Welcome to Driving with Dementia


I am a healthcare professional and I am interested in:


Understanding my role

As a healthcare professional—whether you are a family doctor, geriatrician, geriatric psychiatrist, neurologist, nurse practitioner, nurse, social worker or occupational therapist—you play an important role regarding driving and dementia. The assessment of fitness to drive in dementia is critically important to both patient and public safety. Similarly, depending on your location in Canada and your discipline, adhering to your legal obligation to report unsafe driving helps protect patients and the public. Likewise, your efforts facilitating the driving cessation process can make a huge impact on the quality of life of your patients and their family/friend carers. Not only can your efforts help ease the transition to non-driving, but they can also help improve health outcomes and quality of life post driving cessation.

Depending on your healthcare discipline, whether you are working in a team, as well as whether you are in a rural or urban environment, your role may include many of the following responsibilities:

  • Initiating the topic of driving cessation with older adult patients and their family/friend carers, early on, when cognitive concerns are first raised, even prior to a potential diagnosis of dementia.
  • Recognizing that although a diagnosis of dementia does not always necessitate immediate driving cessation, all people with dementia will have to stop driving at some point due to the associated safety risks.
  • Understanding that a diagnosis of dementia means that you must ask the person with dementia if they are still driving and if so, assess and document their fitness to drive.
  • Following your provincial regulations about reporting patients who you deem unfit to drive and if the person with dementia is deemed fit to continue driving, reassess their fitness to drive every 6 months.
  • Recognizing challenges throughout the process and facilitating ongoing discussions that address the practical, emotional, and physical impact of driving cessation on everyone involved, including your own emotional drain.
  • Providing support for practical and emotional needs after driving cessation.

Here are some opportunities for additional learning: