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      CommentAuthorNew Realm*
    • CommentTimeFeb 1st 2008 edited
    Hah! went *"72 characters too long."*

    At the end of previous page (page 1), I wanted to add that if you go to the site,, the last two words at the bottom of this section the words "state resources" are underlined and highlighted as a link. Unfortunately can't show up here. Check out the site. It is far more than just driving issues.
    • CommentAuthorBebe
    • CommentTimeFeb 1st 2008
    I guess I was the one who started this discussion. My DH gave up driving willingly even before Mayo Clinic (FL) said they were reporting him to the DMV. But we still had a scary situation several years ago when DH was no longer driving. We were visiting our son and his family in Maryland. We had taken the grandsons to search the beach for fossils. It was hot and the youngest grandson (five at the time) said he wanted to go sit in the car. DH had gotten tired and hot also but the older grandson and I wanted to continue looking for fossils. I gave DH the keys to the car which was parked in the shade nearby. He and the five year old went to sit in the car. But when the older grandson and I went back to the parking lot a short time later, the car was gone. We had to walk some distance to a place with a phone. The whole time my grandson was asking me not to be angry--that his grandfather was sick. Every available law enforcement officer in southern Maryland was looking for DH as we waited in the Sheriff's office. DH was finally found by "pinging" my cell phone which was in the car. You just never know. The Alzheimer's patient can go from relatively normal to complete confusion in a flash.
    • CommentAuthorJudy
    • CommentTimeFeb 7th 2008
    I posted earlier about the driving issue we face, just as so many of you. I was probably too long winded and it didn't to through. I feel we have been FAILED by the DPS who ordered husband to be tested..He failed two driving tests but was allowed to take 3. On the 3rd he passed with a score of 70. He didn't drive during the months it took to finalize the driving tests, etc. but when he passed that final time, he's been everywhere he decides to drive. Thankfully, he doesn't drive out of our county (I hope).

    We learned that he drove through closed gates at a local business last week. This has pressed us into action.
    Tonight one of our sons will disable the truck. It will have to be towed to the shop. We will hold out as long as we can to stall having it 'fixed'. I always thought this time would come but that he would be less AWARE of things.
    Unfortunately he is very aware and will be completely furious that the mechanic can't fix it. He respects the law and it is a complete frustration that 'they' failed us and we now will become liars, cheats, and hoodwinkers.

    I appreciate knowing some of the legal realities associated with liability. Thanks to all of you who shared that information. Scarey for sure.
      CommentAuthorNew Realm*
    • CommentTimeFeb 7th 2008
    Hello Judy,

    My DH keeps mentioning his car, his keys, and the fact he's never had an accident. I just congratulate him on that and tell him his doctor said while he is adjusting to the new medicine his doctor says he cannot legally drive. He accepts that. He hasn't driven in a few months, except once in early November. I didn't think I had to hide the keys then, but have now. Thankfully nothing happened.
    Check in your state.......................Some states like mine, WA, doctors are not mandated to notify DMV as soon as giving a diagnosis of AD/dementia, however they are held to an ethical mandate to protect the patient and public safety by notifying DMV that someone needs a re-test. Here's the nasty catch. Even if for example, my husband re-tested and passed, then had an accident, if another was injured they could sue both of us above and beyond our insurance limit and take everything we have.
    • CommentAuthorJudy
    • CommentTimeFeb 10th 2008
    The truck is now 'broken' and we spent most of yesterday trying to 'start' it. My husband thought it was out of gas so we went to town twice to fill the gas container with enough to supposedly start the truck. Then I pulled him around in the pasture enough to 'get it started' with no luck. Our sons came by to see if they could get it started and they 'couldn't'. They helpfully agreed to take it to a mechanic yesterday afternoon while we went to do some shopping about 45 miles away. I am afraid this will backfire as we can only stall the 'fixing' for about a week. We are no where near a point where the truck or driving it would be 'forgotten'.

    I've wondered about letting our insurance company know that he is impaired...and if possibly they would cancel HIS insurance..(NOT MINE)...We are already on 'probation' because of two major incidents where claims were involved and injuries were reported by the other parties. Does anyone know about having the insurance company be the 'bad guy' in this?
    Well, in fact Judy, that's more or less where we are.
    I called our insurance company because I wanted their take on what might be the limits of our liability should a person with known AD cause an accident.
    I was trying to be somewhat objective and hypothetical, but when she asked me point blank if I was talking about my husband Jeff, I said yes.

    Seems I have now set the ball in motion, like it or not. They will be sending me something in the mail, I have been told, which I believe will require us to
    provide further documentation or opinions regarding Jeff's recommendability as a driver. I know that no doc we've seen is going to give him clearance, so I know the end
    is near.

