Dad's driving

Hi all wasn't sure where to post this but I'm after some advise from family's and carers. My dad has parkinsons, he has had it for a wile and it's getting to the point we as a family feel he needs to stop driving. Trouble is cars are my dads passion, he's been tinkering with old cars since I can remember. I went home to see my family this week end and it all ended up in a big row as my dad wanted to go out in his car to a run with his friends. It came out that he feels going out in his car is all he has left as he spends most of his time at home but how can we let him go out in his car when it's obvious he's not capable like he used to be, he seems to clip the curb a lot and isn't very observant at islands and we're scared he may have a crash and as it's a vintage car this would probably be a bad one.

I'd like advise from others who have gone through this and how the approached it, how can he make him understand with out breaking his heart?
hi jelly cake,im ali been dx for 11 years im 43 years old.6 years ago i had the same prob as your dad,iloved goin out in my car,etc,but found that i was was hittin curbs,not brakin quick enough,and even concentration was bad.i told me hubby at the time and he said your comin with me to the dr ,no argues with him.he made the appointment and off i went,he then told the dr,and the dr spoke to me ,kind and gentle,and surgested that if i handed in my lisecnce to dlva ,i would be able to apply for it back agin once i had got me seklf togeather as he put problem though turned to be my medication i was on ,it needed to be changed in places,cus i was noddin off kinda thing in the car.anyway 6 months later i reaplied back and got it,but unfortunally it only lasted a year.i got lot worse agin,but this time i could see it for me self,i was brakin last min when i saw there brakes go on in front of me,and it was a matter of time before something bad happined.i hated the thought of all this,and cryed and cryed cus it was my indepence,just like your dads jellycake.but faced facts in the end,i went to the neuro with my daughter for a normal app,but i then told him bout the car,this time he said im sorry im goin to have to rite to dvla,which ment,i was not goin to be able to get it back.and would have to relie on people to take me places.i was devestated jeelycake,im being very honest with you,and it may not be any help to you,but end of the day wot my point is ,is that you need to be cruel to be kind.make that app and take your dad,let the dr speak to him,may be he will listern like i did rather than a family member.sometimes you just dont wont to here certain times gone on and im bein took about ive got use to it,it actually became a routine,family mbers and friends and me carers all took there part.ok i will say to you havin the car sittin on the drive way nowin i wont to get behind the wheel can be frustratin at times,but i soon pull me self out of it cus i then think,wot if i had ran someone over,or crashed and made a rite mess of personly jellycake,decide which member of the family is the strigest minded ,make the app and get your dad to go.dont tell him wot it for,bring it up when his there,i no that sounds daft,but it works.good luck jeely cake.please keep us informed.x:smile:
Thanks, I'll talk to my mom and get her to talk to his Dr, I think at 74 this will be it for him stopping driving I can't see him getting a repreve. It's going to break him and I'm worried he'll spiral into depression, he loves vintage cars and has done from a tiny child, it feels like we are taking away his passion but if he kills some one they'll through the book at him or if he hurts him self we wouldn't forgive our selfs.
Ali - you put that beautifully: eloquent and sincere. there can be nothing worse than taking another's life for the sake of our own convenience or pleasure

its very sad, but we all have to give up sometime, no matter what the cost to ourselves. unfortunately we usually need our nearest to tell us when.
Hi Ali J

I agree, and I hope that if and when the time comes for me to give up driving, that I will be as brave and strong as you were, and that common sense will prevail.

I also hope that my family will be equally as brave and strong enough to tell me ' enough is enough',and if I won't listen, then I hope that they put safety first and speak to the Dr., and if forced to, the DVLA.


Hi My hus band eventually stopped friving afer I told him I was worried and knew how devastated he would be if and accident occurred . It wasn't a easy or nice thing for me to do but I had started be watching his reactions and I found it difficult to read his blank face . So wasn't sure how his concentration really was .

He had started to misjudge kerbs and would often veer to the centre of the road .

I read that this is poor spacial awareness .

It has made a big difference to my life as well because I don't drive and now too old to start . Now I do my big shopping on line along with the lottery etc .

Strange at first but I did get used to it and am still independant , don't want to asking my daughter all the time for assistance ..

He didn't realise what was happening himself and would like to have continued . But he took on board what I said and realised That I was right .

His reactions at that time were pretty good . It was mainly his spacial awareness .

Does you father bump into doorways and misjudge spacies . If he does you can maybe explain it's probbably happening wheile he is driving .

Good Luch
After 70 you are on a three year renewal licence as indeed you are if you are diagnosed at any age with PD. If he has not declared his condition to the DVLA its a serious offence. If he has he will have had to fill further medical forms so that the DVLA could write to your specialist and GP. (By the way if the DVLA accept your fitness to drive then the car insurance should not be affected)
Could your father be persuaded to do a course/test with the Institute of Advanced Drivers (branches all over the country) or ROSPA. Then whatever the result, you will have an independent opinion will not be left with a "tis....tisn't situation.

I am 72 and by this age, most people should able to accept that there will be things they are no longer able to do, leaving aside the PD and the danger.

