception, interpreting road signs, judgement, anticipation, assessing a situation, reaction times, etc, etc.

I accept that this is only my opinion and I'm also aware of how much the ability to drive is tied into people's self esteem. Having to give up driving is a big deal - I get that. But in closing I would say this: would you want your kids to get on a school bus knowing the driver had dementia, even if you were assured his doctor said it was OK? Would you get on a plane if the pilot had dementia? Should that be allowed too? Or what about surgeons? Anyone fancy a triple bypass by a surgeon with dementia? I'm not saying people couldn't do those things well if they had dementia, simply that the risks and consequences if things went wrong are just too great.

OK, I've said my piece. Sorry if I have upset or annoyed anyone but it's something I feel really strongly about.
 

CAL Y

Registered User
Jul 17, 2021
629
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And has the GP ever been in a car with him? Would this GP happily let your husband drive his children?

I'm sorry people, but it worries me silly to read these posts about people with dementia continuing to drive. I think there should be a complete ban following diagnosis.

It also concerns me greatly that GPs and other medics can say 'It's fine for you to drive for the next year/3 years,' or whatever when they haven't a clue what the person's driving is actually like. No doctor can say, 'You're OK today and there will be no changes for at least a year.' We all know too that dementia symptoms can vary widely from one day to the next and even at different times of the day. A person with dementia may well be fine driving mid-morning when at their best but does that mean they're also OK to drive at night whilst sundowning? Dementia affects so many things that are really important when driving. It's not just memory and forgetting the way home, it's also things like depth/spatial perception, interpreting road signs, judgement, anticipation, assessing a situation, reaction times, etc, etc.

I accept that this is only my opinion and I'm also aware of how much the ability to drive is tied into people's self esteem. Having to give up driving is a big deal - I get that. But in closing I would say this: would you want your kids to get on a school bus knowing the driver had dementia, even if you were assured his doctor said it was OK? Would you get on a plane if the pilot had dementia? Should that be allowed too? Or what about surgeons? Anyone fancy a triple bypass by a surgeon with dementia? I'm not saying people couldn't do those things well if they had dementia, simply that the risks and consequences if things went wrong are just too great.

OK, I've said my piece. Sorry if I have upset or annoyed anyone but it's something I feel really strongly about.
@Jaded'n'faded . You certainly haven’t annoyed me. I agree with every word you have said having seen first hand what can happen.
I have a friend whose grandmother was killed by a driver with dementia so when my late husband made a dangerous manoeuvre driving whilst waiting for confirmation of his dementia I took immediate action and sent his licence back to the dvla.
 
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