    The other thing I've learned is that, in Maryland, the DMV requires that a diagnosis of certain conditions (including organic brain syndrome, i.e., AD and similar,) be reported at the time of license renewal, which for Jeff would be Sept. this year. At the point of such a disclosure they would refer the situation to a Medical Advisory Board. Odds are, that would be the end too.

    You might want to call your insurance agent for an opinion, and check to see what rules apply in your state at the Dep't of motor vehicles.
    • CommentAuthorJudy
    • CommentTimeFeb 11th 2008
    Emily, thank you for your information. I don't know what to do or what NOT to do now. I don't think we can keep the truck in the 'shop' for more than a couple of days at best. I know he will be wanting to go check on it and talk to the mechanic. This feels awful. Since you've experienced talking directly to the ins. company and etc.. I think my best avenue would be to speak to the agent and just try to cancel everything except my car. If we could just get a letter of any kind from the medical review or an ins. company, that would help and although he would be angry, it would be at something beyond his control.
    • CommentAuthorVanessaJdV
    • CommentTimeFeb 11th 2008
    Darn! My beloved refuses to go pick up the test results, so we don't really have a diagnosis. They won't release them to me, due to privacy issues, although I am the one who pays the bills. Actually, one of is first signs was getting lost, after having the best sense of direction of anybody I had ever known. Until he deals with his denial and fetches the lab results and goes back to the neurologist, I bought a new car with OnStar and LoJack so I can locate him if necessary, and I added a GPS system. Aside for him being "directionally impared", his driving skills are as good as ever. We are in pickle, because I have never been good with directions either ;-), and now I have to be the navigator.
    • CommentAuthorAdmin
    • CommentTimeFeb 11th 2008 edited

    We ran into that with Sid's neuropsychology report. The doctor's office had a paper for Sid to sign authorizing me to pick up his report. It didn't authorize anything else, it just let me pick up that particular report. Ask the doctor's secretary about that.

    Sid has always had excellent directional sense, and with all of his AD problems, memory loss, confusion, everything, he still has a good sense of direction. AD is very strange. I am with you - I have almost NO sense of direction, and my next purchase will be a GPS. Mapquest isn't cutting it. (Well, it's great for highway directions, but it has sent me on many wild goose chases in the cities.) Check out the July 25th Blog under the section, Previous Blogs. It will give you a chuckle.

    • CommentAuthorAnn*
    • CommentTimeFeb 12th 2008
    I know just what your talking about concerning directions.I think the very first time I really knew some thing was wrong was I remembered the way to a friends house and he didn't.He was always the one with a good sense of direction and he once said I would not be able to find my way out of a paper bag.Now he says I'm really paying for that remark--he remembers saying it.
    • CommentAuthordivvi*
    • CommentTimeFeb 12th 2008
    hi, i have been in this situation as well my husband got lost driving to a court date back in '97. he never showed and was the atty for the plaintiff:)scary he said someone drove his car to the airport for him to this date i have no clue. needless to say, i did everything to discourage his driving as i have insurance licensing here in Tx. i unhooked battery so car wouldnt start and this worked then i would have to drive him everywhere which was ok by me. i
    FYI-in tx if you renew your license without testing you are 'stating' to the DMV that you have had no mental or physical changes that would affect your driving. soo. read your states laws about even having a license if you have been diagnosed with dementia. i too believe the insuran com would cover an accident one time only then cancell that person asap. plus if you read your policy some companies state you need to notify them of any changes that would affect their driving abilities thus letting them OFF the hook if there was an accident your fault or NOT. if the AD person is involved in any accident and lawsuit occurs they will most likey find out mental status is in question. i chose not to deal with this scenario. but even after i sold hubbys auto i raised the insurance policy to maximum coverages just in case..its a very dicey situation if your loved one is behind the wheel. at best see a good CPA to get your financials protected in case of an accident if your loved one is still refusing to give up driving. my heart bleeds for those of you just starting this journey. Divvi
    • CommentAuthorAdmin
    • CommentTimeFeb 14th 2008
    Comment Author Dilly CommentTime 50 minutes ago edit delete
    Written by Dilly - moved to this topic by joang

    I pick up DH tomorrow from his mother's to bring him home on Sat. He will then realize I have removed the vehicles he used to drive and I will try to explain that he can no longer drive until "he is better". That's what the dr. told him. He will go in my purse, I will have to hide my keys. What advice do any of you have?
    • CommentAuthorAdmin
    • CommentTimeFeb 14th 2008
    Comment Author emily CommentTime 43 minutes ago edit delete

