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I am still having issues with the truck keys. He will ask me to go to the store and get him a beer or a cigar and if I tell him no or I am too tired. Then he says then I'll go and get it and here we go ..I say no I don't want you driving and he says why. And it's on. How can I legally get the keys from him without physically doing it myself and maybe getting hurt ? His doctor, the police ? If I hide them he will have a fit. They have been in the same place for a year. This is the only vehicle we have.

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That's good to keep the keys out of his reach. Even if a dementia patient promises not to drive, one day they may forget that promise, get the keys and leave.

My cousin stopped driving when she forgot how to get out of her car and a neighbor had to open the door for her. However, I still took all the car keys out of the house. Days later, she tried to get into her car for no apparent reason. She also asked me to get her car fixed. I told her it needed repair and wouldn't run. She was okay with that.
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I have a similar problem with my husband and the car keys. I have resorted to wearing a (quite unfashionable apparently) waist pack, using the excuse that it is better for keeping my phone not in my pocket, (as well as the car keys). When I take it off at night I try to put it someplace less visible should he get up at night. He has gone through my bag before and hidden the keys. I put my bag under the bed on my side or in a bottom drawer as he has balance issues and can't bend down that far. It is tedious but much safer all around. I drive him wherever he needs to go so for the moment he isn't complaining, but he does have impulsivity issues so I have to be on guard all the time. He got really upset once that I hadn't left the keys for him when I went out. I said he could call his daughter or physician and if they really felt he should be driving he could have the keys back. So far he hasn't called about it.
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You are absolutely right. Driving has not come up in a while so maybe he has accepted it and is not going to talk about it. But if he does I will tell him he needs to take a senior driving test before I will let him drive and if he won't do that then all bets are off. Thank you....
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tarajane, have you tried "replacing the keys" with ones that are different but look the same ?? then just play dumbfounded that they wont work in the truck....I would be very careful with telling the police about the guns...they could end up shooting him ,even if hes not armed at the time...or arresting him and how would he do behind bars in his condition...??? and the jail will not care about that.. if he got loud and started banging on the cell doors and yelling.They would end up putting him in isolation, and if they deem him sucidial, then he goes in there naked...and the medicial staff is a joke . better to have him committed than arrested or killed .
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TJ, I've been reading through this thread and I can really identify on a couple levels. I'm an old guy, I like beer, trucks and cigars and would just get so pissed if my wife interfered with this stuff. But she does, so I behave, somewhat, but I don't have dementia , yet.......

I also identify cause my dad is 85 with dementia, is still driving, just disarmed his last gun and he gets really pissed if he thinks mom or I are cramping his style, so we have to be very sneaky.

I can't offer a solution, you're getting lots of good advice from all these nice folks and I think you are doing all that anyone could do given the situation. So hang in there kid, we're all hoping the very best for you as you travel this rough road.
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TJ, My husband fell from a ladder onto a concrete surface. After 5 weeks in the hospital he came home. He did fully recover (except for depression, subject for another post). He agreed to take a driving test at a rehab center that can also evaluate if there are some adaptive measures that would make driving safer. He passed that test, and they gave him some suggestions.

Ten years later he was diagnosed with dementia. His wonderful doctor said, "I am required to report this diagnosis to the DMV. They will revoke your license. I am very sorry." A few visits later he asked her if he could drive again if he passed that handicapped driver exam. She hesitated and then said, "If you pass that examine then I will write to DMV on your behalf." It was a pretty safe promise. Sometimes he would say, "I think I'm almost ready to take that exam," but eventually he dropped that subject, knowing himself that he couldn't pass.

Leaving it up to an objective test can get the monkey off your back. I hope this works well for you!
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I have decided to tell him if he still wants to drive to go take a driving test for seniors !!!! That should do it ........ I will let you know
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Tarajane, replace the truck key with an identical key that doesn't work (one with a cut missing, or an extra chip), have the locksmith help you. If you have an identical key, use that one to jimmy-rig so it won't work because it will look older.

Make a big fuss when he tries to drive it, saying you can't even start the car! How are you going to drive it! Here, let me help you, and you drive.

