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Topic Taking away driving from PWP Go to previous topic Go to next topic Go to higher level

By ljharper62 On 2016.06.03 17:45

I'm new on this forum. My husband is 64 year old PWP. I just had to make the heartbreaking decision to ask his MD to contact the MVD to have his license revoked. She was trying to reduce some of his medicine to see if that helped him but after 6 weeks there is no improvement, in fact I think he's worse.

I know its the right thing to do as its too dangerous for him to be on the road - both for him and for others on the road. I also know he is going to blow up about this. He's told me that he will not give up the keys to the car unless he feels he is ready to.

Ugh. I hate this

By jcoff012 On 2016.06.03 19:19
I am so sorry for both of you. My husband has to have testing at DMV every two years AND a medical statement from his doctor. Both make him extremely nervous.

Let me try to explain how he feels, as right now I am facing similar issues with my own health. I continue taking monthly injections of a powerful cancer drug in my eyes to help my failing vision! I tell you this because I have to appear at DMV for testing for my vision and health to see IF I can keep my license. So, I now understand how PWP feel at the prospect of losing their license. I just drove twice this week for the first time in a year! And, driving again made me feel ecstatic! I dread the thought of permanently losing my license at 68! PWP must feel like I do...scared, embarrassed, and afraid of losing independence and freedom...AND admitting that we are not aging gracefully...The only difference is that I have accepted that if I won't see well enough, I shouldn't, and won't drive! Just, please let it be later because I will soon be all we have!

By flowers12 On 2016.06.03 19:31
Welcome to the forum. I'm new here too but I've received so much help and encouragement I'm thankful it's here. I also dreaded this situation. My hubby is 75 and he really hasn't driven at all for the past 3 years. Mostly because he always liked me to do the driving. He had to drive long distances when he worked and when he retired he said he would rather I drive. Anyway, his license expired last year and even though I didn't think he should drive anymore I asked him what he wanted to do. I mentioned that his reflexs weren't that good and he wouldn't want to take a chance of having an accident. He said he would like to take his test to renew his license. So, we went to DMV and he didn't pass the test. He wasn't too upset but they said he could retake it. He decided then that he really wouldn't be driving anyway so he said he would just get his Senior Citizen ID card. I was relieved because I didn't want him driving. I've had his set of keys hidden for the last 2 years because I just didn't know if in one of his dementia episodes he might take off. Good luck in this. I used to think that maybe I would disconnect the battery if I thought he might take off. So many difficult decisions we have to make.

By bksquared On 2016.06.05 00:11
After several fender benders, it was time to face this difficult issue. Before doing so, I checked with our Town about services. The Town had a dial-a-ride program for people who can not drive. I filed the forms and he was good to go. Then I sat him down and had a serious discussion about the ramifications of an accident with loss of life or serious physical injury to himself or others. If that happened we stood to lose more than just his ability to drive. If sued by an injured party, with his diagnosis of PD, there was no way we could win a suit. Everything he had worked for his entire life could be gone with a stroke of a judge's hammer. I told him he was signed up for the Town system. With the money saved from car payments, ins, maintenance, and gas on a second car we could hire a male companion who would drive him on errands, the gym, drug store, or therapy. He was not happy, down right mean and angry at first, and slow to adjust to not driving. Complaining all the time. But with dial-a-ride and the companion he is still able to get out be on his own. Takes the stress off me to do it all. It is not easy but safety counts.

By ljharper62 On 2016.06.05 09:51
hanks to all of you for your ideas.

We also have a dial a ride service but its not unusual to have to wait 2-3 hours for a driver to pick up the person. I will still probably register him in case he winds up having appointments that I can't take him to.

I am also checking with work to see if I can work some kind of alternate schedule so that I can take him when needed and am in the process of getting his service records so that we can apply for VA benefits which will defer some of the costs of bringing in someone to help him with rides and other small tasks that are getting hard for him to do.

My biggest problem is that he doesn't see that he has a problem. Thankfully he hasn't caused any accidents yet but its just a matter of time. He either is not able to understand that he isn't the same person or is in denial. One minute he seems okay with getting help, the next he accuses me of always seeing the worst in him.

I have 8 years left before I can take an early retirement. Even after I explain that I have to plan for the worst, that I know he is going to need more help than I am able to give him while I'm still working he doesn't get it and maybe he just doesn't have the ability to understand anymore.

By bksquared On 2016.06.05 11:59
My husband stayed in denial for over a year. He searched for hours to find why. Then he finds everything to blame, usually me. He never went through the steps of grieving. So we found a therapist who specializes in PD counseling at a University Hospital. She helped him, but he remains miserable. He just can't seem to accept that he can do many of the things he used to do, but in a modified way (even while he is doing them.) He is more comfortable being angry and unhappy because as he says I have PD. Unfortunately we carry the brunt of their frustration.

By lurkingforacure On 2016.06.06 11:42
The driving issue is awful, and ultimately, makes our jobs harder since once our loved one no longer drives, we then become chauffeur in addition to everything else.

Although my husband is still mobile, we have discussed the possibility (and ultimately, probability), of him being in an accident and decided that the risk is simply not worth it. Being sued is one thing, but injuring (or worse) another person or child is another. We would never get over the guilt of knowing that his harming another person could have been prevented.

I wish the PD meds were more predictable, but for us, their on/off makes the driving issue non-negotiable. Really stinks, though:(

By ljharper62 On 2016.06.06 14:22
Wait! This gets even better.

I talked to the MA at John's neurologist's office. She said that the doctor has discussed his driving at every appointment since February (I usually can't go because of work). So she's known about the issue all along but hasn't reported it to MVD.

Now I'm left with the options of reporting him myself, demanding that he gives up his keys or making him go to MVD and take a road test. I have the form filled out and saved and now I have to have this conversation with him.

I found out from work that I can do an alternate schedule where I can leave in the middle of the day and come back or come in late to work around appointments so maybe we can make this work, along with maybe getting someone to drive him when I can't. This is going to be a very long 8 years until I can leave here.

By EachDay On 2016.06.06 22:13
Best for us was when the neurologist talked with him about the consequences if someone else was harmed or killed. He was the one responsible even though his meds might not allow him full awareness. He went home, put his car on Craig's list, but of course I have been driving him since just about 8 years ago now.

By Lynnie2 On 2016.06.07 19:14
The doctor didn't think my husband should drive but gave him the option to take a Drive Able test.
We went to this hospital in a city and he took the oral test but failed, however they gave him the option to take the driving test.
He hadn't driven for 3 months because his license was suspended and he had to drive the testing car where the tester also had control on her side. Also another girls was in the car.
He didn't pass that test either and the whole process cost us $500 which wasn't covered by any insurance.
They sent the follow up of the reason's he didn't pass but he didn't even look at it.
I was really upset at the time, but looking back it's a good thing he didn't continue driving.
He was really hard on him as he's always been a good driver and even drove a transport truck after he retired from another job and before he was diagnosed we PD.

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