    Written by Emily - moved to this topic by joang

    Other than, yes, hide your keys?
    Yikes, I don't know.
    I do like the doctor saying to wait until "he is better." That's good.
    I hope someone else who's had to deal with this therapeutically will chime in.
    • CommentAuthorJane*
    • CommentTimeFeb 14th 2008
    I would just tell him like it is, tell him the Doctor told him he could not drive right now and that the vehicles were removed per Doctor orders until he became able to drive. Leave it at that. Be stern and mean it. He might get angry but then he will not stay that way forever and this part will be over for you. Face it head on. He most likley will not reason that the Doctor did not say to remove them, they loose the reasoning ability early in the disease.
    Joan: I do not understand the social worker & driving test people! If they say you will be stuck w/his anger, denials and depression, don't they understand that these behaviors carry over into the driver's seat. So do all the other confusions that they go thru. Getting lost is not the problem, we all get lost on occasion, operating the car is not the problem--it's all the little things that frustrate and irritate them in their home that get carried onto the road. It's insane.
    • CommentAuthorAdmin
    • CommentTimeFeb 15th 2008
    Hi Betty,

    The anger, frustration, and depression would have come if he DID NOT pass the test. Since he passed the test, I'm now stuck with the compicated laws to deal with. I don't care that the certified specialist cleared him for driving. I AND THE SOCIAL WORDERS KNOW that the cognitive issues affect the driving. But there is nothing more I can legally do except limit his driving, which I have done. Really limited. And he has agreed to it. It's basically down the road to the grocery and warehouse stores in our little village. Nothing with traffic; nothing at night; nothing unfamiliar. I drive us everywhere else.

    Sometimes I wonder if it would better if I had that nervous breakdown I'm always on the verge of, and I could have a quiet little room with my meals brought to me, and all the books I could read.

    • CommentAuthorLeighanne
    • CommentTimeFeb 15th 2008

    I was coloring in my daughter's coloring book the other night. I asked my husband that if I ever get put in that little room would he make sure that I had a coloring book and crayons.....
    • CommentAuthorAnna
    • CommentTimeFeb 15th 2008
    My husband does not remember that the doctor told him he can not drive. I show him the letter from the ministry but he doesn't understand that his license is suspended. His car is in storage now and we're not at home. I'm certain that he will try to take the keys and drive if I have to drive him to an appointment or anywhere. Dangerous situation. He is scheduled to take another test similar to the one you describe, Joan, in the spring.
    • CommentAuthorAdmin
    • CommentTimeFeb 18th 2008
    Comment AuthorBettyhere CommentTime 28 minutes ago
    I am going to say this once again. If your LO has any--any--any indication that things are not what they used to be. If he substitutes words, doesn't speak clearly, if he has trouble changing a light bulb, trouble w/numbers, if he can't find something he has always found before--anything--anything, then these qualities will transfer to his driving and an indication that something more is wrong or soon will be. Even docs do not always understand this. If he doesn't get lost, if he can still physically drive, then everyone thinks it's OK for him to still drive. If Mom sits in the passenger seat, if he only drives in the neighborhood, during the day, to his friend, to the store, then it's OK. If you think something is wrong, not quite right, gone to a doc, then something is wrong, not quite right, and he can be in the house, the yard, the car--doesn't matter, it's still there, silently, but still there. I know I sound like a nag, I wish it were otherwise, but these are my sincere thoughts.
    My husband got his dream car -a Chrysler Sebring Convertible in 2003, and our four adult children referred to it as "Dad's Toy" (pre-Alzheimer's). He had so much fun driving that car with the top down! It has been his pride and joy. In July when I asked his doctor to tell him that he couldn't drive any more, and she did, on the way home I told him that it was the pits. That we would keep his car, and when he wanted to go somewhere, I would drive him in his car, and that made him happy. (I also put all car keys in my purse so that he couldn't forget that he wasn't allowed to drive.)
    We had one scare, a month ago. I had some work done on my daughter's car (she lives in England where she teaches and is home only in the summer) and had left her keys out. While I was at work, my phone went off, telling me he had left the house. The cell phone map said he was two blocks away at the grocery store. I called him on his cell phone, and asked him why he had walked to the store. He said "glue" and I told him he had no money or credit card to pay for it and to wait there and I would come and get him (I work twelve minutes away). When I got there, he had gotten some snack food and was at the self check out! I paid for it and on the way home he has "car missing" and I asked whose car and he told me Debbie's! I asked him for the keys, and he didn't have them - he had left them in the ignition! We went back, I got the keys and locked the car and my other daughter and I retrieved it after work! He had forgotten he couldn't drive. We won't make the mistake of leaving the keys out again! Also, I wanted to add about driver's licenses. It is our primary means of indentification (unless you are going overseas and need a passport). His came up for renewal, and though he isn't driving, I wanted to get him his new one for ID sake. When we got there, it took several times for him to read the eye chart, but he finally got it right and they gave it to him! I wasn't the only wife who had her husband in for a renewal that day - I noticed another couple a little older than us doing the same thing! I really feel for those of you whose husbands are still cognizant and refusing to give up driving. My husband wouldn't do it for me, but would for the doctor. You are in my thoughts.
    • CommentAuthorAdmin
    • CommentTimeMar 3rd 2008

    In most States, you don't have to renew a driver's license to get a photo ID. You can go to the registry, and they will give your husband a photo ID that is accepted everywhere, including airports, for identification.

