Follow
Share

Later this week, the doctor plans to tell my husband he can no longer drive. My husband was an on-the-road salesman nearly all of his adult life. To him, driving is second nature...or so he thinks. How am I going to enforce this? People have said to take his keys away, sell his car. And how do I deal with the verbal assaults and live with the fear that he might hurt me? They also plan to tell him he can no longer keep guns in the house something he has also done all his life for protection. I tried taking them away before and it caused so much stress for me....he even told me to leave if I wouldn't give them back. So now, what is going to happen when the doctor tells him "no more"? Who is going to enforce this and who is going to help me deal with it 24/7 when I am all alone with no support available from family or friends because there is no one around? I am really scared and worried.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
While you are at the appointment when the doctor is going to tell him the rules, can you arrange to have someone remove the guns at that time? So when you come back they are gone?

I also like the idea of asking the police to remove them, if they can do that.

But here is my fundamental concern. You are afraid that he may harm you. You know you will get verbal abuse, but you are also worried about what he will do when no one is around to defend you. Caregivers put up with a lot, but should not risk their safety.

Once he even told you to leave if you wouldn't give the guns back. Well, it may come down to someone leaving. It may be that he is beyond the point where you can care for him alone in your home. Tell his doctor your fears -- all of them -- before this appointment.

We do a lot for love, and also in obligation. We should not have to put our safety and our lives at risk. That is going too far. You can love him in an appropriate long-term care facility.
Helpful Answer (11)
Report

Scared, you poor thing having to tell your husband he must give up two things he really loves. I'm sure it'll make him angry to hear these things but you have no choice because of the danger. The verbal assaults are going to come, for sure. Do you anticipate physical assaults as well? You may have to be prepared to call the police, as sad as it seems. My ex husband had a severe diabetic low and threatened me with bodily harm, he was a large man, I'm a small woman, so I went upstairs and called the police. They had to take him to the hospital for observation. It was scary and sad. I know you don't want it to come to that but realistically, it'll probably happen. Just be emotionally prepared.
Now about the guns, another subject your husband is not going to like or understand. Let me tell you about an event in my family. My relative had mental illness. His docs told his wife to remove all guns. She boo-hooed, dragged her feet, wrung her hands and never did it. An argument occurred and the worst of tragedies happened. She now visits two graves. Please don't let this happen to you. Can the doctor help you find a way to break the news to your husband? Do you have a supportive person who could be with you so you don't have to do it alone? I'm worried for you. Please, please take care. I'm saying a prayer for you.
Helpful Answer (8)
Report

This may not help Scared, because it is a proactive approach and she needs immediate action. But I'd like to share my experience in hopes it will help someone.

My husband was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia four years ago, when he was 57. He was a delivery guy for most of his life and a wannabe cop (went to the academy twice, but didn't get hired). So, he loved driving and was hypervigilant regarding safety, i.e. needed to have a gun to protect us.

When he was diagnosed, I told him we needed to make sure he was safe to drive, because now that he had a diagnois of dementia, if he got in an accident it will be an issue, even if it wasn't his fault, and may not cover us, if it was his fault. The medical center we went to had equipment that could test him and he was cleared to drive, if he was familar with the area or if there wasn't a lot of traffic, i.e. our small town and on the interstate highway between cities (we live out west). Then I frequently asked him how he felt he was doing with his driving. One year in, HE DECIDED he couldn't do the interstate and later that year couldn't do our small town. What worried me was that there have been times he thought he had still been driving. When I reminded him that he had given it up, he didn't remember. So, I got keys that look like our car keys and put them on his ring. Key makers have blanks that they can make look like they work, but don't. That solved that problem, SO FAR.

The gun was a little more difficult. He has vivid night terrors, and has actually gotten out of bed fighting/punching someone who wasn't there. I told him that in such a state he might get the gun and shoot me by accident, but he swore that would never happen. So, I "accidently" left the box of bullets at my sisters when we were visiting. Yes he traveled with a gun and a lot of ammo. When he wanted to buy more, I admitted that I still had the quick loader, but I would COMPROMISE and allow it in the house if I was the only one who knew where it was, because it was my life on the line not just his, and we have an alarm system that would give us enough warning to load the gun. He still doesn't like this, but he doesn't have car keys that work so he can't go buy more, and he'll NEVER find the bullets.

