Is driving with dementia possible? This is one of the first questions people with dementia and their caregivers ask when they are diagnosed. This is because some diagnoses can pose traffic risks without proper education. However, when it becomes to dementia, stages matter. Those in early stages, may not have problems with driving. But as it progresses, the patient begins to put up with newer challenges such as memory loss, visual-spatial disorientation, poor cognitive function, etc.
At this stage, driving becomes impossible and the person has to let go, regardless of how painful it is. For their safety and the safety of other drivers and pedestrians on the road.
In this article, we aim to explain if driving with dementia is possible.
Dementia—What is it?
Dementia is a term that describes a disease that negatively affects cognitive functions such as; thinking, memory, problem-solving skills, language, daily routines, etc. Generally, we can simply say dementia is a loss of memory. Driving with dementia is not just a concern for the patient. Dementia can affect relationships between patients and family, friends, colleagues, etc.
Dementia with driving—Effects
Because one has been diagnosed with dementia does not mean they will be stopped from driving. People with dementia still drive. At least statistics show 1 in 3 drives. But if you have gone beyond the first stage already, here are things you should consider before you get behind the wheels.
Driving with dementia will affect your coordination ability, making you less coordinated. Driving with dementia makes it almost impossible for you to judge distance. Driving with dementia can leave you disoriented even in places you’re familiar with. Driving with dementia decreases your inherent ability to be alert or react to things happening around you. Multitasking becomes difficult too. Finally, it could create problems for you in decision making thereby leading to confusion. For example, someone with dementia may have a serious challenge in choosing whether to hit the accelerator or brake pedal.
Sometimes when people with dementia are told not to drive, they interpret it as you disrespecting their right to drive. As a caregiver what are you supposed to do if your loved one is in that situation?
You can offer to drive them to wherever they are going be it a social event, worship center, grocery store, etc.
Steadily advise them to use public transport for their running around. And, for distances that aren’t far, encourage them to walk.
What are those things that make them drive to get it? You can cut it by encouraging a home delivery service. You can also get help from friends and family to help them with stuff.
When to stop driving
When you should stop driving? Well, when your doctor tells you it’s time to stop. It is best you respect and keep to the doctor’s advice.
Driving with dementia is possible! But then again, it depends on the stages of dementia, the doctor’s recommendation, and your driving evaluation results.wi…