    • CommentAuthorNansea
    • CommentTimeMar 3rd 2008
    Back in 05, I helped my husband pass the DL test on the third try. Shortly after that I decided that he shouldn't drive any more. He finally went along with that. Now in 2008, he has decided he can drive and even knows that his license is good til 2010. It has been extremely difficult to deal with him now. I wish I would have let him fail in 2005! Nancy
    Aargh. Luckily Jeff doesn't seem to want to drive too much beyond getting a crispy chicken at Wendy's, 5 minutes away.
    Because my car needed service Friday, I drove both of us, in Jeff's car, to the dealership to pick my car up Friday afternoon. He simply
    needed to get himself and his car home. A very simple and familiar 15 minute route. He got home an hour and a half after me, having gotten
    confused and lost in and around downtown Annapolis. I could have, and obviously should have, used our 17 yo daughter as the extra driver.
    When my wife mentioned to her neurologist that she had just received her driver's license renewal, he had her sign a form for the Dept. of Motor Vehicles that she had dementia. They asked her to take a written and driving test. She missed on the written the first time, due to not knowing the shapes of traffic signs. The next time she passed easily, and then passed the driving test. A few months later, we were driving to our daughter's - a 6 hour trip. She usually took the first 3 hours (easy roads with not much traffic) and I took the rest in heavy traffic. She had to ask me the first turn, and then quit after 1 hour. She voluntarily gave up driving at that point. When her license came due again we got a state issued ID, which works for identification. Since then she has made no effort to start driving again, but does occasionally comment that it isn't fair for me to do all the driving.
    • CommentAuthorC
    • CommentTimeMar 4th 2008
    When M and I were married in 1966 she was a good driver as well as an airplane pilot. She was expert with the John Deere riding lawnmower. She liked to control the big machines. Around 2001 I noticed that I was doing most of the driving as she was seemingly loosing interest in driving. I asked her to drive me home from an eye exam. At each intersection she asked me "Which way do I turn?" A year or so later she was diagnosed with AD. Since then I have done all of the driving. I have kept her ID cards and keys in my safe since she lost her handbag. Fortunately I was able to retrieve it intact. Nowdays I help her with her seatbelt latch and door locks otherwise she gets tangled in the seat belt.
    So, the fateful moment has arrived.
    Not that Jeff has been driving much of anywhere anyway, and not that he should.
    But the medical forms came today, from the auto insurance company requiring that we supply a doctor's opinion prior to their being able
    to renew insurance for him in July.
    I already know that:
    His primary care doc has pretty much said that he really oughtn't drive.
    The NP at his vaccine study has said that he really oughtn't drive.

    They aren't going to fill it out in a way that the company would insure him, and I don't really want him insured.
    But, I do have to bring it up now. And look into getting him a non-driver's license i.d. from the DMV. Which will require his participation.

    But I don't feel like doing it.
    • CommentAuthorfrand*
    • CommentTimeMar 25th 2008
    I was more or less used to my DH's driving, but twice on visits from two different children they expressed BIG concerns. I tried to do most of the driving, but that didn't always work. Then, when night driving was too risky I agreed to drive at night and my DH could drive during the day. I also said I really didn't want to travel in our motorhome, so we passed that on to one of our children for a couple of years, which was very sad for me, since I was now lying to avoid the risk of driving.
    A funny thing happened - our little dog would sit in my DH's lap when I drove, but when I was the passenger she got in the back seat as if she also disapproved!
    I thought the DMV might ask about medical conditions when it came time to renew, it seems they should for a man who was then 80. They seemed more interested in getting the check and renewed the license for 8 years!
    Everything came to a head when my spouse wanted to drive at night. When we came home from an event for which we had tickets I said I would never buy tickets or agree to meet friends after dark if he wouldn't agree that I be the driver. That amazing conversation came to an end with his agreeing I could drive the motorhome totally and he would drive the car infrequently so that we could start traveling and we have been living this way for two years with no conflict regarding the motorhome and only a handfull of times talk of his driving the car. Actually, the combination of visual problems and PD have made it easier for him to accept his inability. It is also easier because the little dog is a big comfort and she loves to sit on my DH's lap, so he has his 'job' of providing a lap for a pet.
    I have been very relieved how this has turned out for us, since I've heard horror stories from other spouses. I understand the DMV can do a simple test (I think it is drawing time on a clock) that can alert them to mental decline and it just seems wrong to renew a license for 8 years for people in their 80's.
    • CommentAuthorbaltobob
    • CommentTimeMar 25th 2008
    It's alot easier when the driver is the wife. Whenever we go out together, I would always drive, anyway. One of the reasons that I retired when I did was my fear of her driving while I wasn't home. The key to me was when she was in speech therapy and I realized that she couldn't follow a three step instructiion. Prior to tht she had an accident inside of a car wash! The manager insisted that the only way her cat could have jumpted forward is if she left it in drive. Of course, she couldn't give me or the insurance adjuster a coherent explanation of what happened. I now figure that the attendant must have told her, " Roll up your window, pull forward and put your car in neutral."

