Driving with Dementia

The privilege to drive is a great symbol of freedom and independence—starting from the moment a teenager is granted their learner’s permit, and continuing through to an older individual being able to drive themselves to doctor’s appointments.  When a neurocognitive disorder affects changes in the brain, though, the risk of driving may outweigh the privilege to drive. This handout is designed to help provide information and resources regarding making decisions on whether or not to continue driving when risk factors begin to appear.

Many resources point to warning signs that indicate driving is becoming risky. While this is not an all-inclusive list, these are a few things to keep an eye out for:

  • Becoming lost or confused even in familiar locations
  • Failure to notice or obey traffic signs or signals
  • Trouble judging space or distance
  • Confusing gas & brake pedals
  • Driving at inappropriate speeds, often too slow

Making a decision on when to stop driving is difficult for both the driver and their loved ones. The following web resources offer more in-depth information on warning signs, guidance on how to approach the conversation, tips for easing into the transition, and more, including a driving safety contract:

A Wiser Mind has no professional relationships with the above resources.  Please use your best judgment when consulting with or referencing the above resources.

Don’t forget to reach out to your A Wiser Mind therapist with any questions or concerns. While we work directly with your loved one, our therapists can also offer guidance and advice in learning how to cope with the challenges that come from experiencing your loved one’s changes. If your therapist can’t offer direct support, we can help connect you with additional resources in your area.