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Letter to GP regarding Dad driving.

(53 Posts)
DeloresJaneUmbridge Wed 22-Nov-17 09:13:01

Feeling so guilty but also relieved.

Dad had a stroke five weeks ago and thankfully because I was with him at the time was seen and treated very quickly. He had some surgery to clear a blocked artery after the stroke and has been home nearly four weeks.

The advice is not to drive for five weeks and he is due to see the doctor on Monday for permission.

As a family we have concerns about this because we can see a change in Dad since the stroke. He’s much more vague (has an additional diagnosis of mixed dementia) and falls asleep easily and rapidly sitting in an armchair ....this is more pathological than simply nodding off due to being relaxed and a bit sleepy.

Thing is that when seeing the doctor he will literally put on a front and good face. It would be easy for him to fool the GP.

So this morning I’ve written a letter to the GP and will drop it in to them with a note asking the GP to read it if he has time before Dad’s appointment.

We’ve spoken to Dad about our concerns but he is adamant he is fine and to be honest seems obsessed with getting back to driving again. I can understand that but I need to think of his safety and that of other road users.

What if he was to nod off when sitting in traffic? Or even worse on a motorway?

Last year he was assessed by a Driveability team who found him fit to drive. This was after cognitive testing and also a driving assessment. I am not so sure he would pass it now.

Feeling so guilty about possibly getting his licence removed ....but know I would feel worse if he was to seriously injure someone/himself or worse kill someone on the road.

dorothymichaels Wed 22-Nov-17 09:26:57

Absolutely the right thing to do. It's very hard when people are no longer able to drive but if he's not safe and needs some help to recognise that, it's in everyone's best interests to inform his GP.

MyBrilliantDisguise Wed 22-Nov-17 09:30:09

With my dad we talked about how he'd feel if he caused someone else to die. Just recently that did happen with a man in the news, where he was in his 90s, living with a wife with dementia, and put his foot on the accelerator instead of the brake and killed two women.

With my dad, we said, "Just get taxis for now, it'll end up cheaper, and then when you're better you can get a new car." None of us expected him to get better, including him, but it was a face-saving exercise for him, I think.

knottybeams Wed 22-Nov-17 09:32:33

With these sort of concerns you should also get in touch with the dvla directly. Website has the number.

CarefulBunny Wed 22-Nov-17 09:36:21

You've done the right thing.

They should make you re-take your test when you hit a certain age. So many elderly people on the road who shouldn't be driving.

Obviously there are people of all ages on the road who shouldn't be driving!

CarefulBunny Wed 22-Nov-17 09:37:10

People who think I'm being too harsh should read this:

lifeasawidower.com/2014/12/22/tell-them/

purplecorkheart Wed 22-Nov-17 09:37:16

I suggest you write/email/ring
to the driving authority directly in this case.

DeloresJaneUmbridge Wed 22-Nov-17 09:57:50

That’s the thing....I know he wouldn’t live with himself if he was to kill or seriously injure someone...he would feel awful.

DVLA asked for the Driveability assessment previously and reissued his licence for a further year. This year they have just reissued it with no questions asked.

If the GP doesn’t listen..l.and I think he will as he is very good then I will go straight to the DVLA.

My Dad has a very good driving history....never even had an accident in 50 years of driving..,this is adding to his “there’s nothing wrong with me and I am a safe driver”. He needs to hear from a professional that it’s time to stop driving.

Thankfully he cannot drive at the moment as he knows he has not got permission. Despite this we know he has moved the car to a closer parking space.....and so his keys have now been hidden to stop him doing that.

MyBrilliantDisguise Wed 22-Nov-17 11:17:43

My dad was the same - a great driver all of his life. But all that is nothing if you crash into someone.

Also what if he had another stroke when he was driving?

You're doing the right thing by telling the doctor.

butterfly56 Wed 22-Nov-17 11:45:32

Here's the information for the DVLA and medical conditions...

www.gov.uk/driving-medical-conditions

Needmoresleep Wed 22-Nov-17 14:03:58

A good moral rule of thumb is whether you would allow your own child to be driven by him. If not, then other people’s children should not be put at risk either.

DeloresJaneUmbridge Thu 23-Nov-17 07:19:07

Thank you all and also CarefulBunny for that link, I have shared it with my sister and brothers and Mum.

The sad thing is my Dad would have been the first to appreciate why he shouldn’t be driving any longer a few years ago. Of course he was fit to drive then.

Now he isn’t fit to drive in our opinion but is stubbornly refusing to see this, thankfully he has no car keys at the moment.

Argh....dementia is awful. He is still very very able but in some skills like driving he has declined and the recent stroke is a sign he needs to stop now.

