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Topic This is why I hover! Hide the keys! Go to previous topic Go to next topic Go to higher level

By carman96 On 2013.05.01 23:22
My husband decided to powerwash the truck which I figured I should let him do. Then he decided to move the truck for no reason! You guessed it. He thought he was in reverse but NO! He rammed the truck into the edge of the metal shed. Crunch!! Luckily he wasn't hurt. Did some damage to the truck and shed though.
This is why I am afraid to leave him alone for more then a few minutes. He lost his license months ago but still drives around our 16 acres. I guess the time has come to hide all the keys to our vehicles. I feel bad for him because he wants to do something useful but now he's getting dangerous!

By lurkingforacure On 2013.05.02 14:59
I feel for him, though. I can imagine how I would feel if I had PD. Feeling like I was not contributing to the family would be very hard to deal with, hour after hour, day after day. We need to be productive to be happy. My husband watches me run all over the place getting everything done, he calls me an ant, and I know that while he appreciates it, it only makes it more obvious how little he does. I can't do squat about it though, except try to understand.

I think if it were me, I would look into getting him a used little tiny tractor so that he could still wash it and putter with it and motor around, just not do much damage if there was another "oops":)

By lilflower On 2013.05.03 11:55
I think it is very difficult for our husbands who were so active and hands on to be someone who has no choice but to sit back and watch. It really upsets my husband when he sees me trying to do things around the house that he used to do and no longer can. Sometimes I have to get outside help and that really depresses him he actually will leave the room. How many times he'll say it's not fair. Not for him but for me. He says it's not fair that I have to take care of everything while he sits there. It's difficult for us both , all you can do is reassure your PWP that you love them and together you will take it one day at a time.

By LOHENGR1N On 2013.05.03 16:12
These changes are hard, and they can tend to sneak up on us. Then something happens like this accident. We tend to try to want to be of help and lessen the impact of things like losing a license by driving around the homestead. We in helping can lose track of or focus of events. When We can't drive anymore it is because we have become a danger not only to those around us but to ourselves also. Thank G-d no one was hurt! So by all means hide those keys! Whatever you have to do to keep Him, yourself and others safe.

When We come to the not driving point either because our reflexes are slow to respond or difficulty in making executive decisions in an instant it is a major adjustment for all involved. But we can't lose sight of the main reason behind the ban on driving. We have to think hard about downsizing or how we supplement this loss of mobility. While a small tractor or lawn tractor might sound good if We roll it on a hill we have no protection same if we hit something. Many opt for power chairs and while it looks nice on our television screen, slowed reaction, confusion and poor coordination must be considered. If we can't drive a car anymore do we then motorize and switch to the sidewalk where everyone is walking? And around the house? We see many posts from time to time about doorways and walls damaged because we can't maneuver and are running into everything. Then we come to the point of do we take away the power chair too? It becomes a danger for the same reason we can't drive the family sedan anymore.

To hide keys or not, comes down to each situation and personal choice. To get a yard buggy (golf cart or lawn tractor) also is your individual choice but they all entail safety for loved ones and other's around them. I don't have the answers for those facing the problems, heck if I hadn't given my car away years ago I'd probably still be sneaking off to the store for a quick snack.....nothing would happen right? Wrong! I hear you and feel for both sides in this dilemma. The only counsel I can give is to always think safety first! Yes it sucks, but it will suck more if anyone is hurt or killed because one of Us stiff - necked Parkies won't stop driving or is allowed to drive when they've become a danger to themselves and others.

Just my two cents worth on the subject. And another reason to hate this disease. Take care, best of luck and hang in there.

We're all in the same game; Just different levels.
Dealing with the same Hell; Just different devils

By jcoff012 On 2013.05.03 21:49
Please allow me this...my mother FINALLY gave up the keys at 89! She does not have PD but has mobility problems, is a diabetic, and has a defibrillator...

Briefly, I tried for over a year to get her to give up the keys...she "has been driving longer than you, Jane, and no accidents", "has all of her conditions under control", "and doesn't NEED to be in an assisted living"...should I go on? Sound familiar?

