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05/21/2012 01:46 PM

Doctors say no driving

heartandsole
Posts: 2
New Member

How do I convince my Aunt who is 83 and has dementia, that she cannot drive 2 diferent Doctors orders? She keeps saying she feels better and knows she drive.
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05/21/2012 02:47 PM
MaryR
MaryR  
Posts: 4121
Group Leader

Hi and welcome, giving up driving is really hard for anyone (I know, I have my own medical problems and can't drive either!). It helps some if you can minimize the loss of independence that goes with it, usually by saying something like "I am glad you are feeling better, but it would help me not to worry about you being out somewhere and having a bad spell if you would let me take you...where do you want to go?"

Of course, not many people have the luxury of having a driver around all the time to take them where they want to go. My Grandpa had a really smooth transition with this because he hired me to do computer work for him one summer (I was home from college so I was available) and that was the year he gave up driving...every week we would go to three different grocery stores to compare the prices of banannas...and I kept quiet about the money being wasted to save a few pennies, because really it was about his independence. Even he was sort of forced into the transition by having a wreck which made him admit that he wasn't driving as well as he thought.

If blaming it on the doctors doesn't work, and blaming it on your own worries doesn't work, and you just can't find any way of keeping her from driving there are always things like take her keys or disable the vehicle so it won't start. It doesn't make the adjustment easier, but it keeps her safer while she does adjust so that you know she is not driving anyway (and this is only a problem for some people, but when it is it is a huge problem).

As far as being happy not driving, it is a big adjustment, it is hard to have to wait until someone can take you for whatever you want and to have to miss things you would like to do because there is no ride, but you do adjust to it eventually and you enjoy the times that you get out and go somewhere with whoever is willing to take you. It may also help if she has things that you know she loves (church, activities, whatever) if you can help find her regular rides to these things so that you can tell her how she is going and who is getting her. My Grandparents had someone who came to get them and took them to church for years before they needed my parents to come along to help (as Grandma declined) and they enjoyed having that other friendship too.


05/26/2012 02:36 PM
heartandsole
Posts: 2
New Member

Thanks for the info. My aunt is in an assisted living apartment and they have a bus to take them whereever they wish to go but even though she has not driven consistantly in 2 years she thinks she still can.

05/26/2012 04:43 PM
MaryR
MaryR  
Posts: 4121
Group Leader

For some people there is a big moment where they officially give up driving (my Grandpa had one), others just gradually stop but never really officially tell themselves they CAN'T it just becomes more trouble to drive than not to. If she has already started to taper it off herself that helps.

I think for some people it also helps if when they do give up driving they can decide who should get the car and give (or sell or whatever) it to someone they love, or a charity they really care about or something like that. Grandpa was somewhat consoled over the loss of driving that at least his Granddaughters would still be getting good use out of his car getting to and from college.

I don't know why driving is so linked to the idea of independence even when there are rides available, but it really is and it is hard to let go of. I might also check the mileage on the car to find out if she is just saying she can drive (and basically insisting on her independence) or whether she is actually driving. Some people stop themselves but won't tell you they have stopped because they don't want to lose the privilege (and the keys...there is something nice about keys), but they aren't intending to use it either.


06/09/2012 05:54 AM
wifeonbpexpress
wifeonbpexpress  
Posts: 4891
VIP Member

We have had the same issue, but we have just taken away the keys. I think when it's a matter of safety for our loved one and others out in the world, we just have to make sure they don't drive, no matter what that takes. Taking away the keys and yes, even disabling the vehicle may be something you have to do. I've heard of people mentioning to them that they could hit a child, but for some people, that doesn't affect their opinion. My MIL's perception of her abilities is so distorted. Even when reminded of all the dents, scratches, scrapes on her car, the dent in the wall of the garage, the garage door that got backed in to and destroyed, she cannot and will not admit that she has a problem. And due to her dementia, she had been driving to her old neighborhood in Atlanta, which is actually a dangerous place to be, and was knocking on the doors of strangers, telling them that she used to live in their house! She drove places and because of her health issues, passed out in stores, was falling and hurting herself! I am so thankful that she never hurt anyone or seriously hurt herself! And then there's the issue of being able to maintain her license and tag, being able to keep gas in the car so she doesn't get stranded! (this has happened!) She actually spent time in jail because she was driving without an up to date tag!! It really isn't worth it to put off what needs to be done in these situations. Yes, it is very difficult for them to give up their independence, but there are other options. I told my MIL if I was disabled and couldn't drive all of a sudden, I would just go to plan B, find other means of transportation. There are ways to get around, especially in a big city like Atlanta!

07/10/2012 04:04 PM
amethist
Posts: 11
New Member

Hi, my husband just decided not to drive anymore. He gets dizzy and he has what he calls a foggy brain. He just quit. It makes it hard on me because I have to do all of the driving. I just got over a driving phobia. I am doing better now.

It is so much responsibility. With my mother in law my husband disabled the car and she got the next door neighbors to fix it and give her driving lessons.

Eventually we just moved her into our house until she was placed in a nursing home. The things you have to learn so you can stay on top of stuff.


07/10/2012 04:42 PM
MaryR
MaryR  
Posts: 4121
Group Leader

It is a lot. I will have to remember when I tell people about the "disable the car" option that you also have to make sure the neighbors know not to go and fix it! Having nice neighbors is good, but sometimes it can end up being a problem.
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