Dementia and Driving

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Deciding when to limit or stop driving can be a confusing issue for individuals diagnosed with dementia and their caregivers. Dr. Edward Hill discusses dementia and driving in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Dementia is a problem that makes it hard for a person to remember things. People with dementia slowly lose their memory, and over time they stop being able to take care of themselves or do things as well as they use to. This includes driving.

Be on the lookout for the warning signs of dementia. These include not being able to remember recent events, repeating statements or questions, or not knowing the date or time.

Look for a change in the persons driving skills. Does he or she change lanes without looking? Does he or she get upset or confused in heavy traffic, or have trouble following directions? Check to see if the persons car has scrapes or dents.

If a person is judged to be unsafe, he or she must stop driving. It is important to help this person find other ways to get around. Older people can become depressed when they stop driving. Doctors and social workers can help.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.