Fifty years of accident free driving....I don’t want it to end with him injuring or killing someone or himself.

DeloresJaneUmbridge Mon 27-Nov-17 19:59:48

Just an update.

Dad saw the GP today and GP has said he wants to write to the DVLA for advice before giving permission to drive.

Dad is devastated sad very tearful this afternoon. I think he feels like stopping driving is the end of the road for him...it isn't. He and my Mum have a bus stop almost right outside their flat and myself and my sister live less than 1.5 Miles away.

I feel guilty because I know it was my letter which did this.

However I also feel relief....it's the right decision. I don't want his driving life to end with an accident which could kill or injure him, my Mum or even worse...somebody else.

Doesn't stop me feeling a heel though.

bookgirl1982 Mon 27-Nov-17 20:04:22

You did the right thing, don't be too hard on yourself.

StrawberryLemonade Mon 27-Nov-17 20:06:08

You're right to worry but you'd be better off informing the dvla yourself. Your dads GP would have to discuss it with him and try and persuade him to inform them first before considering breaking confidentiality. Much easier to cut out the middle man.

StrawberryLemonade Mon 27-Nov-17 20:06:31

Oh sorry missed your update!

Twinkletowedelephant Mon 27-Nov-17 20:09:47

Yesterday we saw a very elderly man coming towards us the wrong way on a slip way of the m25.we were comming off.

He eventually realised and spent a long time attempting to reverse back up getting in the way of many drivers and an ambulance on blue lights. How no one was injured I don't know.

Then he just drove off....

flimflaminurjams Mon 27-Nov-17 20:10:49

Please don't feel bad. You did the right thing.

DH (for a different medical reason) has to surrender his licence on occasion and he is always gutted, its like taking away his freedom.

So I can see where your Dad is coming from. It must be scary seeing yourself become old and frail and not able to do these things.

runwalkrun Mon 27-Nov-17 20:11:18

Would you have been so quick to interfere if he was, for instance your brother who had had a stroke and not your father?
I think people are too quick to snatch older driver's licences away from them without really thinking things through.
I hope the GP gives him another assessment in a few week's and he is passed fit to drive.
If he fails the assessment then fair enough, he shouldn't drive. But it's really wrong to assume just because he's older that he shouldn't drive.

You've basically taken all his independence away from him.

AnguaResurgam Mon 27-Nov-17 20:11:38

As he was assessed last year by Driveability, and they cleared him for one year only, he must be due reassessment shortly.

Can you find out the date for this?

It may be coming round before you could activate stuff through the doctor, or indeed starting a second approach to DVLA in parallel to the existing Driveability pathway.

Hulder Mon 27-Nov-17 20:13:28

Well done.

I stopped both my Dad and my FIL from driving, having sat in the car with them and thought WTF.

My Dad accepted it v sadly.

My FIL was impervious to reason. I sent an anonymous report to the DVLA - if anyone else is in the same situation, I'd recommend this. They ask for your GP records and don't take no for an answer.

FIL went to GP to argue the toss at which point GP said she would say he shouldn't drive - he handed in his licence.

If he'd have pushed it all the way, he'd have gone for a driving assessment which I knew he would fail.

Link is here - however I would warn you to have a cover story as to why it definitely isn't you if your relative promptly suspects you! MIL and FIL decided it was someone from clinic but I think MIL knows it was me

live.email-dvla.service.gov.uk/w2c/en_gb/decisions/root

runwalkrun Mon 27-Nov-17 20:14:27

Yesterday we saw a very elderly man coming towards us the wrong way on a slip way of the m25.we were comming off.

A very young woman was in the news recently for stopping dead on the hard shoulder and phoning emergency services to get her off the motorway all because she was too nervous (and immature? ) to join the traffic from the slip road.

People of all ages make mistakes when driving.

Your point is?

runwalkrun Mon 27-Nov-17 20:16:29

As he was assessed last year by Driveability, and they cleared him for one year only, he must be due reassessment shortly.

That's good to know. At least if he has to give up his licence for good, you will be able to live with the knowledge that the decision was come to fairly.

HarrietVane99 Mon 27-Nov-17 20:24:11

You've basically taken all his independence away from him.

I don't drive. I still manage to be independent. I know plenty of other people who choose not to drive and manage to be independent.

runwalkrun Mon 27-Nov-17 20:26:25

I don't drive. I still manage to be independent
You don't miss what you've never had.

I've driven all my adult life and if someone took my licence away from me I would no doubt feel as if I'd had my legs chopped off.

It's what you're used to.
It will be a huge shock to OP's father.

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