For many people with dementia, there are ways to make the transition to no longer driving more of a natural progression than an abrupt stop. However, of course, they must stop driving immediately if their driving is already at the unsafe level. Otherwise, try these ideas to create opportunities to naturally limit how much the person with dementia drives, as well as tips for planning ahead.
Consider trying these ideas:
Here are some ways to try to decrease the person with dementia's interest in driving.
Driving is certainly a convenient way to get around, and yet it is not the only way. The person with dementia may be able to change certain routines like instead of visiting the bank, setting up automatic bill payments. The transportation options will depend on the person with dementia’s specific situation. Brainstorm together to come up with ideas like:
Consider gifting the car to a family member and, when appropriate, with the agreement that the family member, in return, will provide a certain number of drives a month for the person with dementia. Only consider taking away the car keys or selling or disabling the car as a last resort. Otherwise, it can create conflict or hurt feelings because the person with dementia may find this abrupt, extreme, disrespectful, insensitive, or interpret it as a punishment.
Help make the transition to no longer driving easier on the person with dementia, as well as on everyone involved by:
In addition, learn about alternative transportation options based on where the person with dementia lives (click here).
Here's what some family members have to say:
See various family/friend carers providing helpful ideas about how to transition to no longer driving. Although some of the content is specific to Australia, most of the ideas are helpful no matter where you live.
Source: Alzheimer's Australia Vic.
See various family/friend carers discussing the importance of planning early to transition to no longer driving.
Source: UCLA Dementia and Alzheimer's Care Program
We invite you to take this brief online survey that will help us improve the website.