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    • CommentAuthorAdmin
    • CommentTimeJul 27th 2008
    Hi Everyone,

    All of the comments from this topic have been moved to the existing driving topic - "The Driving Issue - How Do You Handle it?" Check at the end of that discussion (page 4) for all of your comments.

    • CommentAuthorBbb4010
    • CommentTimeMar 20th 2016
    My husband was assessed 6 months ago and was designated as a safe driver. I watch him closely and all his reactions are fine during the daytime. After 5 pm I will drive. My question is. How can his driving be ok with all the complicated brain issues but his short term memory and judgement outside of the car has definitely gotten worse. He has a Ph.D. In computer science and also an engineering ms degree
    • CommentAuthorCO2*
    • CommentTimeMar 21st 2016
    Bbb4010, You have asked a question that is hard to answer. Driving is one of those issues that turned out to be a major turning point in my husband's disease. My personal belief is that if his judgment and short term memory have gotten worse then it HAS to affect his driving no matter what the driving tests tell you. With this disease I firmly believe one must go with the gut and not the intellect when it comes to decision making. For me I made the decision when I observed him turning too closely in front of another car. It was confirmed when I learned that if a person is involved in an accident and they have a diagnosis of Alz/dementia, that the spouse can be sued. I was not willing to take that risk. Fortunately my husband accepted it pretty well. One day I called the insurance company and removed him from the policy while he stood by the phone. He knew I meant business. For many people it is much more complicated. My father had dementia and he would hide the car keys and sneak off without telling my mother. It was very scary. With my neighbor his wife had to get law enforcement to tell him because he would not accept it from his wife. Hopefully your husband will be accepting when the time comes
    • CommentAuthorxox
    • CommentTimeMar 21st 2016
    "How can his driving be ok with all the complicated brain issues but his short term memory and judgement outside of the car has definitely gotten worse."

    That part of the brain is still working, but the brain is strange. A study has just been published about people with Parkinson's not only being able to ride bicycles very well and then doing better (for days or weeks) after a bike ride.
    It's a slippery slope, and probably a little different for each person, but if judgement and short term memory are deteriorating in general, they are probably deteriorating as far as his driving, too. Larry started with a lot of little things, not super-scary, but the writing was on the wall--rolling through stop signs if there was no cross traffic---using busy uncontrolled intersections instead of going a block down where he could come out under a light--then came the day when he passed a stopped school bus with red lights flashing and then was laughing because he thought it was humorous-- because he was pulled over for it. Because he was a retired policeman and carried an ID card, he was let off with warnings when pulled over (the rolling stops, the school bus)...and no amount of lecturing by me could make him take these driving issues seriously. This was the Alzheimers progressing--trust me--this man had been Mr. Strictly Safety as long as I had known him. It was so obvious to me that this was not "him", and that the AD was progressing in other ways, too. The neurologist actually notified the state of NY--I did not have to be the bad guy. When the state DMV guy came to check his driving, he took one look and he would not even let Larry take a driving test...just skillfully and tactfully took the license to "check it", and didn't give it back. It was pretty obvious that Larry was pleasantly confused. He was told that if anything changed, the doctor should notify them, and they would re-instate the license. (Yeah, right.) The man knew just how to handle the situation, and Larry took it well. Of course he forgot he didn't have a license and would find the spare car keys and drive out to get milk or bread anyway. I had to make sure every last car key in the house was in my personal possession. Larry was never one of those controlling guys who didn't want to be driven around by his wife. That didn't bother him.

    I think it's better to be safe than sorry, and even worse than the lawsuit would be the terrible feeling if the AD patient killed someone.

    Just an anecdote-- up in NY we had a very demented patient who somehow got the car keys and went driving some 15 miles or so before he got himself into a terrible car accident. He himself was killed, and while people in the other car were injured, they did survive. It was just an unbelievably horrible feeling for those of us who had been trying to help him and get him started on some services. He was still living alone, and we had just started trying to work with him and his relatives.
    • CommentAuthorLizbeth
    • CommentTimeMar 21st 2016
    Yes CO2 and Elizabeth said it well but I will add my experience.

    After Chuck was diagnosed, he came to me and told me he wanted me to help evaluate his driving. He wanted me to do a checklist and said when I thought he could not drive any longer, he would stop. Some months later, I told Chuck I thought he should stop. He told me, since I never did the checklist, he did not know how I could come to this conclusion. His unawareness was classic. I discussed with his neurologist who told me Chuck could get evaluated by an occupational therapist who did this type of testing. I thought about it, but decided it was better for Chuck to stop driving. So I called his primary care physician before a regular checkup and asked him to tell Chuck he should stop driving. At the appointment the doctor told Chuck he had progressed far enough along that he should now stop driving. He told Chuck if he did not stop driving, he would have to report him. The doctor discussed the issue of liability and negligence if Chuck continued to drive. Chuck then gave up driving willingly. So it saved me from being the bad guy.

    Chuck's grandfather, who also had EOAD, drove his car right in front of a train. Chuck's grandmother was killed. Despite this knowledge, AD got the better of Chuck so he no longer could be a good judge of his driving.
    • CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMar 21st 2016
    My husband could only drive if I was with him. I gradually did more driving because I got so tired of telling him what to do step by step so he would get lost. He got so he only drove when we traveled in the Motorhome. In 2013 when we were leaving Nevada heading to Washington, he drove a half hour then pulled over. Said he couldn't do it anymore - it was too taxing on his brain. I gave him the talk about liability previously and that is when he started letting me drive more. He eventually gave it up when I asked him: if you got in an accident would you be able to remember what happened to tell the police? He knew he could not.

    I am fortunate that he gave up driving without a fight. When he turned his license in for an ID he told the lady he had AD so couldn't drive anymore. She made a big deal about which made him feel good. I will say he still thinks it is a license - in Washington they look so much alike.
    Yes, I don't know about Ohio, but NY has a non-driver's ID that you get at the DMV--it looks exactly like the driver's license, and makes a good photo ID.
    To the top for darlag.
    • CommentAuthorNicky
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2018
    • CommentAuthorRodstar43*
    • CommentTimeApr 12th 2018