My husband wants to be evaluated to prove he can still drive! What if he passes? There will be more confrontation. I can’t let him drive any longer. Dr said he would order if we wanted it. I hate to say no to my DH. He thinks it’s going to prove he can drive. Any thoughts on this ?

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My mom did the driving evaluation. But it didnt really solve anything because she didnt believe them when she didnt pass. They did some cognitive stuff and reaction type stuff prior to the driving also. This was a place that evaluated seniors and also others that have had injuries after rehab to be cleared to drive. Mom showtimed with the best of them, so I did "load the dice" so to speak. I deliberately scheduled the appointment for later in the afternoon, when I knew she usually had more issues. But it was obvious to the examiner anyway. She couldnt follow multi step instructions like go two blocks and turn left. Drifted in the lane. And also slow reaction time.
But it was somewhat easier as she didnt have her car with her in town with me. It simply is being " taken care of" by my sister.
She still thinks she can drive but as she is now in memory care I dont have to worry about it anymore. Her car has been given to her soon to be 16 year kld grandson, which is what she said ahe would do if she couldnt drive pre dementia.
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to Gracie61

I don't know what age this person is but the Drs know and shouldn't be asking for your permission. They should be stating the facts to the patient in their best interest. My mother(86) was told truthfully that at her age she probably wouldn't survive an accident. Could be a slight accident but if the airbag is deployed it could crush her frail body. She too, felt she could pass the test. We went online for just a practice version and she failed. She tried again, no. I think this gave her something to think about and she didn't press the issue any further. On the road many feel confident that they're good drivers but you can't control the ones who are not. The main question is how the condition of vehicle is? Dents, dings and scrapes are the definitive sign that there's a driving impairment.
Try the free trial test online before forking out big bucks.
Wish you well.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to JuliaH
KimberlyB480 May 4, 2021
Wow great response. Very good suggestions. This is helpful for my situation too. Thank you!
You can contact your local DMV directly and tell them that there is an unsafe driver in your household that should not be driving, but refuses to stop. They can actually administer a driving test to him that will prove that he is unsafe. Your MD does not need to become involved.
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Reply to dragonflower

This is what I do professionally: qualify people to take the driving evaluation (or not). Some insist that I let them even after I tell them they won't pass. This is a pass/fail evaluation, with results reported to your state motor vehicle administration. If he does not pass, his license is immediately revoked. If he doesn't turn it in they will come to your home (at least in Maryland) to take it from him. If he does pass, he can drive legally. He will be "on the radar" and can be required to re-test every 2 years to maintain qualification.

You can report him to your state motor vehicle department, medical office. They will review his medical records to see if he has any conditions or diagnoses that could impair his driving ability. They will then require him to be evaluated or surrender his license.

Veterans can usually get this evaluation for free at a local VA hospital.

The testing involves completing forms (don't help him), a cognitive test, tests for speed of reflexes, and on-the-road testing in their car, not his.

Do not involve his MD unless you are sure he thinks DH can't drive or there are medical records with a cognitive diagnosis. Do talk to his eye doctor to be certain he has the acuity, peripheral vision and depth perception to be a safe driver. If these have not been tested find another eye doctor.

Bottom line: don't worry about DH passing. I have never seen a patient pass who didn't really have the skills to drive safely. The people doing the testing are professional OTs or PTs who understand what is required to be a safe driver.
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Reply to DrBenshir
Riley2166 May 5, 2021
What on earth is a OT? and a PT?

PLEASE WRITE THE INITIALS OUT INTO FULL WORDS. Some of us have no idea what these initials mean and it is infuriating.
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Hi JanBro,
I too struggled with how to handle the end of my husband‘s ability to drive. After months of anguish in my own heart, I finally asked the doctor how we should proceed. He said he could send a request to the DMV in North Carolina. Then the DMV would send my husband a letter requesting him to turn in his license. When the letter arrived I’ve gave it to my husband to read, I told him I was sorry but this was beyond either of our control. He was sad that this had to happen and I gave him every ounce of empathy because I did truly hated that he couldn’t drive anymore. And though he was never happy that he could no longer drive he never once blamed me. Blessings to you as you navigate this difficult trail.
PS I did sell his truck just to make sure he couldn’t jump in it and drive when I was not at home.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to NeesaLee

I'd guess it's pretty likely he wouldn't pass as long as the evaluating person has been told everything about his cognitive condition. He might handle the news that he's not capable if it comes from a neutral party.