Believe it or not, this was all accomplished in a courteous manner. Again, because I was proactive. When he was first diagnosed, he started being verbally abusive. I knew he was angry about the disease and gave him some time to adjust, but after a few times I had enough. I told him that I knew he was angry, but I didn't do this to him, and I was angry too, because the disease was affecting me too. He may have the disease, but I was having to deal with it too, but I was willing to stay and help him as long as he treated me with respect. Since then, if he gets cranky before it gets abusive, I immediately call him on it, and he appologizes. I do the same, when I get cranky.

I know that with dementia there may come a time when all bets are off. But I STRONGLY feel that, if you talk about these things and talk about it often, when they still have some sense it helps them accept things a LITTLE better. We have even had the discussion that there may come a day, when I can't take care of him at home. We'll see how that one goes over, when the time comes.
Helpful Answer (8)
Report

These are probably two of the most difficult issues someone who's caregiving has to handle! Is there anyone else, family member, friend, adult children, a sibling, that your husband might be more likely to listen to about these two issues? Sometimes if it comes from someone outside the home....AND someone else takes the actual ACTION of removing guns and getting rid of a car....the "blame" can be shifted away from you. It could allow you to appear to "align" with your husband. "I'm sorry "husband". I know you're upset about this. I would be to when I really liked/valued something and all of a sudden I could no longer have it. But the doctor said...and so-and-so took them/it away. I know this is really hard on you and I can see how it would make you angry." It may be that the police could come in and remove the weapons at your request without your husband knowing you made the request????
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

I feel like the doctor copped out because HE didn't want to do it.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

Scared, There just isn't an easy answer for this one. I had to take Dad's car keys and I became the child from hell. It would have been easy to just give them back but my strength came from knowing I couldn't face a family that my father might hurt or worse because I couldn't muster the stress of him being mad at me. As far as the guns I'd remove the ammunition from the home and if it's for safety just the appearance of the gun would be a deterrent to a would be robber (there are always blanks) and if possible enlist the help of the police. I never thought of this until now but I wonder if you purchased a medical alert system for your phone (help I've fallen and I can't get up) if you would feel safer wearing a button you could push if he ever became violent. They could summon the police and if they supplied you with two necklaces he could have one thinking it was for his medical use. Just a wild thought. I along with others here will keep you in our prayers and God bless!
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Maybe the doctor didn't say anything about it out of concern for your safety once you left his/her office and were alone with your husband??? Actually I'm surprised the doctor had even considered saying anything. We run into these types of situations all the time, and we find very few doctors who are willing to step up to the plate to tell a patient they can no longer drive or have weapons in the home. Even when a doctor has told someone that, some people will ignore him/her and will drive without having a license.

A psychologist may not be able to do anything directly about the guns unless there's an imminent threat to someone's life....not a "maybe"...not a "high risk", but imminent. This could be your husband telling you he's going to kill you or someone else...or himself. He could then be taken in, involuntarily, for a psychiatric assessment. The mental health code is very specific about what can and can't be done under what conditions. Even if your husband refuses to go to the psychologist I think you should still go and get some support for yourself.

As someone mentioned, you may want to set a limit with your husband telling him you're not willing to put up with his anger outbursts being directed towards you anymore, and that you will leave if it continues. But, don't say it if you're not prepared to go...even if it's to a domestic violence shelter or to a friend's/family for a few days.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Scared; I respect your ability to keep yourself safe, but you keep writing things that seem to indicate that you are in an abusive situation. "how I'd ever keep the keys away from him". Say, "no, the keys are not available". What reaction would that bring? If the answer is something that is scary, dangerous or incompatible with your health and well being, you need to be elsewhere, or else he does. I admire your bravery in staying this long.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Thank you for your suggestion about the woman's shelter. This might be a viable choice. Thank you all for your concern about my safety. I couldn't do anything yesterday because I am so worried; I couldn't sleep last night because I am so worried. I have to try to find a way to cope. I know you all understand how hard this is. Thank you for caring.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

I'm sorry for your situation. I don't have an answer for you, but I had the same situation with my dad. Three totalled cars and one demolished garage later (yes really) the state sent him a letter that he had to retest. I told him to go on his own and retest. Never happened. I prayed and prayed that no one, including dad would get hurt and no one did. I thank God for that.
The gun issue. I snuck one gun to a gunsmith who disabled the firing mechanism even when loaded. I snuck it back into the house. "Dad, you only need one gun handy - here - I cleaned this and loaded it for you - it's ready to rock! How about we lock up those other ones for safe-keeping?" I locked them up and later secretly disposed of them.
I'm so sorry about this.....
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

See All Answers
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.