    When we went to DMV to rennew her license, she failed the eye test -- probably because she didn't understand the instructions. They sent us out with a form for our opthomologist to complete. On the way out the door, she asked me, "They aren't going to take our car, are they?" She had no idea what was going on.

    The speech therapist told her that with her diagnosis, we may be responsible for any accident even if it wasn't her fault and that the insurance company might not cover the claim. She wasn't happy with this but accepted it since I was retired by then and made a point of seeing that she got anywhere she wanted to go.

    We did have one incident about a year ago. I had gone to walk the dog and was out for at least a half hour. When I got hhome, she sheepishly told me that she had done something bad. Well, she pulled the car out of the garage and drove to the next street over. Aparrently, she got confused and decided to turn around but couldn't figure out how to do it. A neighbor came out and asked if she needed help and she had him drive her home. All this while I was walking the dog!

    To emphasize what Joan said: Driving is more than knowing directions. It requires a high level of judgement and decision making. Of course, once that judgement is compromised, there is no reasoning or explaining in the world that will make this decision easy to accept.
    • CommentAuthorcarewife
    • CommentTimeMar 25th 2008
    If our loved one in a moment of confusion caused a accident with other drivers , God forbid, even caused a fatality, I would not be able to forgive myself. When a person has dementia, we cannot be certain they will always act or drive with descretion, or be able to reason and think accurately even though they have not shown abnormal driving behaviior that you can ascertain.

    We cannot trust our state driveing department to act judiciously and enact laws to protect drivers. We have seen how they allow alcoholics to continue driving and do not have strict penalties for driving intoxicated. It is true some states have made efforts to remove driving privileges from people at risk. My state (Missouri) does not require driving tests to renew licenses. They have modified the time one can keep a valid license without renewal at age 70. I must renew my license at 3 yrs. rather than 6 as all others can.

    I would, if needed, write a letter for the doctor if he doesn't want to write one, and ask him to sign it. If he refuses, I would ask him to sign a waiver that even t hough I feel it is dangerous for my loved one to still continue driving that he does not concur in my decision. I would then take the letter to the state police or other law enforcement agency to see what they can do. Also I would contact the Alzheimers Assoc. to ask for advice and also try to lobby the state for laws to address this important problem. I think that if a person doesn't have a spouse, often they continue driving until a catastrophe happens. We have all read of older people driving into crowds or buildings. I suspect they may have dementia and others have not realized how this affects their reasoning and motoric skills.

    My husband, gave up driving without a fuss so I didn't have the very difficult problem you all apparently have, however the terrible possible consequences of a person with Alzheimers driving is a risk I would not want to be responsible for.
      CommentAuthorNew Realm*
    • CommentTimeMar 26th 2008 edited
    The couple years before diagnosis my DH most often let me drive whenever we went out as family or couple. He did drive himself to our store or post office or the kids school until end of July '07. (One main street of businesses in our town, with lots of little rural roads, named and unnamed). He just seemed to go on auto pilot. Eventually, whenever he went into the next town where our doctors, dentists, big stores are he began to forget the familiar routes with landmarks he always watched for. He was NEVER the type who followed directions by street names and numbers. He insisted on landmarks to watch for, and N.E.W.S. directions. He completely stopped using the freeway after getting lost a few times on city streets while looking for his doctor, etc. I think he felt so ashamed, he wouldn't call me, and he wouldn't call the place he was trying to find. He'd just come home MAD. I chuckled at one instance. He was taking our car to dealership in Vancouver. We rarely go there. He couldn't understand my written direction. He called the dealer twice and couldn't understand their directions either. Finally he got angry and demanded they come find him so he could follow them back. LOL. And they did!

