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My dad is 88 and has been having mini-strokes which has caused moderate dementia. He also has had 2 major surgeries in 3 months, so for awhile he realized he couldn't drive, and let my sister drive him around. Now he forgets that the doctor told him he can't drive and he gets mad that we have taken the car away. He insists he can drive and is getting angry. Yesterday the car was there for a few hours, and he was demanding the keys and searching everywhere for them so he could show us he is capable. At times he can "pull himself together" enough to seem "ok", but other times he gets "lost" in his kitchen. He lives in the country with a full time aide who is afraid to have a car there, so my sister drives him to dr., etc. Now he is insisting that he will drive himself and is getting angry and upset. He is fiercely independent, "self-made" and controlling man. Can the police help? What can we do to make him understand that he could kill himself and innocent people if he gets behind the wheel of a car?? We are desperate for advice... Thanks in advance!
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Hello Pam,
This is one of the most difficult issues to deal with when someone has AD...Firstly, when they are coherent they will remember and understand, however, when they are in the forgetful aspect, nothing makes sense to them.
Yes you can contact the police, the department of motor vehicles, arrange of eye test and testing to see if he is capable. I am sure he would not pass...but perhaps putting him through these steps , he might remember that he is not qualified.
You might also check with your local Alzheimer's Association chapter for further assistance and support.

Hope this helps you...Excuse the delay in responding...

Richest blessings in all you are doing.

Gail
quote:
Originally posted by GRM4LOVE:
Hello Pam,
This is one of the most difficult issues to deal with when someone has AD...Firstly, when they are coherent they will remember and understand, however, when they are in the forgetful aspect, nothing makes sense to them.
Yes you can contact the police, the department of motor vehicles, arrange of eye test and testing to see if he is capable. I am sure he would not pass...but perhaps putting him through these steps , he might remember that he is not qualified.
You might also check with your local Alzheimer's Association chapter for further assistance and support.

Hope this helps you...Excuse the delay in responding...

Richest blessings in all you are doing.

Gail

Dear Gail,
Thanks for the reply to my desperate "plea" for suggestions. I hope, for the time being, that the problem has been taken care of. Last week I faxed his doctor (I live 5 hrs. away from Dad) a letter bringing him up to date on the latest concerning Dad's insistence to drive. Evidently the doctor told Dad yesterday that it would be at least 2 years until he could drive. I guess the doctor was afraid if he said "never", it would really depress Dad. Dad can't keep track of time anyway, (and he will be over 90 in 2 years), so it "buys us" time for now, as long as he "remembers"! It seems to me it would have been better if the doctor had been totally honest, but I guess he had his reasons..and I guess it doesn't matter, as long as Dad remembers the conversation. I am sure he doesn't understand though, and it must be very upsetting to him. We'll have to wait and see... In any case, thanks so much for taking the time to write me with the advice. It helps to know that others understand and have had similar challenges dealing with dementia and long-distance care-giving.
We had a similar situation with my dad, except he kept forgetting that he wasn't supposed to drive anymore five minutes after we explained to him that it wasn't safe for him to do it. Finally my brother's car died and he borrowed my father's and it never came back. This didn't stop my father from complaining bitterly and constantly about it but now the disease has progressed so far that he's totally forgotten about the car. One step at a time.

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