Well one morning, my brother called to say Mom was in the hospital and he was driving from WI to OH to see her...it seems she passed out in an intersection and drove into and through a plowed bean field...AFTER driving over two miles with NO recall of leaving the store and entering the highway! Thank God, she was hospitalized and the police took her license..this was after I pleaded with the doctors and the DMV for several years!

I suggest anyone facing cognitive problems and driving.please, please sit this person down, early on and be blunt...AND have him/her admit there is, or they realize there WILL be a problem, and driving will be halted. Sounds simple, but reason with your PWP while he or she CAN admit there WILL come a time for change.

Does it really work? Well, I heard my husband tell a friend who had a stroke and is no longer allowed to drive, "I know how that is...I know that PD means I won't be driving, either. I told Jane I won't fight it. It isn't fair to my family."!!

Good luck, and I agree with Al...why risk harm?

By carman96 On 2013.05.04 00:13
Yes I feel really bad that my husband had to give up driving along with everything else. But if I have to watch him every second to keep him safe then I guess that is what I will have to do. He does have one of those little mobility scooters that does surprisingly well on the gravel road. But we do live in the hills and have a lot of steep drop offs. So even that is scary. I know I have to let him do some things for himself. But his judgement is so poor at times he can get in trouble fast.
Al is right. Safety first.

By dans316 On 2013.05.04 11:23
My wife's mobility problems are so bad that she cannot get into the car without assistance, so when I brought up the subject of surrendering her license, her only comment was, What happens when I get the use of my legs back? Anyway we finally turned her driver's license into the DMV in February. I contacted our Insurance company as they still had her listed as a licensed driver, and they sent me a form to exclude her from the policy. All coverages provided by the policy are not in effect while the excluded person is operating any motor vehicle to which the policy applies. Not sure this would be a good solution if the PWP were still able to drive as there would be no coverage for them.

By jcoff012 On 2013.05.04 12:11
This is such a heartbreaking issue...

In a previous life I was the Activity Director of an assisted living...the ONE thing the residents feared was loss of license. Car=Independence.

We had folks who had their cars parked and never drove hem...not once!

Hugs to you, Carman...good luck.

By carman96 On 2013.05.04 12:40
Thanks Jane.
My father had dementia but was pretty compliant with us about giving up driving. He told us "whatever you kids think"
However my Dad was 84 before we took his license away. My husband is only 67. It sucks.

By olpilot On 2013.05.05 00:43
Driving is hard to give up, especially for thoseof us who live several miles from a town, but when I scared myself I realized I had to stop. I was an airline pilot for 27 years, a Capt for about half of that time. I've dealt with many emergency situation but one day a few months ago I knew I had to limit my driving to as little as possible.

I was drving home from about an hour away, maybe 40 minutes from home and in the oncoming lane I saw a car that was about to turn and cross my lane was about to be rear ended very hard. The car coming was oblivious to their being stopped and waiting to turn. I saw it coming, I had the cruise control on, and I froze, I didn't do anything to avoid it. All of a sudden it was happening in slow motion and I was watching from somewhere else, then right next to me BANG. Just as I got there they hit, I still had the cruise control on. Finally I hit the brakes, I spun out across the lane and intto the ditch. Had someone been coming I would have hit them. When I hit the brakes I just stopped moving, I couldn't respond. I just shook when I stopped in the ditch. Like I said I spent my life trained to handle much larger emergencies and I froze.

