A person diagnosed with dementia may still be able to drive safely. In the early stages of dementia, some individuals may still possess the necessary skills for safe driving. However, most dementia is progressive. This means that symptoms such as memory loss, decreased cognitive function, and visual-spatial disorientation will worsen over time. Hence, driving skills will also decrease over time. It is wise to forego driving when one reaches this stage as driving will no longer be safe for them and others.
Family members, friends, and even our caregivers in Illinois can always assist seniors when they need to travel. But some seniors will always prefer to go about their daily affairs by themselves, even those with dementia. It is a general rule that those with early-stage or mild dementia who wish to continue driving may do so by having their driving skills evaluated first. But those who suffer from moderate to severe dementia should no longer be allowed to drive. So, as family members, how can we assess our senior loved ones who have dementia to prohibit them from driving?
The behavioral signs to look out for include the following:
- Lesser coordination.
- Difficulty in judging distance and space.
- Getting lost or feeling disoriented in familiar places.
- Increased memory loss.
- Lesser alertness to things happening around them.
When any or all of these signs are present, it’s best to keep your seniors from driving. Instead, have professional drivers or caregivers who offer non-medical home care services assist them and keep them company whenever they travel.