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Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia Message Board

Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia Board Index

When we convinced my aunt to stop driving, she was in the mild stage and absolutely not fooled by something like the car is still broken or a new rule about mandatory retesting or anything like that.

When we talked to her, we emphasized [B]not [/B]her mental state, but things like relfexes, side vision, ability to react, stiffness from arthritis, etc.

We told her that even tho she was still with it (lie, lie, lie), slowing down of relexes, etc., is natural at her age.

We also blamed the other, young drivers on the road who nowadays go way too fast, are not courteous, pull out at intersections too far, etc. and said they make it too hard for a courteous, cautious driver like herself, and if your reflexes are not fast, you could easily have an accident that gets blamed on you.

Even it is just because with arthritis it was hard to stop in time or you had to push the pedal a little too hard, it could still cause an accident.

We kind of just totally left out her getting lost, forgetting the rules of the road, etc.

Since my aunt was physically slowed down a bit, this seemed logical to her then somewhat still rational mind.

And I think since we did not allude to her not being with it enough to keep driving, her guard was down and she went for it.

That same day we offered her some options for getting around (a young lady available for driving chores, town senior bus, etc etc)

Also, with certain types of dementia, there can be pretty long periods of relative lucidity. In the early stages I was cautious of certain types of lies because as the POA, I did not want her to come to distrust me.

She is still not at the point where we can just agree with her or lie to her and offer her ice cream and she forgets all about it, especially not in her lucid times!

[QUOTE=Gabriel;4994567]No, it is not easy to do what you are about to do. Not easy for you or your Mom.... but you have already done it! The car is "broken"! Leave it there. Trying to get your Mom to understand the extend of the problem and that she is incapable of driving may backfire on you. At the point in the disease that she is in, she is not going to comprehend.... or remember. So just tell her that the car is still broken and and it will take a long time to fix it. If you tell her it can't be fixed then you take away her hope. Tell her you understand her frustration but the family will be there to take her where she needs to go.

When you take away something as important as their transportation which equals their independence and freedom, you have to be careful not to make it a hopeless situation for them and you have to validate their frustration over the situation.... without giving in and giving them what they want!

Dad's Van disappeared because Mom nor Dad could safely drive. The AC was being fixed during the summer. He ask frequently at first and parts were being ordered. Yes Dad, I know they are being slow but this is the best place to get it fixed and they can't help that the part is back ordered. I know it frustrates you. When it turned to winter there was another problem. Yes, Dad and Mom still ask about the van. This is to be expected. But I never took away the hope that one day it would be back and I always empathized with their plight of not having independent transportation. Remember that they only know the here and now... so what you said last week is gone and their ability to know time is distorted. We kept up the ruse with Dad for YEARS!

My sister decided to take the high road and just tell Mom she could not drive any more. What we got for that was a complete and total melt down which lasted for a LONG time. It was what pushed her over the edge. It was her anger about having the car taken away that precipitated the assault on the care giver and landed Mom and Dad in AL.

Just tread carefully. Leave her some hope for the future. We all need that. And validate her frustration. We all need that as well :) If nothing else, tell her you will keep your eyes open for a car she can afford... of course that day will never come but only you know that :)

Love, deb[/QUOTE]

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