I could say it's a fluke, maybe the meds, whatever but I know that something in my brain just shut down. The person I was, was no longer at the wheel. We live 6 miles out of town, my limit is anout 7 and only if I really have to. It takes every bit of my concentration to do that, and I still find myself drifting away from the task at hand. I know we are all different with this, but after I had to quit flying before we knew what was really going on I drove truck over the road ( worst job I ever had) I made myself a promise that I would never cause anyone to put one of those little white crosses by the side of the road. When I spun across that lane of traffic I realized that I could do that because of PD. I hate being tied to the house so much, but whether it's meds, or PD, or both the risk is getting to high. The other thing is now when it sit down for a few minutes I can't hardly stay awake, that includes behind the wheel. My wife now also tries to make sure I don't drive, she does every errand she can and I know how much it increases her work load.
I'm 61 and went from flying a 4 engine passenger jet to very uncomfortable driving since 2006. I was dx 2 years ago. It's hard but the consequences could be harder. When the time comes that you or a loved on realizes you can't drive it's time to quit. My wife did see it coming well before I did, she completely wore out the imaginary brake peddle on here side of the car..

By jcoff012 On 2013.05.05 13:42
Olpilot,

I read and reread your response. How terribly terribly scary for you. My husband is 65 and was dx over four years ago, but has had symptoms for years. It wasn't til yesterday, upon meeting a woman of 53 who was dx at 48, that we vocalized just when we really noticed symptoms. On the drive home from our monthly meeting, we talked about it--we feel he has put his health issues secondary to mine, our son, and to his Mom's PD! For years, he put caring for us before taking care of himself.

At the same time, we talked about driving and reaction time. His truly is slowing don, but how much is that attributed to getting older? Who knows...

I do want to commend you on your grasping the situation and being an even bigger hero to your wife by doing so with dignity.

I am so glad you are ok. Hugs to you and your wife! Jane

By LOHENGR1N On 2013.05.05 16:16
I think you touched on what Olpilot and I are trying to point out Jane. Your Husbands reaction time has slowed. What I'm trying to get across and I believe Olpilot is too is it doesn't matter if it is or how much of it is due to Parkinson's, medication or old age. It matters that it has and it is noticeable to Us to our caregivers and to others. If it is due to just one of these things that is dangerous enough, combine two or all three and that mix is a scary one. As I posted before in a separate thread a couple of years ago in upstate New York a woman in Her latter 50's (I believe) was running an errand to the local store and plowed into a small crowd on the sidewalk killing three Women. She has Parkinson's, She had several anti-Parkinson's medications in her system, She was just picking something up at the local store. She pled guilty in a plea deal and received 5 years probation, community service and cannot drive in New York for the rest of Her life. There has been no news yet if civil suits have been filed by family members of the deceased.

This Woman has to live with the fact She thought She could drive safely, that She was competent to drive. That it was a hop to the store and back no big deal and along the way She killed three People, She has to live with that. I'm sorry maybe I'm over zealous about this driving business but I don't know if I could or would want to live knowing I took a life because I ignored warning signs of unsafe driving. To Me, I see it as a life and death matter to You, Your loved ones and others who may become innocently involved.

Olpilot thanks for sharing Your take on this subject with Us. Take care, best of luck and hang in there.

By jcoff012 On 2013.05.05 17:05
I agree, Al, and from someone who lost a daughter thirty yeas ago to an "impaired" driver, we are probably TOO zealous, too. If you go back a few posts, you will see that Carl IS aware the time is coming...he will NOT drive impaired...he simply won't...and for that, I am glad...

Besides the after effects of watching our daughter die, and the donation of her kidneys at age 15, watching and dealing with my mother two years ago has cemented Carl's resolve to NOT get behind the wheel...

I am not defending him, Al, I just know one day he will simply say, "YOU need to get Nigel today..." But, it will be from then on...we know it will happen...we talked out all of this. Like you have counsiled in the past, better to have a plan than be overwhelmed in the future.

Unlike many here, I don't see my role with increasing responsibilities to be a burden. He would, and has, stepped up for me...

I just WISH he wouldn't be so "touchy", though...;))) or, again, maybe that's from both of us retiring early and being together 24/7! Honestly, were/are men and women SUPPOSED to be together 24/7? Lol hugs, Jane

By jsmitch On 2013.05.07 09:27
From our commentary pages, see http://www.myparkinsons.org/parkinsons-disease-caregiver-commentary/driving-dilema.shtml


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