Best wishes
hi jellycake and welcome
think the best thing to do is go for a drive with your dad and if you feel that his driving is bad then be honest and tell him. i have told my husband that I'm not happy with his driving and we only do short journeys now on familiar roads at quite times. and yes with the mask it is hard to tell if they are aware of what is going on..... be brave it hurts them at first but you do have to be cruel to be kind. best of luck
Quite jzgirl . It is a good idea to go out with them , because if they are on their own in the car they don 't always realise their driving is not as it use to be . I really did have my heart in my mouth on afew occasions something that never happened until he became a Parkinsons sufferer .

That's not to say evryone is the same and in the beginning they usually tell you to keep up with the driving . You have to trust the persdon who tells you it's not safe anymore . Not easy I know .
My mom wont let me get in the car with him, he has given up most driving as my mom does most of it but he is a vintage car nut and loves to go out on runs with his friends in his old car. My mom wont let me get in that car with his as there not exactly safe as have no safety features like modern cars and the breaks are poor. My mom has and says he bumps the curb and he went strait out on an island even though some one was coming.
We have tried to explain to him that we don't think it's safe and mom said about the island and he insisted it wasn't his fault. My mom is a bit of a nag to be honest and I think he just sees this as more of her nagging which he tends to switch off from. Its hard as it's not just his driving we will be stopping but his passion some thing he has loved all his life. It all ended up in a argument the other day as he wanted to go out and we tried to explain that we were worried about him but he just kept saying he was fine and then got upset saying he felt his cars were all he had left in his life.
I remember year back when he had his hip replacement he had to give up his Morgan 3 wheeler car a car he had built from scratch and raced in his past because he could get into it any more, that was hard enough for him but stopping all together will be a hole new level.
Were trying to talk him into selling his current old car and getting a smaller one which the rest of the family can drive and then we can take him out but he's having none of it.
He was a stubborn sod before hand but pd seems to make him more so.
Oh and yes he has let the DVLA know
of course he can still drive on private land or racetracks, not quite the same but possibly better than nothing?
Could a friend drive him in the vintage rallies, so he could still participate and he would be able to look at the other cars?
Possibly but they tend to take there cars, that the point so they can show them off. Hopefully we can talk him into geting a smaller car as the clutch is heavy on the one he has now and my mom can't drive it as she broke her leg a few years back and it hurts to drive his current car, if he got a smaller car I'd be happy to drive him when I'm back and so would my sisters.
Hi jellycake.

I, and I am sure, most of the forum will have some sympathy for your dad. It is hard to accept that you have to give up something you enjoy doing. Perhaps I am fortunate, at the moment driving the car is the only place where my pd symptoms vanish - that's just not my idea, others have noticed it also. Trouble is my o/h wont allow me to drive round and round the garden just to stop all. I have had the normal tests to keep my licence, but the way pd affects sufferers, who knows what my next test will show. Time will tell. I would hate to give my licence back, but at 75 its getting close to giving it up anyway. After all as others have already said, human life is too valuable to risk driving when you are getting a bit shaky behind the wheel. I hope your dad can come to realise his problem and appreciates that he has children willing to step in and help.
Best of luck to you and your dad


Although we didnt realise it at the time my husbands SPACIAL AWARENESS was one of the first things I noticed but though he just needed glasses .

He had his eyes tested and was told they were fine , so we bought an automatic thinking that would help , it was a lovely car , eventually ended up buying an even smaller car . All a complete waste of money . Of course easy to say that now , at the time it seemed to be the right thing to do .

I was upset about it myself knowing how it would change our lyfestyle but hey HO ..
I hope I did not seem sympathetic but the phrase "clips the kerbs" seemed very significant and to indicate of a loss of spatial awareness.
My son is a classic car enthusiast - mainly racing but it involves all the stripping down and tweaking your father enjoys. I phoned him and he he said you can drive without a licence in many off road situations - they often say "have you ever held a driving licence?" which seems to be a roundabout way of asking if you've reached a reasonable level. But I dare say your dad knows this. Most off road events involve competitive driving however.

My mother was always an awful driver so didn't improve with age but thankfully (perhaps she had near miss I didn't know about) she eventually gave up her licence. Hopefullly, a near miss will persuade your dad

Best wishes
I meant of course to say that I hoped I did not sound unsympathetic
I spoke to mom who is going to talk to his Dr, he hasn't got any car events for the next few weeks so he wont be driving in that time. I have to say a story on the breakfast news this morning about the possibility of older people being retested to prove they are still fit to drive struck a cord, the story about an old man killing a young girl and him self after mounting the curb left me in floods of tears, I can't let that happen to my dad or to any one else who may be involved. I love him dearly but he's a stubborn so and so some times who needs to listen to him family who only want the best for him, he's all ways been one to stick his head in the sand and not admit there is a problem.
My dad was a car mechanic for yrs and about 10 years ago he was diagnosed with pd, he had his car adapted to help with this. It helped him alot but 1 year ago all the family knew he was not fit for driving but my dad just would not give up or listen to us. My son took my dad out to see how he got on and not 5 minutes from my house my dad lost control off the car and hit another car. Luckily no one was seriously injured apart from his car as a right off. As soon as he saw me he apologised and agreed to give up driving and he handed his license in. I now wish I was strong and demanded him to quit as his crash could of killed someone and that someone could of been my son. If you feel that you dad is not safe to drive then demand that he dosent drive. I thought it would kill my dad but they find something else to do, like we have now got my dad a mobility scooter. The saying is you have to be cruel to be kind. x