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My father is so stubborn


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He just had his 12th round of WBR treatment today.

They told him last week that he still should not drive. But he told me that on Thurs (last treatment is Wed) he is going to drive. He feels like they aren't treating and looking at his capabilities. Well, they did - thats why they tested his reflexes and gave him the drunk driving test. But he thinks they should look at the fact that he drove for almost 50 years even under bad conditions (not able to see well, little sleep, etc) and take that into account.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can enforce not drviing w/ him. He is stubborn and is basically "yessing" me to death. Or as he said providing me with the answers I want to hear. I'm dealing w/ another toddler it seems (BTW he is always like this).

Thanks in advance.


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Go out and wreck the car! Kidding, but this isn't funny -- I know that.

We just got my 92 year old mother into an assisted living apartment. Until March of this year, she was still living in her house and driving around. Yikes! Scared us to death, but she wasn't stoppable, and the state of Texas continued to renew her DL as long as she could see the eye chart.

When her house started falling in around her and it became obvious she had to go somewhere, that was that. No car. No more driving.

I don't really have a clue how to handle this, except that we were prepared to sit down eyeball to eyeball and tell her a lot of things that we didn't have to once we worked through the assisted living place.

Good luck to you.


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I'm a stubborn gal myself, and I know the harder people push me, the harder I push back ("I'll show them!").

I wish I had a magical answer for you. I guess you can just be honest, and say, "Well, I sure wish you wouldn't drive." Also, you can remind him that his life isn't the only one taken into account with diminished capacities.

I'd guess he just wants some control back in his life. I can understand that. Patience is hard for us stubborn folks!

Good luck!

:) Kelly

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Is there any way you can arrange for a celebration at the end of WBR so that YOU (or someone else) drives him and a host of tag-alongs so that you can all go out to eat/have ice cream/play miniature golf at the end of his treatment? Treat him like a toddler if he's acting like one, BRIBE HIM with something fun... :wink:

I'm a bit pig-headed myself at times and know that when I'm told I CAN'T do something, I'm damn well GOING to do it. If someone offered me up a trip to the spa afterward, well, I could probably be coerced...

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In the state of Minnesota the DOCTOR can have your license pulled. Maybe you could talk to his doctor's and see if they can put the fear of GOD into him. I can NOT believe he wants to drive!! :shock: If he wants to possibly end his own life, well then, I guess that's his choice, BUT what if he hits a family a YOUNG mother and her two or three kids, or a Young mom and dad and the two kids or runs off the road into a playground, or a park?

You can talk to his doctor's and they can talk to him if you have concerns.

This is NOTHING TO TAKE LIGHTLY! Stubborn isn't the issue here. Take his keys away and remind him he was TOLD NOT TO DRIVE! IT's DANGEROUS! He can have a seizure and then what? He can black out, and then what. ALL these things are possible with WBR, AND SOME!

Could you live with yourself if something happened, and you knew you could prevent it from happening?

I know things can and do just happen with people and accidents DO happen, but this is something you can prevent or stop. If he's mad at you, I'm sure he'll get over it. But, I think you'll feel a LOT better knowing he's not driving and taking a HUGE RISK by doing so.

Good luck.

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Youe have a tough problem. On the one hand, you don't want your dad to take the risk of hurting himself badly in a car accident - or hurting or killing someone else - but on the other hand giving up driving may be a sign of the end of his life as he knows it. It's a problem people have to face as they age and no one seems to want to give up their independence easily.

Remind your dad this has nothing to do with age and everything to do with potential side effects of a medical treatment. I agree with ConnieB - ask him how he'd feel if he had a seizure and killed or paralyzed a child? Is his desire to continue driving worth that risk? Mario Andretti would get the same warning from is doctor - it has nothing to do with driving skills.

I found some info on a senior site (unfortunately there's more there than on radiation sites I found. Take out the Alzheimer's and age info and substitute side effects of WBR and it makes sense. Good luck to you and your dad.


When Your Family Member Who Shouldn't Drive Insists on Doing So

This Section is Published Through the Courtesy of Vicki L. Schmall, Ph.D.

It is important to involve older family members in decisions about driving. However, when a person has a dementia, such as Alzheimer's disease, family members need to take an active role in making and carrying out decisions.

