Helping Driver's with Alzheimer's to Stop
When should a driver with Alzheimer's stop
There comes a point when a person with Alzheimer's disease has to stop driving. Statistics show that that is generally about two years after diagnosis. When you cannot rely on your loved one to be a safe driver it becomes your responsibility to help them give up the car keys.
The difficult decision to stop driving
Giving up driving represents a sad milestone in the journey of Alzheimer's disease. Loss of independence, freedom and family role are just some of them so it is not surprising that giving up such a fundamental part of life can be traumatic. Emotionally it can cause sadness, depression, anger and frustration. You are also going to have to deal with the practicalities. So, here are some tips on how to deal with giving up driving.
Plan to stop driving
We know that someone with Alzheimer's disease will have to stop driving at some point. Plan and discuss how you will deal with that event.
Emotional support when driving stops
Acknowledge the emotions giving up being a driver creates in both of you. That way you will be able to recognize and deal better with mood changes linked to the event. Praise and reassure the person giving up that he/she has made the best decision.
Getting Alzheimer's driver assessed
If you are worried about contributing to the decision to get your loved one to stop driving, get them assessed. A doctor, psychologist or occupational health worker can assess memory, aptitude, abilities and motor skills required for driving. Having a doctor or health care worker affirm that driving must stop is often the event that will get the message across to someone that they must stop driving.
State Regulations about driving with Alzheimer's
Strategies to stop people with Alzheimer's return to driving
Remember that research carried out in the US estimates that the risk of traffic accidents caused by patients with Alzheimer's is about the same as those in the 16- to 21-year-old age group or driver's after an alcoholic drink whose blood alcohol levels are under the legal limit.