Young caregivers

TBI & Driving

This topic contains 1 reply, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Adrienne Gruberg 5 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #62856 Reply

    Amanda Diaz

    My brother had a TBI six months ago. He still hasn’t been cleared to drive, but that doesn’t stop him.

    He’s been living with our parents during his recovery, but I’m only 15 minutes away, so I’ve been making sure to stop by every day. I make myself available to run any errands he has (I’m going to the shops anyway) and take him out. We’re only a year apart, so we have a lot of the same friends. Our dad is retired, so he’s also ready to drive my brother wherever he needs to go.

    But it doesn’t stop him from driving. He doesn’t need to drive himself in order to get around, but he takes it as a personal affront if we try to stop him. We’re taking away his rights as a man. Only the fact that they took away his drivers license doesn’t matter to him!

    My parents are tired of arguing with him and are letting him drive. I feel really uncomfortable with this. He’s putting himself and others at risk.

    Am I overreacting? What do I do?

  • #62857 Reply

    Adrienne Gruberg

    Amanda –

    This is one of the most frequently asked questions caregivers have. It’s usually about taking keys away from parents though, so you are most unique in that regard.

    Clearly, legally, he needs to have his license back if he’s going to be behind the wheel and since he’ll hopefully be fully recovered soon (will he?) and then it won’t be a problem.

    You have the benefit of being able to put the blame on the people who took his license away to begin with. You can ask him if he’s ready to be re-evaluated by them — one way of dealing with it.

    This is all in his interest. You don’t want him to get stopped for driving without a license and risk having that on his record. Make a case for that. You’re concerned for him. You know he can drive, it’s just a matter of time before he gets the keys back.

    You are NOT overreacting. Men and women hate having the car keys taken from them. It speaks to their mental state as well as their masculinity. Women just don’t like having their freedom taken away. They all feel entitled. They’ve been driving forever, know how and why should they be stopped? Why? Because they’re a danger to themselves and others, that’s why. So…if he’s ready to be evaluated, take him.

    Do you feel safe in the car when he’s driving? How healed is his injury? I have an 86 year old friend who just suffered a TBI and I have no idea whether or not she’ll ever be fully herself again. It’s like it brought on a scatterbrained aspect of her personality that was never there. She was old but showed no sign of Alzheimer’s or dementia. She’s gotten back to herself a lot, but not completely. So how would you evaluate your brother.

    Let me know how this sounds, please.

    Hugs – Adrienne (adrienne@thecaregiverspace.org)

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