    My problem with stopping him from driving was simply his resistance to being "TOLD" what he can and cannot do. I don't really believe it was because he WANTED to drive. He just didn't want to be told. My kids had to flat out refuse to let him drive them to school anymore. That had been his self-imposed job for years. It's so close, and I believe he was trying so hard to hold on to that one or two places he knew he could find. Eventually we hid keys telling him they were lost. He seldom ever drove my vehicle so it's all we used for a while. Those times he was mad and wanted to drive I gave reasons such as his meds made him legally impaired even if he didn't feel like it. I'd tell him even if someone else was completely at fault we could still be sued if they found out he was on (hee hee!) aricept, namenda, metoprolol (Shhh!) that we'd be sued. Then I gave him pockets of time. "YOUR DOC NEEDS YOU TO BE ON THIS MED FOR ONE MONTH, THEN SEE HOW YOU TOLERATE IT BEFORE YOU CAN DRIVE." He'd forget when that month was up. And he still forgets that I told him any of that. His doc actually DID tell him not to drive, to which DH agreed, but he forgets that too.

    The point is, if your LO can forget a direction, a familiar place, and a conversation with doc, they can just as easily forget the rules of the road. They can't be expected to remember that they are not allowed to drive because their license was suspended, or they have no insurance. They "DON'T REMEMBER,"so you can't leave keys around. I did once, and he drove to the school. Made my kids embarrassed and angry.
    I now tell DH any time the subject arises, which is extremely rare now, that all anyone needs to hear is "Alzheimer's" or "Dementia" and we can be sued for everything above and beyond our insurance limits. And I won't allow his "want" to put the kids and I at that high risk. Period.
    • CommentAuthorBebe
    • CommentTimeMar 27th 2008
    I have been smugly ignoring this topic because we have had no problems since my husband stopped driving about six years ago. He understands (or understood) that he had no license and he really had never even asked or expected to drive. So I left the keys out with no trepidation.

    Then yesterday I was working in the computer room on a freelance job. My husband was taking a nap. When I finished my work I came into the sunroom and began walking our three little doggies--one at a time. I went out the front door, around the yard and came to the back door. That was when I noticed our car was gone. I just stood there for a moment stunned. Then I let out an expletive. I came in and called our son who lives about 3 miles away and he came right over. While he was on his way I called 911 and an officer came out. They also put out a lookout for my husband. But while I was giving the officer the report, my husband drove up. I have no idea how he knew where we live. He never remembers even which town we live in. But you can be sure I'm hiding the keys from now on. And I'm not so smug anymore.
    • CommentAuthorSunshyne
    • CommentTimeMar 27th 2008
    Well, Bebe, thank you for that wake-up call. I haven't been worried about my husband either. He seemed relieved when I took over all the driving four years ago, and claims that he loves being chauffeured. So I hadn't even thought about hiding the car keys.

    • CommentAuthorJudy
    • CommentTimeApr 16th 2008
    This topic has been very thoroughly covered but I wanted to add that after nearly 8 months or more..The DPS process for carrying out a 'medical review' of a AD driver has nearly come to an end.

    I received a phone call from DPS this week saying that my husband's drivers license had been revoked due to 'medical reasons'. The Medical Advisory Board supposedly mailed a letter this past Friday, advising him of his revoked status. It is now Wednesday and my husband hasn't brought in the mail from our mailbox... I don't know if THE letter has arrived or not. I also don't know what to expect when he does receive it. Last week we had such an uproar over money that I was almost ready to just give up...We've had two really nice days this week..but that letter is probably lurking out there. I'm purposefully NOT going to touch it or bring it to him. Even so, he will probably think I told 'them to do it. It was his doctor, but we're going to lay the blame on our local DPS officers..who 'reported' him.. (Actually WE, his family reported him anonymously)..
    • CommentAuthorAnna
    • CommentTimeApr 28th 2008
    The driving issue never goes away. Now that it is spring and we "could" get DHs old Toyota out of storage, it will be upon us too. His license is suspended, but he doesn't remember that. Even when reminded, He is scheduled to take a test which incluses, a monitor ,a physiotherapist and a road test. I doubt he will pass as he won't even understand the questions. The test costs $500.We live in a rural, secluded community, well actually no community, just bush. I know he can find his way to the dump, the mailbox and even the local village and back. My concern is what if there's a child, a senior, a pet, or anyone or any one or thing behind the car or happens to enter the road while he's driving? Would he understand and be able to stop? Would he be able to tell someone what happened would he be able to call someone for help? I think the answere is NO. My Dad, who suffered stroke, only drove on his own property. One day he backed into my Mom, who was behind the car. as he was backing out of the garage. Fortunately he stopped and she was only bruised.My opinion is that AD victims should not drive under any circumstances. BUT I don't know how the heck we stop them. I know if my husband decides to drive he will. He'll tear the house and me apart until he gets the keys.
    Anna-when I had my DH's license pulled he wouldn't accept it. I wound up selling both of our cars and buying one new one which he was not familiar with. I told him it came with only one key. He tried everything to get the key from me. It's amazing how out of it but sly they can be. I kept that key well hidden (sometimes I forgot where I put it). After attempting to use our house key to unlock the car he eventually forgot about the whole thing. It was not an easy process.
    • CommentAuthorPatB
    • CommentTimeMay 19th 2008
    We move last summer and DH and I went to get driver licenses for our new state a few weeks ago. No problem for me; but one for DH. They asked if he had any medical conditions such as epilepsy, heart disease or diabetes. He has diabetes and said yes. He was handed a form for his doctor to fill out before he could get his license.

