Driving after a TIA - what next?

Hi Everyone I’m new here so hope you can shed light on this.

My Dad has had 3 TIA’s some months ago now the last one was since about the end of February and has since recovered and our Doctor was very happy with this and that he can drive again.

Fast forward since then he’s hardly driven, he only drove down to the doctors with me to make sure that he’s safe and it felt ok.

And since now and these recent attacks I’ve been doing all the driving about which is getting in the way of my life and he claims he has memory problems i.e if he was to drive, he would get “lost” or “confused” into where he is going.
He has problems at times with his “Balance”

Yet when I’m driving and he sits next to me he’s like a Sat Nav!

There maybe a point that he will stop driving for good which is going to put a strain on myself.

We saw our local optician for his and my mums appointment last week he explained his health issues and he expressed concern on why he is not driving at this rate and I vented my concerns and frustration and he’s advised him and me in confidence to go and see his doctor in the hope to find an answer and to get back to some sort of normality.

Any ideas on what options there surrounding this?

The thing is - if he had to stop driving for good then Ile be treated like a slave which is not fair on myself - so could get family members to chip in or so to speak.

I hope you can help me out.
Cheers
Rob

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Rob,

just ask him if he’d go on a short, low-key drive with you… play it down, and don’t make a big deal out of it. Give him some space, and to feel it’s his choice and in time he might slowly pick up in confidence…

good luck, both
ciao, Roland

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That’s a very good call.

This is what I will explain with the doctor when I see him.

But how can I get around the “Memory Problems?”

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@RobCharles1981 Hi & welcome to the forum. Sorry to hear of your dad’s TIAs. It may be that your dad has lost his confidence & it may take a while dor it to come back. Fatigue could be playing a part too as driving involves a lot of concentration & can tire someone easily. This could also be feeding into his memory issues as well. Try not to push him too hard & as @pando has said he might start to return to driving of his own accord. You could try taking him somewhere very quiet to practice every now & again. You don’t say your dad’s age but perhaps that’s playing a part too.

You could also look into things like dial a ride (might be called something else where you live) as an alternative to you driving him everywhere. Taxis might also be an option. Hospital transport for appointments if he’s eligible. Also friends & neighbours might help out.

Speak with his GP & they’ll test his memory. But i guess my best advice is give him time…push too hard & it might have the opposite affect.

Best wishes

Ann

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Hi Ann,

Many thanks for your warm welcome, my Dad is 84 and 85 next month hes still going in general.

I will see what our GP says this matter.

Thanks again
Rob

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Hope it all settles for you. He’s doing well to still be driving at 84. Hopefully it’ll just be time before it all returns to normal.

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Rob Charles. I have been driving after a stroke for several months but originally only with my husband in the passenger seat. I am very independent and hated being driven everywhere so one day I got into the car and forced myself to drive to a friend’s about a mile away. It was very scary but managed it plus getting out of the and back in etc etc. Since then I have driven by myself a few times but still get in a panic about it plus I find it very very tiring. I am literally holding onto the wheel for deal life and am all tensed up.
Hopefully it will get easier but think you need to let your Dad take the lead and decide when he feels ready to drive. Maybe you could encourage him by saying how independent he would be once he was driving again by himself and not relying on you. As someone else has said maybe find somewhere quiet and suggest he takes the wheel

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Thanks Apple Ile see how it unfolds.

It’s been 3 years since I had my TIA’s and I’m 62 now.
I surrendered my licence thinking I’d never drive again. They sent it back to me a year later and still it was some months before I got back behind the wheel because I just didn’t have the mental capacity to multitask at that level. I knew I was a danger to myself and other drivers if I got behind a wheel. Despite what the medical professions thought they knew! When I was fit enough, it was only with my hubby beside me for a couple months. Then I started driving going solo again and never looked back :smile:

Driving requires an awful lot of multitasking and relies heavily on good memory, good reaction times and recall, not only with the controls of the car but with the roads, but reading the road signs, the highway code, with the traffic and pedestrians, with the routes etc. You wouldn’t necessarily consider any of this because driving is still second nature to you and you haven’t had a stroke.

Your dad is 84, has had 3 TIA’s (which are actually strokes) he is not recovered from, driving is no longer second nature to your dad. He has balance issues same as I did, and one of the issues with that, which I suspect he is also suffering is a form of vertigo. When looking ahead and everything is coming toward you, there’s a sort of warping effect. I can’t explain very well myself but it’s not an eye condition it’s in the brain. I just know I couldn’t look out the windows very long so I’d just look down at my lap or read or something. And I think I had it for about a year after the stroke.

Based on my own experience, I side with your dad and his memory problems. He just can’t explain it clearly enough to you, just as I can’t.

And that is because his brain is not required to multitask, just concentrate of one task, directing you from A to B, that’s “simple stupid” by comparison to driving :slightly_smiling_face:

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Oh well said @EmeraldEyes. It’s something that if you haven’t had a stroke you just can’t imagine and that sums it up perfectly.

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Yes there’s, quite literally, more to stroke than meets the eye :wink:

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That’s exactly how I felt too. Just travelling in a car used to send me into a spin initially. It got better but still have days when i struggle.

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Hiya Rob …. I honestly think your dad is just a wee bit frightened and has lost his confidence …. I have barely driven since before the pandemic struck and just got really lazy and happy to let my husband drive me anywhere we had to go …. I probably use the fact I had all those mini strokes and brain bleeds couple years back as an excuse not to drive back then …… I have driven but usually very close to home and still not full of confidence. Annoying because my husband was rushed into hospital beginning of this week with serious chest infection and hardly able to breathe, but I cannot think of driving all the way to the hospital, my hip and knee are not good at the moment and painfull, and difficult to get there to visit …… perhaps me and your dad need a bit of a shove … I am 78 and my husband is now 80 but he still drives, cleans the car, repairs odd bits …. I really need more confidence … all the best to your dad :+1:

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Hi Ismeval,

That’s what I am thinking as I said in an early posting he sits next to me, and he’s “switched on” I know he’s seeing the doctor on Thursday to get this sorted out.
So lets see how that unfolds.

Hope your better half is on the mend!

Take Care
Rob

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