Dementia and driving a car do not go together!
I don’t mean to be “Preachy”
But I know for sure I want to be heard!
In the last couple days, I’ve heard multiple family members profess their love for someone with dementia only to turn around and directly contradict themselves.
I think you know who I’m talking about. You may even recognize yourself. I certainly feel the stab of guilt when I hear such statements as this:
“I love my Mom…Grandma…Aunt…Uncle…Cousin…..” (whomever the person with Alzheimer’s / dementia may be) then they go on to say: “but I can’t possibly take their CAR away. They would hate me forever.”
That’s like saying I really love you so I’ll never mention the hole in the sidewalk directly in front of you until you fall in. Come on…
If you love someone, you try to keep them from harm. Keep them safe.
Driving a car (a 3,000 pound missile doing 70 miles an hour down a busy highway) is harmful. Not only harmful but downright dangerous if you have Alzheimer’s or dementia. It is also harmful and dangerous to other passengers or pedestrians who happen to wander into your path. They are innocent bystanders.
What if it’s your grandchild in the crosswalk when someone with dementia approaches?
And oh yea, as this little old lady with dementia rolls nearer to your grandchild, she’s struggling anxiously to recall just which pedal makes this hunk of metal STOP!
A few weeks ago a senior citizen in a “snow-bird” state, who should have had his license removed 5 years earlier made that same error.
He couldn’t remember which pedal made the car stop and instead of stopping in front of the convenience store, so he could walk inside, he pushed the gas pedal and ran right through the plate glass window, killing a female customer waiting to pay for a Slurpee.
As his family excused themselves for allowing him to drive, they said, “We know he has dementia but he’s a good driver. He’s never done anything like that before!”
Hmmm. Isn’t there a first time for everything?
Don’t let your first time be after it’s too late! If you have dementia, STOP driving. If you have a loved one who has dementia, TAKE THEIR CAR AWAY! They will continue to love you and eventually forget about the car–and you might save someone’s life.