People with Alzheimer's disease or a related disorder simply may not remember that they can no longer drive. Arguing or giving explanations about why the person no longer can drive usually does not work. You will likely only get more frustrated, and so will your family member. Families have found many of the following actions - which are also suggested by the Alzheimer's Association - worked for them.

Get a prescription from the doctor that states "no driving"

Show this to your relative when s/he insists on getting behind the wheel.

Distract the person

When your family member insists on driving, try to get his or her attention focused on something else. For example, one wife would say to her husband, "I was just fixing a bowl of your favorite ice cream. Let's eat it first." Another wife would say, "We can't drive now. The car needs to be repaired."

Control access to car keys

Do not leave car keys in view of your family member. Give him or her a different, but similar-looking set of keys or have a locksmith file the part of the key that turns the ignition. The person can still enter the car, but will not be able to start it. Some people, however, may become frustrated and angry when "the keys won't work."

Disable the car

A car mechanic can show you how to quickly disable a car - remove the distributor cap or battery or unplug the starter wire - so it won't run and what to do to get it to operate again. Another option is to have a "kill wire" installed. It prevents the car from starting unless a switch is thrown. If your family member lives alone, this may not be a good option. As one family said:

"We knew how important Dad's car was to him. I had never seen him cry so hard as the day we told him he could no longer drive. He finally agreed not to drive, but wanted to keep his car in his driveway. Since we did not know if he would remember that he was not to drive, as a precaution, we made his car inoperable. What we did not count on is that a week later he would call a mechanic to repair the car."

Move the car

For some people, seeing the car is what triggers the desire to drive. Try parking the car where your family member does not see it but where you can get easy access.

Sell the car

You might use the excuse that the car cannot be repaired or that the car was no longer safe to drive.

In addressing driving concerns, it is important to remember that:

Driving is not a right; it is a privilege, which the state may grant or withhold.

An older driver does not automatically equal an unsafe driver. Do not hassle the older family member who is driving safely. Age is not the most important criterion for determining an unsafe driver.

When asking a person to give up driving, we are asking a great deal.

Driving and owning a car have a symbolic meaning as well as practical significance.

It is important to work with your family member, so that it is his or her decision.

If your family member is putting others at risk by driving, or is cognitively impaired, you will need to take an active role in the decision.

Public safety is a high priority. How well a person drives affects the lives of everyone else on the road. Act if you must!

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Unfortunately, it looks like you've been placed right between a rock and a hard spot. I have heard so many people, that are caregivers for elderly parents, say that driving privilige is the very hardest issue to deal with. I'm sure that your father feels this is the end to his independence and he is holding on for dear life! I would definitley take all the advice others have already given and try everything. I would begin with Connie's advice and let your doctor be the "bad guy." Maybe you could even contact the drivers license bureau in your state and ask them for suggestions. Maybe they could temporarily pull your dad's license until a doctor authorizes him to drive. I hope you will be able to work this out with your dad.

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Thanks so much everyone for your input. Maybe he has heard me. I've pointed it all out, my brother has pointed it all out, so we will see. My brother has threatened to go over and let the air out of his tires. I've read all your responses to my mother. I know she is stressing about this as well.

The good news is that he told my mom last night that he is feeling better than he has in a while. So hopefully something positive is happening there. He must have been really thinking about what I said as he told my brother he talked with me.

I'll keep you all updated. If anyone has any other suggestions, please let me know.



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Yes people are stubborn but could you get

away by borrowing his car, as long as somebody

drives him to his treatments.

Many reasons could be given for the borrowing

it would settle the problem for a while or till

he can drive again.

Thinking of you


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Thanks for all the input. I think we got through to him, especially after I hit him with "I think you better write a letter that I can give to the family you might kill". Plus the Dr said that he could start driving after another week. So I think he feels the reprive. I saw him tonight and he looks and sounds much better. Not wobbly really at all. I will reinforce that to my mom before she gives him the yay or nay (Dr said she should also judge him - which blew my dads mind way out of here).

So we will see where we go from here. I think borrowing the car is the best solution overall, especially if I see or hear that he is about to drive but is not ready. (But honestly I don't feel like I should have to judge that).


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