    When he looked at the form, he realized it asked about all health conditions and any restriction on driving related to them. Form had to be filled out and signed by doctor. He thought if he talked to his dr., she would fill it out only in regards to the diabetes (not a chance!), but as we know, the reasoning is impaired. So, he faxed the form to the dr who wanted to "discuss" this in person.

    Meanwhile, I reported his dementia to the state where he currently holds a license. He received a packet of forms (12 pages or so) to be filled out by a doctor. Very detailed. If it is not returned with the appropriate response from his doctor within 30 days, he license will be invalid.
    He couldn't imagine how this happened (who reported this). I offered a couple of reasonable possibilities (none of them me!).

    In light of this second form, he has decided to just get a state ID card, and as soon as possible.

    Yea!!! I realize this won't keep him from driving or wanting to drive, either now or later, but it is a relief.

    PatB-my husband never accepted the state ID card as not being a drivers' license-good luck
    Another problem I discovered is that they forget that they aren't supposed to drive any more, and STILL try to get behind the wheel! When I tell him I want to drive, he frowns at me and then gets into the passenger seat! :)
    • CommentAuthorPatB
    • CommentTimeMay 19th 2008
    Yes, I know at some point he won't realize the state ID is not a driver's license. Or that he even needs one to drive. But, since he doesn't have any insight about his problems and doesn't understand why he shouldn't drive, this is at least a temporary step in the right direction.

    And, it means he can't rent a car (yes, this is a concern).

    • CommentAuthorsthetford
    • CommentTimeMay 19th 2008
    For over 2 years my DH has not driven any motorized vehicle. I had talked with him about it, then the doctor told him not to drive at all. Then I had another lo-o-og talk with him. He has never given me a problem over the not driving (he has actually said that he likes for me to drive because he can look at the countryside, trees, etc), BUT he constantly gets in the driver door and sits in the driver's seat. I tell him that that is not the seat he is to sit in and he, with some leading, moves to the passenger seat. But on the other hand he is just as likely to get into the back seat as not. I just tell him that I am not his chauffer and insist that he move to the passenger seat. He sometimes gives me a hassle about that. And folks, he can make up more excuses and faster) for his sitting in the back seat by mistake than anyone I've ever heard.
    Take care!
    • CommentAuthordivvi*
    • CommentTimeMay 19th 2008
    I found it easier to put husband in the back seat with child locks on, i feel much safer for him without being able to unlock doors only from the outside. he has fun saying i am his chauffeur, its ok by me.
    • CommentTimeMay 20th 2008
    I'm fighting the driving issue and I'm losing. I had expected that I'd be able to handle it through his neurologist on Thursday when we have our next regularly scheduled appointment. He was going to arrange for the local rehab hospital to do a driving evaluation.

    We may still have to do it that way, but I'm freaking. My blood pressure which had gone back down to normal when I found out I didn't need surgery is now up again. He went out today to the local gas station to buy his newspapers and I went nuts. I couldn't stop him short of physically stopping him, and I am not strong enough to do that, mentally or physically.
    Starlng I hate to add to your woes-but-if your spouse drives with out a license he will not be covered by your insurance. How would you feel if he injured somebody. I was told by our local police to disable the car so my husband couldn't drive it. I felt doing that would only increase his frustration. As I mentioned before-I sold both cars and bought a new unfamiliar one. It was hell at first but he eventually settled down. Please don't put yourself in harm's way.
    • CommentAuthorAnna
    • CommentTimeMay 20th 2008
    Its a difficult situation. I was in that position last year.I was adivsed to disable the car too but since we are in a very rural area that would not have been a safe thing to do. Also hiding the keys was not an option as DH would have torn the house and me apart if he wanted to drive. We had one bad time, at the car wash. DH just got in the drivers side, refused to move and drove the car. Only a few blocks...BUT...This spring when we returned from vacation he was scheduled to take the three part driving test. It was a miracle!He refused to take the test, it cost $500, and agreed not to drive. He seems OK with not driving. Its not easy being the only driver as we have to drive for everything. I have no idea how we'd do if I was sick or we needed help.Maybe a driving test would work for your DH. Good luck, its a horrid position to be in.
    • CommentAuthortexasgirl
    • CommentTimeMay 20th 2008
    My DH was diagnosed a few months ago with multi-domain mild cognitive impairment. So far he appears to be the same easy going person he always was but Doc said he can no longer work. DH’s driving seems ok however he was recently in an auto accident. Although it was the other drivers fault, I question could or should DH have seen it coming and been able to avoid it? I have ridden with him since and his driving seems ok except for the fact that he takes wide turns on a double left turn. I worry his impairment may cause him to do or not do something while driving. Am I supposed to put a halt to his driving for fear of the unknown? DH agreed to take a driving test in a few weeks at a cost of about $300. If it shows he is able to drive, I will still be uneasy with him behind the wheel. The awful disease is robbing DH already and I don’t want to jump the gun if driving is not an issue now. There doesn’t seem to be a ‘right’ answer.
    • CommentAuthorSunshyne
    • CommentTimeMay 20th 2008 edited
    texasgirl, my husband used to be an excellent driver. Long before he was diagnosed, I was startled and disturbed by his making inappropriate decisions in unusual/stressful circumstances a couple of times.