I'll bet the folks evaluating him see this kind of thing all the time. If someone is asking to be evaluated to prove they're capable of driving, then that's a pretty big red flag that they aren't.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to MJ1929

Doctor said he would order WHAT if you wanted it? The doctor should be taking his license and notifying DMV if your husband has a diagnosis of dementia. You will have to be honest with your husband and tell him the facts. Trying to hide the truth only makes things worse. Should he ignore you, go to take the test, pass and be licensed there is likely little you can do if your Doctor won't help you. Do not drive in the car with him.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to AlvaDeer

Have the DR report DH to DMV with his dx of Alzheimer's. It might be the easiest route and then blame the DR for his nondriving status.

Because of my father's passive/aggressive behavior mom wouldn't confront dad about driving. For months I'd ask dad not to drive. Please stop driving. FINALLY he agreed but before I got the car disposed of ... yup he drove. We were talking of parking it far away in the lower parking lot of the facility but got it donated and it finally got towed off.

Of course this wasn't the end of it. For the next couple years he'd bring up he was perfectly capable of driving. He made the mistake of complaining to his DR and she replied with 6 words: "Richard, we talked about your driving."

For some elders if is very hard to give up driving - it's one more loss; loss of independence.

Good luck.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to cweissp

Are you sure the rehab facility is the one that gets to decide he is capable? Doesn't the DMV ultimately have final say? (I don't actually know -- just posing the question). You can anonymously report him to the DMV online and make your case why he should be called in for a retest. If he has cognitive and not just physical impairment, you can make sure they also know this information.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Geaton777
Katsmihur Apr 30, 2021
Mom had cog decline diagnosis in hospital after ER visit. Attending neuro, psychiatrist nor hospital sent findings to the state. So I did, along with a letter of all I saw changing in mom since Dad died. And the cog decline reports from psychiatrist.

Took a while, with COVID creating staffing issues, but finally suspended Feb 26 👌 She’s still trying to find a doc who will “help her” to get back to driving.
Dear JanBro,
I write from the perspective of the patient. I was diagnosed with Early Onset ALZ 5 yrs ago a month before my 57th birthday. My Neuro Doctor said, I was the first patient to bring up the subject of driving. I have been a patient of hers for 15 yrs. She disagreed with the Neuropsych report that said I should immediately stop driving. We agreed at all further appointments she would test me neurologically, and carry on the driving discussion. Last year, for no other reason than I thought it was time for me to stop driving I told my DW I was hanging up the car keys. My Neuro Doctor, says I am the first patient to voluntarily give up my license in the 20 yrs she's been practicing medicine. The workers at DMV didn't know what to do with me. I was told, the only people that come in to surrender their license are drivers who have been sent to them by the courts, or their doctor's.
My point is, that I think every family should have the driving discussion as soon as a diagnosis of Dementia is established. I have had friends who had ALZ and they would not give up driving until the doctor reported them to the DMV. A couple had several accidents before their licenses were pulled from them by the court, which is the situation none of our families should want for themselves. This is a sensitive subject, and an uncomfortable topic for families to bring up. I know my DW didn't think I needed to stop driving, but I just told her for me it was, time to give it up. My DW and adult children now have to take me everywhere I go. Yes it is a burden on the adult children, but they know Mom can't do it all being that she is still working and as a teacher in the COVID-19 era, puts in between 16-19hrs a day teaching, and preparing all of the reports and lesson plans that must be customized to each students needs.
Please keep in mind, how you'd feel if your DH, had an accident that would injure either himself or someone else in your community. Your comment of What if he passes a driving evaluation, if your DH still has an alert enough mind and reflexes to respond to driving situations, make an agreement with your DH to have follow up driving evaluations whenever you think it is necessary or on a schedule that the driving examiner thinks is appropriate based on his skills or lack of them. Let the driving examiner be the bad guy. I hope this is helpful.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to jfbctc

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