Oh dear, this is getting hard, there must be a more honest way?
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Well, tonight I told my husband I would not go get him a beer and I thought his was coming off. He said you mean because you said NO I can't get a beer? I said yeah, he said well, give me some money and I will walk so I gave him $10.00 to walk 13 miles.....called his bluff...didn't go but boy did he call me trash and other things but not Bitch or anything. He said he was going to get an atty and have all his money yanked out of my account and see if I could make it on my money (which I can't) but I know no atty will do that. We would have to divorce for everything to be split in half. I told him I would get him a beer tomorrow when I was in the town that sold it. He says he doesn't like the Aericept, it makes him nervous. He wants to try Namenda. I have a call in to his memory nurse. I have to start with her first. Then I told him he could sell his guns and get some money but he would have no part of that!!! Just don't know anymore......he did say he wanted that shoulder surgery ASAP so he could be free to go where he wanted yeah, LOL
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911, my husband, who has been drinking and has dementia/alzheimer's has just left here driving his truck, license plate _______. He may have his guns with him.
He may be headed for ______local liquor store. Please don't shoot, he is sick.
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Tara, things are relatively calm just now. Google THE CYCLE OF ABUSE.
Good luck to you in going for help. This is up to you now, I personally cannot support you without calling in the authorities on you and your husband's behalf.
So, I will pass. Be safe.
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I agree with SunnyGirl; the man you married and lived with for decades is changing into someone else. The good traits he has demonstrated are changing as well.

It's very emotionally and logically challenging to accept this, but unfortunately it is necessary for the protection of everyone involved, your husband included.
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I would keep all original documents somewhere they are safe, just in case he becomes unhappy then locates and destroys them.

I realize you are doing the best you can, but I do hope you realize that placating him only goes so far. It's not likely to work for long and when it will or won't work is unpredictable. Having to restrict his drinking, smoking, handling of firearms, driving, etc. It's extremely risky. Please keep in mind that you are not dealing with the man in your mind. I do hope you stay safe.

I would also consider neighbors and others in the community who could be impacted if things go downhill. I don't think the posters here are over exaggerating the potential for harm.
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Once again, thank you all. The attorney visit went very smoothly. In the mornings he is almost like his old self. Very kind and considerate. In the 48 years we have been married we have never been physical, NEVER..we have never called each other names, NEVER. He was raised since teens to protect his mother and two sisters from an alcoholic step father so he has very protective instincts. Dementia has changed him. His sundowners is getting worse. I am going to find out which local police I can contact in case of....the only time he has really scared me was when he said I WANT MY GUNS....Garden Artist, I like your thinking about the shoulder surgery. It opened up a whole new way to be able to get things done while he is cared for in a hospital environment. I hope I touched on all your suggestions everyone, oh except,,he is the kind of man that would just know there were more beers somewhere unless you are suggesting hiding them ?? (not a bad idea) He can't eat just one chip ! Same with cigars. I bought him 3 and hid one and late in the day he wanted me to go up to our little close store and just get him any kind of cigar and he was kind of swaying back and forth like a child. So then I brought out the last cigar and wow was that the right thing to do. Also he is so far very aware of how to handle his cigars. He won't even wear a good shirt outside to smoke in for fear of a spark ruining his shirt. He sweeps the ashes and cigars off the porch and it looks nice. Will keep you posted. Thanks and hugs to all.
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TaraJ, this is at its core a medical issue. His brain is damaged. That is not a character flaw, or a psychological problem, or a personality disorder. His brain is damaged. He is no longer operating as the responsible adult and loving partner that you have lived with so many years.

The damage to his brain is putting you in danger. Your first responsibility is to keep safe -- your safety first, and then his. He will need an advocate, someone to look out for his interests, for the rest of his life. You can't be that person if you don't remain safe.

Since this is a medical problem, I think the first and main people you should be seeking help from are medical professionals. I don't recall what kind of specialists you are seeing now with him. Who is treating/following is dementia? Have you had a private talk with that person? Are you satisfied with the advice and care he is getting there?

I am so glad you are getting the legal ducks in a row, and I am urgently hoping all goes well at the next appointment.

Then I think the next step is to intensify the medical quest.

Please keep in mind that this is Not Your Fault, and that it is Not Your Husband's Fault. This is a medical problem. Medical science is far from having all the answers to how the brain works or malfunctions, but that is a place to start.