    He passed his written exam with perfect scores one week before being diagnosed with moderate AD. The doctor said she had to report him to the DMV, and I assume she did, but they never did anything -- presumably because he'd just passed the test.

    That was three years ago, and I'm sure he'd still easily pass a driving test unless something really unusual happened. He still goes everywhere with me, and he's really great at warning me about stoplights about to change, joggers or bikers I might not see, cars he thinks are going to change lanes without warning (and he's always right), etc. He has helped me avoid more than one accident on San Diego freeways.

    The thing is, I believe that a standard test given under normal circumstances is unable to predict what he'd do faced with another unusual or stressful situation. So even though I'm sure he'd be OK 99.9% of the time, I don't think he has any business driving -- it's just too much of a risk. He could be hurt or killed, or he could hurt or kill someone else. And I can't begin to imagine the guilt I'd feel if that happened, and I could have prevented it.

    Fortunately for me, my husband accepted being told he shouldn't drive any more, and hasn't given me any trouble. He says he likes being chauffeured. I think he also likes the freedom to enjoy the scenery.
    One of the first things to go is depth perception. When backing up out of a parking space; stopping soon enough behind another car; merging with traffic - these are the first problem areas. Our cars are our lifeline and we are lost without having a car at our disposal. We hate to have to take driving away from them, and a lot of doctors and neurologists will say "you will know when they should stop" and some states take the license away upon diagnosis. If you have doubts about your DO's driving, take the keys away. When you are afraid to RIDE with them, take the keys away! It's better to be safe than sorry. If your loved one will follow doctor's orders, get the doctor to tell him he can't drive any more. Some of those here have not been able to stop their spouses (spice) from driving as yet. Others have resorted to other measures to get the LOs to stop driving. I'm lucky that my DH follows doctor's orders!
    • CommentTimeMay 20th 2008
    In Pennsylvania the state does not take the license away upon diagnosis. In fact he got renewed with no test in February. At that time I was sorry it had come up this year. I didn't realize it was going to be an issue this early because in Frebruary, or in fact two weeks ago, it was not an issue.

    There is a driving evaluation test that can be given by the local rehab hospital. If necessary we will go that route, but I'm hoping that his neurologist will tell him he can't drive.
    • CommentAuthorSunshyne
    • CommentTimeMay 20th 2008
    Starling, if you feel your husband shouldn't drive, can't you ASK the neurologist (or his regular doctor) to tell him to stop?
    • CommentAuthorAdmin
    • CommentTimeMay 20th 2008 edited
    I don't know why I post on this subject anymore because NOTHING causes me more stress than the driving issue - I can feel myself getting stressed out as I write this. Just look at this topic - 2 pages and more posts than any other topic, including sex.

    For those of you who are new to this website, check back through all of the posts - the main theme is that every State has different laws, and you must check with your State and follow their rules. I did absolutely everything possible under Florida law, and Sid passed the stringent driving test, so I can't do a thing about it. His visual perception is still good, and his driving mechanics are still good. What the test DOESN'T measure is long term judgement, reasoning, focus fatique, inflexibility in reasoning, and night confusion. Only to keep me quiet, has he agreed to no night driving and allowing me to set the limits as to distance and time. He hates it, thinks I'm wrong, but he is at least going along with that part of it.

    When I was in DC, I spoke to the Florida Secretary of Elder Affairs and told him that I thought Florida should follow in California's footsteps - as soon as a Dementia diagnosis is made in Calif., doctors are mandated to report it to the DMV, and the license is suspended until a stringent driving test is passed.

    P.S. Well, how about this - I just checked my e-mail, and the Elder Affairs secretary wrote to tell me that he was going to check into what California was doing.