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Driving and Alzheimer's

Updated on May 18, 2018

Taking away driving privileges from a family member with Alzheimer’s can be challenging. Many members of myALZteam say they don’t have the heart to raise the topic, let alone enforce it, while others deal with angry reactions from parents or partners with Alzheimer's. “Mom made my life hell and cried how she couldn't even go to the cemetery anymore to visit my dad's grave,” recalled one member.

Caregivers talk about various strategies, including cellphone trackers, to monitor parents and partners who are still driving. “I know when my mom leaves and can follow her on my phone,” explained one myALZteam member. Another gives her dad a set of keys that don’t fit the car: “He’ll sit in the car, try the key that doesn't work, and come back in the house. By that time, he’s calm and has forgotten what he wanted to do.”

Members on myALZteam encourage each other to tackle the hard challenge of driving for everyone's safety. One member, echoing the concerns of others, said: “Please think of the possible consequences before you allow your loved ones to get behind the wheel of a car, which is potentially a weapon that can kill!!!”

On myALZteam, the social network and online support group for family and friends caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's, members talk about a range of personal experiences and struggles. Driving is one of the most discussed topics.

Here are some question-and-answer threads about driving:

My mother still drives and I don't think she should. How do I approach this without her getting angry?

My mom hasn't had any issues driving yet, but the doctor just sent a letter to the DMV. has anyone had this experience & how do you tell them that can't drive any longer?

Here are some conversations about driving:

Our son’s car died, and he is driving my husband’s. He asks every day where his car is and gets progressively angrier.

I explained to my husband that the government will not just take his driver's license, but they may ask for a driving test.

My husband is so mad he can't drive. We went to the doctor three times and he has talked about safety and why he can't drive and my husband remembers nothing.

Can you relate?

Have another topic you'd like to discuss or explore? Go to myALZteam today and start the conversation. You'll be surprised just how many others may share similar stories.

Feel free to ask a question here.

A myALZteam Member said:

I spent one whole miserable summer having him saying after 52 years of marriage “. If you take my driving away we might as well get divorced”. By the end of the summer sounded good to me, but I stuck… read more

posted 3 days ago

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