I add only one thing to the good advice of the others.
And be careful of him wandering out and stealing YOUR or OTHER people's cars. This happened at a picnic I was at. We all went out back and after dinner his Grandpa went in 'to the bathroom' but took the keys from one of the gal's purses... then he went out front, tried each car until he found the right one.. .and Off He Went!!!! After that he kept going after all the keys at home to the point where they had to get a locking key cabinet!!!
Originally Posted by SOTM
Quickly, this is my uncle and he was diagnosed with Alz a little over 2 months ago. He has been getting worse pretty quickly over the last couple years. I am working with his duaghters helping with finances and manage his rental properties. 3 doctors have said he cannot drive.
About 3 months ago he was in a very minor(thank God) accident, where he hit and run. The police caught up with him and seeing his state sent him to the hospital. They left his car there and his daughter and I picked it up the next day and are holding it at her house. Not ideal, but he is fiercely independent, resistant and loves driving. We took it as an opportunity. She has told him he cannot drive and he has nothing of it.
Now, he is still agitated with getting his car back. I had a half hour conversation with him on the phone about it. The facade we have of the state holding his car cause of the accident is wearing thin and getting annoying.
Is there a better way to bring closure of his car to him? This is totally new on all of us, so while it was not the ideal approach it has worked for 3 months. ANother thought was to pull the car into his yard after I permanently disable it....but I can imagine the same agitation with him always wanting his car fixed.
I am reading carefully all your great advice for SOTM. Though my wife is not yet diagnosed, it seems pretty clear to all of us there is some sort of progressively worsening cognitive impairment. Soon, I will be at the state you are at, SOTM, and make the decision and figure out how to take the car away. Worse, I have to figure out how to make it all work when she cannot drive.
Luau... it all sounds so daunting when you are just starting but it's not impossible because we have all done it. I spent years jumping in the drivers seat before Dad could get there. We did sell one of the cars so that when Mom was not at home Dad couldn't drive off. A family friend was good about taking Dad to his club meetings and another friend loved to make the journey to the cabin with them. Somehow it all works out
I let the doctor be the heavy when Mom had to stop driving. I got blamed for being in cahoots with him but the majority of the blame fell on the doctor.
Suggestion... call your local Alzheimer's Association or go to their website to find out when your local support group meetings are. You will find those very helpful and you can connect with those in your area that are going through or have gone through the same as you are. Also the Alzheimer's Association has a wealth of information you can use. They can also give you the name of a local driving test facility that will not only test driving ability but cognitive ability to drive. If she passes then she is good to drive a while. If not you know it is time to relinquish the license and they are the bad guy
Luau, for sure you need to remove her car so she does not drive like that for 2 or 3 hours again and got lost! It would be very dangerous for her. At times the patient with Alzheimer's got lost and are found to be dead in the winter. I heard a few cases like that here in Canada.
Soon, I will be at the state you are at, SOTM, and make the decision and figure out how to take the car away. Worse, I have to figure out how to make it all work when she cannot drive.
It just happened for us, thank God! It would be an impossibility for one of us to take the car away. Him having a minor accident and being taken to a hospital with his car in a parking lot was SO perfect for us. His daughter even brought up that several doctors stated he should not drive when he was wondering about his car. He wanted to hear nothing of it.
The approach I was preparing to take was to disable the car. Then, since it would not start, take it down to a mechanic known and trusted by your wife. Clue him in on it, and even throw him a few bucks to go along with the gag that the car is ruined. Then say we need to save up, or something similar, for another car....or try and talk her into not driving then. Will soemthing like that work for you? Hopefully , but be creative.
Fully agree and want to reiterate that I have found it is a good idea to have someone or something "else" be the heavy or the bad guy instead of you or the family.
This has been working very well for us. He is a very paranoid guy, even well before his disease showed. One of his scenarios was that the state took the car away to force him to take the bus, since the state is short on money. I run with stuff like that for a minute or so, just long enough to validate his feelings on it and his frustation. Then change the subject to something totally different.
Its a fine line to walk though. I have slippped and said we should do a certain thing....and he grabbed on to that idea for weeks and would not let it go, lol.