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My Mom with Dementia is Missing


goldberry
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We haven't talked to my dad about course of action yet, but there are a few indications he may not take this as seriously as he should about her driving.

 

The state they are in allows private citizens to request the DMV to make a medical evaluation of a person's ability to drive.  It can be done anonymously.  My sister and I are talking about doing this if my dad refuses to acknowledge the situation.  Is that horrible??  It feels horrible.  But if my dad won't take it seriously, it seems like the best way to resolve it without infuriating everyone.  He would assume it was reported by the police. 

:grouphug:

 

Sometimes the spouse is just too close to the situation to see reality.  It is really hard on them to acknowledge what is happening and make hard changes.  Sometimes it has to be family members outside the home.  And that is a very hard place to be.

 

:grouphug:

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Definitely follow up on the driving. She should NOT be driving. And I am really, really sorry for that. This is a horrible disease.

 

I walked the dementia road with three different people. Two of those three drove waaaaaay too long and caused multiple minor accidents. It is not safe. And like the others in this thread, I found that relatives and people who should've known better minimized and denied the reality of how compromised this person was.

 

:grouphug:

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We haven't talked to my dad about course of action yet, but there are a few indications he may not take this as seriously as he should about her driving.

 

The state they are in allows private citizens to request the DMV to make a medical evaluation of a person's ability to drive.  It can be done anonymously.  My sister and I are talking about doing this if my dad refuses to acknowledge the situation.  Is that horrible??  It feels horrible.  But if my dad won't take it seriously, it seems like the best way to resolve it without infuriating everyone.  He would assume it was reported by the police. 

 

This was our experience as well.  We believe it was denial as a form of grieving.  This is a very, very, very common problem and one we are still dealing with.

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We haven't talked to my dad about course of action yet, but there are a few indications he may not take this as seriously as he should about her driving.

 

The state they are in allows private citizens to request the DMV to make a medical evaluation of a person's ability to drive.  It can be done anonymously.  My sister and I are talking about doing this if my dad refuses to acknowledge the situation.  Is that horrible??  It feels horrible.  But if my dad won't take it seriously, it seems like the best way to resolve it without infuriating everyone.  He would assume it was reported by the police. 

 

I definitely think you should make the request. No, it is not horrible at all. You are trying to keep your mom safe.

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We haven't talked to my dad about course of action yet, but there are a few indications he may not take this as seriously as he should about her driving.

 

The state they are in allows private citizens to request the DMV to make a medical evaluation of a person's ability to drive.  It can be done anonymously.  My sister and I are talking about doing this if my dad refuses to acknowledge the situation.  Is that horrible??  It feels horrible.  But if my dad won't take it seriously, it seems like the best way to resolve it without infuriating everyone.  He would assume it was reported by the police. 

 

Not at all. She is dangerous to others, not just herself, on the road.

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We haven't talked to my dad about course of action yet, but there are a few indications he may not take this as seriously as he should about her driving.

 

The state they are in allows private citizens to request the DMV to make a medical evaluation of a person's ability to drive.  It can be done anonymously.  My sister and I are talking about doing this if my dad refuses to acknowledge the situation.  Is that horrible??  It feels horrible.  But if my dad won't take it seriously, it seems like the best way to resolve it without infuriating everyone.  He would assume it was reported by the police. 

 

That's perfect. Make the request now!

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:grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug:

 

I am so glad she was found and is uninjured and no one else was hurt.

 

This is a horrible disease. Absolutely horrid. BTDT. Sending hugs and sympathy.

 

FWIW, long past the point where my grandmother should no longer have been driving the doctors were saying she was fine to do so over relatively short distances, especially since she lived in a small town and only traveled there and to the nearby bigger but still pretty small town. Why? Because they only saw her in a doctor's office and she was very bright and appeared perfectly capable. Until I started staying with her the family members that were going with her to those doctor's appointments did not really want to see the changes and how affected she was so they also were reporting to the doctor that she was very functional. And they were right most of the time. When I started staying with her for a couple of weeks at a time I realized that while, yes, maybe 80% of the time or more in those early stages she was still capable of driving, and taking care of herself, etc. she periodically would forget, get confused, etc. It is what can happen in those moments where they AREN'T clear that is the scary part and the part that is hard to predict ahead of time.

 

Once I was following behind her on the highway because we had to take her car to the shop in the nearby town. She seemed alert, cognizant, doing fine. We had had a pleasant lunch and honestly I saw no signs that she was slipping. A truck passed her on the left on that two lane highway. Halfway through the pass she forgot a vehicle was passing and pulled into that lane to pass the car in front of her. Thankfully the driver of the truck reacted immediately and pulled off the road. If he hadn't reacted when he did she could have killed them both. At that point I realized that regardless of how clear headed she seemed most of the time, she should no longer drive. It was heartbreaking to take away her freedom like that when she was still functional so much of the time. And she did not handle it well...

 

I am sorry you and your family are facing this. In all likelihood your dad doesn't want to see how many things she is slipping with now and the doctors are going to have to go on what your dad is reporting and what they see in the doctor's office. It is probably not a terribly accurate representation. She may be struggling a lot more than anyone realizes.

 

Again, I am really sorry. I have lost multiple family members to this disease and am almost certainly facing this myself in my future. It stinks to high heaven but at least she has family that cares. Hold to each other.

 

:grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug:

I think the most dangerous time in having a family member with dementia is that period when they are able to represent themselves well to outsiders - physicians, social workers, infrequently visiting extended family - but are no longer capable of making sound judgements about driving, finances, food acquisition. Things can go south really fast, a look into bank records or a tragedy such as an injury-causing accident offten reveal that serious issues were masked for some time. It's a very difficult phase to navigate, it often requires adult children to make very hard decisions.

 

I've written a letter to myself about the car keys. My oldest child has instructions to give it to me when the time comes for me to stop driving, and I'll be getting the news in my own words written by my own hand.

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I think the most dangerous time in having a family member with dementia is that period when they are able to represent themselves well to outsiders - physicians, social workers, infrequently visiting extended family - but are no longer capable of making sound judgements about driving, finances, food acquisition. Things can go south really fast, a look into bank records or a tragedy such as an injury-causing accident offten reveal that serious issues were masked for some time. It's a very difficult phase to navigate, it often requires adult children to make very hard decisions.

 

I've written a letter to myself about the car keys. My oldest child has instructions to give it to me when the time comes for me to stop driving, and I'll be getting the news in my own words written by my own hand.

Wow.  I'm blown away.  And am filing this away for further contemplation...

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