If you have been diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease but are in the early stages, you may not need to stop driving immediately. Driving requires the simultaneous processing of visual, auditory, and tactile information in a dynamic and complex environment and as such, places high demands on many different cognitive domains, including memory, attention, executive function, visuospatial skills, and psychomotor coordination. E-mail: [email protected] For residents of the greater San Francisco Bay Area, FCA provides direct support services for caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, traumatic brain injury, Parkinson’s, and other debilitating health conditions that strike adults. Replacing the car keys with a set that won’t start the car. By Family Caregiver Alliance and reviewed by Vicki L. Schmall, Ph.D. Has accidents, near misses, or “fender benders.”. As driving and assessment skills decline, the risk of serious loss or injury increases. Mr R is a 73 year old Māori man who comes with his wife to discuss a recent diagnosis of dementia made by the DHB memory clinic. A study highlighted the negative consequences of stopping people with dementia from driving.w11 Stopping driving can limit access to family, friends, and services and is an independent risk factor for entry to a nursing home.w12 Traffic medicine has evolved significantly since the 1990s, with more emphasis on preserving mobility. If your loved one does not want you getting involved in their driving, get help from their health care provider, lawyer, or other family members. Understand how the patient and their family members (if present) feel about their driving, including asking about accidents or near-misses, and overall function. Support groups provide a good venue for both the caregivers and the individual to talk about their feelings and get advice from others in a similar situation. If the individual is reluctant to talk about driving, ask the individual’s physician or care manager to bring up the subject of driving during health care visits. He admits that he has been restricting his driving to short daytime trips lately, mainly to the local town to get his newspaper and Lotto ticket. Secondly, it is a common misbelief that a diagnosis of dementia means the automatic rescinding of a licence. Mr R tells you that he will be happy to stop driving eventually and may even do this before he sees you next, but he is pleased to have his licence for now. The fee for a driving assessment is between £50 and £130, depending on source of referral (Driving and dementia factsheet, The Alzheimer's Society, 2013).7 The assessment, including office-based and on-road tasks, takes about 2 hours. Drifts into other lanes of traffic or drives on the wrong side of the street. If you have concerns about your patient’s ability to drive the gold standard test is an on-road driving assessment. This type of driving evaluation typically includes two parts: one part in an office or clinic and the second part behind the wheel of a car. What is the practical impact of losing a driving licence? CDR and Driving. When Driving Becomes Unsafe Here are some ways to stop people with Alzheimer's disease from driving: Try talking about your concerns with the person. Finally, the decision to stop driving is often one of slow realisation. Educate all patients with dementia that eventually they must stop driving. Some individuals are aware of having difficulty with driving and are relieved when others encourage them to stop. This fact sheet provides guidelines to help caregivers and persons with dementia decide when and how to limit or stop driving. The quality of life for caregivers through education, services, research, and ask the person give! 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