Aa
Aa
A
A
A
Close
Avatar universal

When to stop driving-please help

My 83 year old mother was "sort of" diagnosed with Alzheimer's.  Her regular GP told her she had it and gave her a daily med.  She has been on it for about 3 years and she certainly seems to me to have Alzheimer's.  She lives with my father and he has started being with her almost all the time.  I don't feel like he is very honest with me about what is going on.  He tells me they have "interesting conversations" and she cannot cook any more because she burns food on the stove and in the microwave.  He says he is doing all the cooking.  I take them out to lunch once a week and talk to my Mom everyday, sometimes several times a day, and we get together for family things a lot,  Sometimes when I talk to her she doesn't make sense and then sometimes she seems normal.  She has a knee problem and is prone to falling and walks with a shuffle.  Over the winter my son and his wife needed to borrow a car so my Dad offered to let them have my Mom's car saying he could drive her every where.  I was relieved because I don't think she should drive anyway.  She had been limiting herself in the last few years and will only go a few palces, like the grocery and to her hair appointments.  After not driving for about 6 months she got her car back.  I don't think she should be driving at all.  Dad thinks she needs to stay active and she should drive...I am so worried she will have an accident, get lost, or hurt someone.  I don't know what to do.  I personally think she needs to see a neurologist or someone who specializes in this and get a good official diagnosis.  I worry everyday she will get behind the wheel and something very bad will happen.  Can anyone help me???
7 Responses
Avatar universal
Oh so as of now she is driving!
144586 tn?1284666164
First of all, do not assume she has Alzheimer's. There are many forms of dementia.

Secondly, simple forgetfullness is not necessarily a reason not to drive.

If, in your judgement, she is a danger to others, then you are morally obligated to notify the motor vehicles department by registered mail. The general drill in most states is for them to suspend the licence until the individual comes in for another road test, at which time a professional will make the evaluation.
Avatar universal
Thanks for your reply!  She is more than just forgetful.  The doctor diagnosed her when she made repeated appointments with him over the course of two weeks or more and complained about the same things.  She had no recollection of even being there or what he said.  If she is out of her environment she becomes very agitated and anxious.  When I ask her what she did today she will ask my dad what she did and then repeat what he says.  He is a volunteer at our local hospital and he goes in one day a week.  She will call me repeatedly and ask where he is.  He started leaving her notes so she would know where he was and notes on how to use the phone and what his phone number is.  She will tell me stories and say things happened to her that really happened to me or others.  She watches a lot of TV and gets very worried and obsessed about things she hears and sees.  If she sees the weather calls for flooding somewhere in the country she will insist it is for us.  These are just a few examples of behaviors I see, there are many others.  With that being said she can sometimes carry on a very normal conversation, other times she repeats herself over and over or asks the same questions over and over.
I just can't get a handle on what her problem is.    Like I said the only diagnosis we have is what our family doctor said 3 years ago and she has been on (sp) namenda(?) ever since.  I cannot get my dad to take her to anyone else.  He truly thinks if she stays active and independant she will get better.  
I do not know how to get a good converstaion going with him.  I would just like a real good check up and diagnosis for her but maybe I am asking too much.  I just want her to be happy and healthy as long as possible,
Avatar universal
I so know how you feel.I went through the same thing with my Grandmother but thankfully,I talked her out of driving.However,looking into it I found out (well,here in Canada anyway)that when you go to renew you drivers there is a question about ones mental status & if it is documented & you were to have an accident there would be a question of having insurance coverage.I know it is a terrible position to be in but I don't think I could have lived with myself if she would have had an accident & hurt someone or herself.-not  mention the legal and financial ramifications.-This whole thing stinks I know,we only want them to be happy and have the best quality of life they can,but sometimes it has to be head over heart.Good luck to you!
212161 tn?1599427282
COMMUNITY LEADER
wow , i say dont let her drive, if she is forgetting and has been told by a dr she has it than NO DRIVING TAKE THE KEYS. why put others besides her in danger?
my mom no longer drives and she no longer cooks either, shes sounds a lot like your mother and i would be very scared to. my dad was the same way not wanting to take away her freedom but you at somepoint has to pull the keys to make siure shes safe and does not get behind that wheel and get lost or worse. God Bless you and i hope things work out and you feel safer about it.
Avatar universal
Thank you all for your input and sharing.  I plan on having a long talk with my Dad.  He is nin denial and I guess it is time for me to press him harder.  It is just tough, and I know all of you know (probably better than me because my Mom is not as far along as some).  I really want her to get in and have a FULL diagnosis by a specialist rather than just our family doctor's diagnosis.  I know he really knows her medical history and all but I think a full evaluation is needed.  I need to get Dad on board.  He is taking this all on himself and not letting me help and trying to do it alone.  He thinks if she would just exercise this would all go away......I will keep plugging along and reading everyone's posts and ideas sure does help..Thanks again!
212161 tn?1599427282
COMMUNITY LEADER
its so hard on the mate to see this going on. my dad did not think she really had it until it got really bad, and at times still didnt. but he knows now because shes like a 2 year old, she no longer can pick out her clothes or anything .

yes she needs a full work over . mri of head etc that way ya know where shes at with it. i know its hard on dad been there with mine and still am, my dad thinks if he not run test it will just go away and not get worse but we all know thats not going to happen.

my Blessing are with ya as ya go throught this hard time, just remember to love her no matter what and make what days she has with ya the best. dont say anything neg to her all postive.
Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Alzheimer's Disease Community

Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Could our telomeres hold the key to curing cancer and preventing aging? Learn more in this article from Missouri Medicine.
Think a loved one may be experiencing hearing loss? Here are five warning signs to watch for.
How to lower your heart attack risk.
Here are 12 simple – and fun! – ways to boost your brainpower.
Protect against the leading cause of blindness in older adults
Keep your bones strong and healthy for life