Driving and Dementia


It happened a couple of times already, in the last few weeks… I get into the car, and notice that the gear is still in “Drive” instead of “Park”, and the handbrake has not been pulled. I can’t imagine how I forgot these things. Am I getting dementia now?

I am getting careless. This won’t do. I must take more care and thankfully, the problem hasn’t recurred after I stopped rushing out of the car with bags and stuff to carry.

Mom used to drive until about 10 years ago. A separate medical problem caused her to lose sight in one eye gradually. By the time she mentioned she was having trouble seeing, it had been months and eyesight could not be restored.

Nonetheless, despite numerous doctors explaining that she will no longer be able to see out of that eye, mom continued to hope. So she kept her car in good condition. Got a mechanic to service it periodically. One day, after about 7 years of keeping the car in the garage without driving, that mechanic persuaded her to part with it and bought it off her.

I am thankful she gave up driving on her own, though at the time she thought it would only be a temporary cessation. She learned to take the bus and train. Now of course, she goes nowhere on her own, and can no longer take a bus or even a taxi.

Here’s a pic of a cute little car that I didn’t own!

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14 thoughts on “Driving and Dementia”

  1. Love that car for the outrageous factor…
    My grandfather, about 10 years ago (before anyone could be convinced that he was losing his memory) forgot to put the parking brake on his truck, and it rolled into some one’s house….THAT was the beginning of the end for him driving…

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  2. I remember how first Dad started getting lost, then Mom took the keys away and I drove them most places they needed to go. Now Dad doesn’t go anywhere ever. It’s such a sad transition.

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    1. Somehow with mom, this loss of independence happened so gradually I didn’t realise it. She relied on buses when she stopped driving, and seemed to be getting about quite well. I am not quite sure when it all stopped.

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