In order to facilitate adaptation, it will be important to make alternative transport arrangements so that the mobility and level of activity of the individual are not unduly restricted. Family members, friends, and neighbors may offer to lead the person to social commitments and appointments. If the dementia is mild, the person can use public transport or taxis. Caregivers can reduce the need to drive by having food, meals and prescription medication delivered. It is important to compare current behavior with behavior before the onset of dementia. For example, weigh a person`s “difficulty multitasking” against their previous skills. Changes in behavior will be more noticeable to family and friends who have interacted closely with the person over time. Share and discuss your observations with other family members, friends and health care providers. If a person clearly shows that they can drive safely, it is still important that family and friends continue to monitor the person`s driving behavior, as the person`s driving skills can decrease significantly in a short period of time. The goal of surveillance is to identify a problem before it becomes a crisis.
If there are doubts about safety, the person with dementia should not drive. For people in the early stages of Alzheimer`s disease, it`s never too early to plan ahead how you`ll get around when you can`t drive anymore. Implementing a plan can be an exciting way to make your voice heard. In England and Wales, drivers must notify the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). In Northern Ireland, they must inform the Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA). Medicaid programs Among the many assistance programs for low-income seniors (including those with dementia) available through Medicaid are transportation services. However, these programs are not consistent from state to state or even within states. In general, transportation assistance is provided through Medicaid Home and Community Services (HCBS) waivers. Contact your state`s Medicaid office to see if your loved one qualifies. Most drivers with Alzheimer`s disease must stop driving in the intermediate stage of dementia.
Some types of dementia have certain early symptoms that mean the end of driving could be earlier. For example, visual hallucinations are common in dementia with Lewy bodies and impulsive behavior is common in frontotemporal dementia. State laws vary in terms of when a person with Alzheimer`s disease should stop driving. In some states, doctors are required to report to the state`s Department of Motor Vehicles if a person has been diagnosed with Alzheimer`s disease or dementia. In other cases, anyone can report a potentially dangerous driver to the state. Check with your state`s motor vehicle department for more information. You may also need to notify the person`s auto insurance company. The cognitive and physical abilities of drivers with moderate or severe dementia have deteriorated to such an extent that driving would be dangerous and deprived of their driving privilege.
Getting angry on the road is typical for many drivers, but if your loved one is particularly frustrated or confused while driving, it`s a good indicator that it`s time to take the keys. Other signs to watch out for: Drivers with dementia should immediately notify their regulator and auto insurer. Learn more about the UK`s Driving and Dementia Act and what happens if these rules are not followed. If a person with dementia wants to continue driving, they must report DVLA/DVA. The agency will ask for the person`s medical information and decide if they can drive safely. Or DVLA/DVA may ask the person to take a driving assessment. You can read more about this in the “How to continue after a dementia diagnosis” section. Because the progression of dementia varies, people who have shown the ability to drive safely should still gradually begin to change their driving. This can reduce the risk of accidents if the person`s driving skills decrease significantly between assessments.
The transition from driver to passenger over time can help ease adaptation. Encourage people to try some of the following examples: Cindy lives outside the state and visits her mother, Renee, who had Fender-Benders. Cindy talks to her mother about her assessment for driving and other ways to get around the city. People in the middle to advanced stages of dementia should not drive because the danger to themselves and others is too great. For example, it is too easy to lose concentration and pass over a red light. The sad fact is that anyone with dementia has to stop driving at some point, probably within three years, and it`s up to the people around them (including you) to determine when that`s the case. Consulting the doctor or conducting a driving test by the local Motor Vehicle Ministry are ways to get a concrete answer instead of leaving it to your own feelings. Asking doctors, nursing managers, and other health professionals to bring up the topic of conduct in their conversations with individuals can help initiate dialogue.
Support groups also provide a good place for caregivers and people with dementia to voice their concerns and get advice from others in a similar situation. Government regulations provide specific guidelines for determining the ability to drive. California Department of Motor Vehicles. Dementia (VDD assessment). (updated 2017) www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/driversafety/dementia.htm Volunteer Driver Programs Volunteer driver programs help transport seniors, people with disabilities, and people with dementia from intermediate to advanced stages. In most cases, transportation is modified to meet the needs of your loved ones, such as wearing health equipment and making multiple stops. Drivers can even be trained to deal with dementia. These programs can be free or ask for a suggested donation between $5 and $10 each way. Contact your local aging agency to inquire about volunteer driving programs or find one on the National Center for Mobility Management website.
Memory Care/Assisted Living If driving is not possible and other transportation options are not practical, consideration may be given to eliminating the need for transportation by moving to a nursing home with assisted living or memory services. Free assistance is available to help families find apartments close to them and within their budget. Regardless of the legality, to protect your loved one with dementia, your family and other drivers, it is recommended that you take the following driving-related steps if a loved one is diagnosed with dementia. As with dementia, DVLA/DVA asks for a medical report and decides if the person can drive safely. Some people with dementia are aware that they have difficulty driving and are relieved when others encourage them to stop. However, the loss of driving privileges may be inconvenient. MCI can affect a person`s conduct, but this happens much less often than with dementia. This means that drivers diagnosed with MCI do not always need to inform DVLA/DVA of their condition. To determine when a person can no longer drive safely, family and caregivers should be carefully monitored. The following list contains warning signs that it`s time to stop driving: Drivers who have been medically diagnosed with moderate to severe dementia cannot be re-examined because the disease has progressed to such an extent that it is no longer safe for the person to drive.
When dementia worsens, it affects these abilities even more. This means that at some point, anyone with dementia will no longer be able to drive safely. The speed with which this happens varies from person to person. The California Health and Safety Code [Section 103900] requires physicians to submit a confidential report to the county Department of Health if a person is diagnosed with Alzheimer`s disease or related disorders, including dementia, that are severe enough to affect a person`s ability to operate a motor vehicle. This information is shared with the Ministry of Motor Vehicles (DMV), which has the authority to take action against the driving privileges of any person who is unable to operate a motor vehicle safely. If the doctor`s report shows that a person suffers from moderate or severe dementia, that person is no longer allowed to drive a motor vehicle. DMV found that only drivers with mild-stage dementia can still have the cognitive functions necessary to continue driving safely.