Someone I know who has dementia is still driving. Should I be worried?
The diagnosis of dementia does not automatically mean that they will lose their driving license. During the early stages of the disease progression the person may be capable of still driving. The care partner can offer support to the person with the disease by offering to drive them to unfamiliar places, driving in bad weather, or if they need to go out at night. These tend to be the environments that make driving more difficult. If the care partner or friends notice driving difficulties of the person with the disease, for example driving more slowly and more cautiously; asking directional questions, failing to notice road signs; hesitating in making decisions at intersections or getting lost going to familiar locations; new dents or scrapes on the car. These are signals that changes may need to be made. This can be a difficult time for the person as it can impact the independence of the person living with dementia as well as the care partner. Letting them know that there are community supports for when driving can no long be done safely often is one strategy that can be helpful. Please connect with the Alzheimer Society outreach counsellor so that we can help to direct your needs to the best supports available.