Many insurance companies require that they be informed if the driver suffers from any condition that might affect his or her driving ability. Sometimes claims can be held up if this information is not provided, so caregivers should inform the insurance company as soon as possible about their loved one's diagnosis of dementia and ask how this might affect coverage.
Driving often becomes more risky and dangerous for someone with dementia as the disease progresses. However, driving (and stopping driving) is also one of the activities that causes most controversy and frustration between people with dementia and and their families.
Losing the ability to drive represents a loss in independence and control, because people with dementia are no longer able to move around independently and control the course of their day. However, while respecting dignity and independence is important, it is not as important as the safety of both the person with dementia and others around them.
Driving is an activity that is often taken for granted in terms of its complexity. Think about it — a driver must be able to do lots of things at once:
Caregivers should consider these warning signs that their loved one may not be able to drive safely and responsibly:
Source: The Hartford
Description: This web guide contains FAQs, warning signs, and other resources on the topic of dementia and driving. A printable "Agreement About Driving" can help you and your loved one plan ahead for when your loved one should no longer be driving.
Source: Alzheimer's Association
Description: This fact sheet provides information and statistics on driving and provides suggestions for when driving becomes a problem.
Source: Better Health Channel (Australia – Victoria)
Description: This web page discusses warning signs of dangerous driving and provides advice for what to do when the person should no longer be driving.
Source: Mayo Clinic
Description: This article discusses when your loved one should stop driving, and offers tips on how to make the transition from driver to passenger. It also explains that in addition to forgetfulness, changes in visual reasoning can make driving dangerous.