Welcome to Driving with Dementia


I have dementia and I am still driving. I am interested in:


Recognizing when it becomes unsafe to drive

  • As soon as you have a dementia diagnosis, it is important to keep checking whether your driving is safe.
  • If you notice changes in your driving, you should start thinking about whether you are still able to drive safely.
  • It may become more difficult to recognize that you are no longer able to drive safely.

Answer these questions on a regular basis to check whether your driving is safe:

  • Do you sometimes feel unsure of yourself or anxious while driving?
  • Have you had any close calls such as almost hitting a person or another car?
  • Do other drivers honk at you?
  • Have you driven through a stop sign or red light or have you stopped at a green light?
  • Have you ever gotten lost while driving?
  • Have you noticed issues with your driving skills like difficulty keeping in your lane, staying within the speed limit, changing lanes, turning or merging?
  • Has anyone told you that your driving skills are deteriorating or that your driving is unsafe?
  • Has anyone refused to drive with you?

If you answer yes to some of these questions, perhaps it’s time to start having conversations with someone you trust about your driving. For example, family member, friend, neighbour, or doctor. Also, ask a family member or friend to drive with you so that they can observe how you drive. For getting help regarding deciding to stop driving, here are some tips (click here).

Here's what a person with dementia has to say:

  • Be aware of yourself, stand up for yourself and don’t deny if you realize you may have a problem. Or if someone says, 'Hey I don’t think you should drive anymore', don’t just go, 'Yes, I can'.  Be mindful of all of that.
  • A healthcare professional or a drivers' licensing authority may request that you take a comprehensive driving evaluation. It is sometimes called a functional assessment.
  • It assesses whether your dementia is affecting your ability to drive safely.
  • It is not the same as the government driving test you took to get your license for the first time.
  • It involves specialized driving tests typically conducted by an occupational therapist and a driving instructor.
  • Here is what you can expect during the evaluation:
    • A healthcare professional called an occupational therapist will review your medical and driving history.
    • The occupational therapist will also assess your sensory, physical, and mental abilities related to driving.
    • A driving instructor and an occupational therapist will go out for a drive with you and check how well you handle the car on the road.
    • The occupational therapist will review the results with you and recommend whether you should continue or stop driving.

See this daughter and mother discuss the possibility of the mother having a driving assessment and about other ways to get around. Please note that the video mentions a resource called the Eldercare Locator at eldercare.gov that is based on the United States so it is not applicable in Canada.

Source: The Alzheimer's Association 

Click on the titles below. After reviewing a worksheet, when you close the worksheet's web page, it will automatically take you back to here.

  • Use this Dementia and Driving - A Decision Aid to help you decide the right time to stop driving. This is a Canadian version that was produced by the University of Wollongong, Australia as well as researchers from the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA). Please note, it may take about a minute to download.
  • Try this Simple Driving Assessment. Although it is not an official driving assessment, use it as a starting point to assess your ability to drive safely. It was provided by the Canadian Automobile Association. 
  • Ask someone you trust to help you use this checklist: Warning Signs for Drivers with Dementia. It was produced by The Hartford.