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Alzheimer’s: When to stop driving

This article from the Mayo Clinic explains how to talk to an aging parent with Alzheimer’s about driving and when they should stop.

Aside from memory loss, Alzheimer’s can decrease reaction time and concentration, which makes driving extremely dangerous for seniors. Alzheimer’s patients may even have trouble judging distances and are much more likely to get lost while driving.

Talking to a parent with Alzheimer’s about ending their driving can be a very difficult conversation. Driving signals independence for many people and giving that up can mean the end of an era for them. Some important signs that a parent may need to stop driving are if they have difficulty navigating familiar places, or if they are continuously hitting curves while driving. If you don’t feel safe driving with them, they probably should not longer be driving. To make the transition easier for a parent, try to provide alternate transportation, or limit their need to drive by enlisting a grocery delivery system.

Sometimes, it may be difficult to get your loved one to stop driving and precautions may need to be taken like having a doctor talk to the senior.  Keeping the keys out of the senior’s sight may also make this transition easier.

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