Because we don't have all the answers we need, placement where he can be managed so he doesn't cause harm to himself or others may be necessary. Not Your Fault. Not His. Just keep that in mind.
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Can you temporarily disable the truck, so even if he has the keys it won't start?
Is he knowledgeable enough or aware enough to be able to reconnect a battery or a coil wire?
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Tara, after reading and recalling your various posts, including your husband's perceived need to have access to firearms, loaded or not, I'm beginning to see that not only does he have an anger issue, as I'm sure you've realized, but he's also controlling and manipulative.

He's attempting that kind of control and manipulation when he puts you on the spot to get beer or cigars. Maybe he does want the beer and cigars, maybe he just wants to "jerk you around."

I was going to suggest that you stock up on beer and ciggies, to avoid the confrontation of having to go and get some, but then he'd ask for something else. It's the domination that's behind his behavior; at least that's my take on the situation.

If in your position, I think I would do this:

1. Somehow manage to have a private talk with the local police about the gun issues. I don't know if they can just confiscate them unless he's committed a crime or threatened someone, but they may be able to give some advice. As I recall though he has threatened you, or at least acted threateningly.

2. Go ahead with the shoulder surgery and following rehab, with the secret goal that it will not only keep him out of the house so you can have a break, but also have the opportunity to investigate the possibility of a permanent placement so that you don't have to deal with the anger management and manipulation issues.

I think you wrote that he has been diagnosed as having dementia, but I don't recall specifically without going through the earlier posts. If so, and given his penchant for embracing weapons, I think he's going to need more care AND CONTROL, than you can possibly provide.

I'm not sure that I would classify this as emotional abuse, but it sure comes close. If you don't take action to protect yourself, you may end up being a statistic, and not a pleasant one.

I would use his rehab time to meet again with the elder law attorney if you need guidance on applying for Medicaid, to find a suitable placement and be as prepared as you can for him not returning to the home.

If you don't, you're going to be in the same situation you are now, perhaps minus the guns, but living with someone who's a "loose cannon."
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If his doctor says it's okay for him to drink beer with his meds, then I would determine if he will limit them. I wouldn't want him to get intoxicated. Will he keep it to 1 or 2? If so, then I would keep the fridge stocked, so he has no excuse to leave. I would be concerned that too much alcohol could make him more aggressive and would monitor how much he drinks.

Ref. Cigars. You would need to watch him constantly to ensure he doesn't set anything on fire and keep the lighter hidden after he's done. If that is possible, I would keep the cigars in stock so there is no reason to drive for them.

He may still want to drive for other reasons though. Can you establish a hiding place outside of the house for the keys. Make sure he doesn't peek and see where you place them and then get them later? You are not going to be able to keep him from getting angry. Most dementia patients get angry, aggressive, resistant, etc. I don't know how you avoid that. The key is protecting your safety. If he is a danger, then you will have to call 911 or have him placed someone to protect him and others.

I think you will have to prepare for worst case scenario. Maybe you want to have several family members present who can restrain him if necessary. At that time explain that he can't drive anymore for safety reasons. If he explodes, then you have others to help protect you. Check with your state about how to report a person who shouldn't be driving. But, I don't know if you have time to do that. Others here have experience with doing that.

The problem is that no one can predict how his memory will work. If his short term is fading, he may forget the news by the next morning and you may have to tell him again and again every day. And he may explode every day.

I guess, I'm saying that even if things go smoothly the first time he realizes he can't drive, it may go very different the next day. If he is aggressive and violent person, he may be a person that cannot be cared for safely in the home. I would explore a psychiatric hospital that he may be admitted for medication evaluation. I would consider my options. You can't live in fear indefinitely.

I don't want to pry, but it seems like there is some reason you fear his reactions. It's good you're listening to your instincts. Keep yourself safe.
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Tarajane, you do have your hands full with your hubby and his dementia. When he asks to use the truck, any way of directing to a new subject to make him forget he had wanted to drive into town to get that beer or cigar?

If you live in a large metro area, I can see where you wouldn't want him to drive... or do you live in a place like Mayberry where driving would be more simple for him?
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