Driving lessons

Share your ideas about the practical side of caring.
Hi all,

My name is Donna and I'm new to this site..... I care for my husband who has to incurable diseases and who is also the only driver! He is progressively getting worse and driving is becoming a problem, I desperately need to learn to drive but the age old problem of cost is stopping me. Does anyone know of any financial help I can get for lessons? Many thanks in anticipation :)
Welcome to the forum. Can I suggest that firstly you ring the Carers UK helpline for a full financial review, as you may be eligible for additional benefits, given your situation. There are lots of small charities around the country which have funds available for various causes. The directory is on a site called Turn2us.
That's a very tricky situation to be in, and I do feel for you. For years I 'didn't drive' (we lived inside the M25 and I was TERRIFIED of London traffic!). One does feel 'dependent'.

It can be very hard psychologically for men when they can no longer drive because of ill health - it is so strongly associated in their minds with 'manliness' (hope that conveys the right message). My husband, when his cancer progressed, had to give up driving, and I knew he found that very hard (he also loathed being driven by me - but that's another story!).

Anyway, in terms of you learning to drive. First of all, well done for 'accepting the challenge' - even if it's one that is being forced on you by very very sad circumstances.

I'm wondering whether, as a 'starter' strategy, that you could learn to drive WITH your husband, is he's still up to it. Yes, that might be a bit 'fraught' (!!!), but it would be free.....

Many parents of teenagers learning to drive do try and minimise the number of formal lessons because of the expense, but sometimes we 'swap' the children, so that they learn with 'someone else', and for that reason do you have any friends/other family, who might give you 'starter' lessons.

Also, don't forget that while you are a learner with a provisional licence, if (IF!) your husband is still up to it healthwise, he can be the passenger 'indefinitely' while you do the driving (if his nerves can take it......!)(though of course you won't be allowed on motorways)

Finally, don't forget you'll need now to pass a theory test, which will be computer based. I know there are quite a lot of 'computer games' that can teach you what you need to know, and give you practice runs at the PC. If these aren't free to download, charity shops often have such CDs, which will sell very cheaply, and ditto for any printed guides and so on.

Sorry that none of this addresses your core issue, the expense of formal driving lessons (they are usually a bit cheaper booked in blocks of ten) (but more to pay upfront alas), but they may help to keep the costs as low as possible.

Wishing you all the best possible in a sad and difficult situation - kind regards, Jenny
Hi Donna,

I think you can apply to your local social services to their carers' support fund for things like driving lessons. Give them a ring and enquire. It may not pay for all the driving lessons you need plus cost of tests etc, but you could get a couple of hundred pounds towards it.
Hi Donna, Lots of good advice and I think you should try SS for lessons as part of your Carer's assessment like Frito says. No harm in asking!
What a brilliant idea, of asking SSD. After all, a Carers Assessment is supposed to involve asking what support OR TRAINING a carer feels they need to support their caring role. Good luck.