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Many people with dementia are able to continue driving for some time. The assessment is carried out by an Occupational Therapist and an advanced driving instructor and usually lasts between one and two hours. To help a person with decisions about driving: 1. Stroke Drivers Screening Assessment, to be purchased. This helps them get used to the car and allows the instructor to check that they are safe to go on the public road. The NZTA guidelines specify that patients with dementia should not drive “where cognitive impairments may affect an individual’s ability to drive safely”.2This decision is straightforward in cases of moderate or severe dementia, when driving must be stopped, but is more difficult in cases of mild dementia or MCI, as safety cannot be inferred from cognitive test results or dementia stage. You can arrange an independent assessment of your driving performance and safety whilst you still hold a licence to drive. The assessment of driving risk can be difficult for clinicians, not least because there is ... 1.2 As our population continues to increase in age, so too will the prevalence of dementia in the UK, which is estimated to reach over 1 million by 2025 [2]. Call the National Helpline. If you are worried about a person with dementia driving, you may find it helpful to do the following: If the person with dementia has been told that they can continue driving, it may be beneficial to suggest the following to them, to help keep them confident and safe: If a person with dementia is no longer able to drive, they and their family might need some support adapting to this change. As long as the person listens to what is said by the instructor, and agrees to give up if they are classed as unsafe. 296645. After you've been diagnosed with dementia, the GP should arrange to see you from time to time, to check how you're managing. Most people in the early stages of dementia are physically capable of controlling a car. The person’s eyesight is also checked. This part happens in a dual-control car, which has a brake on the passenger’s side as well as the driver’s side. This is not a driving test but an assessment of ability to continue driving; The person’s licence is cancelled and they … Clinical assessment is required. DVLA/DVA will refer the driver to a centre near their home and will pay for the assessment. more common dementias i.e. Some people choose to have an assessment without DVLA/DVA asking them to. may also ask you to complete a driving assessment at a DVLA driving assessment centre. Increasingly as the management of dementia moves entirely into primary care we may find ourselves being presented with this tricky scenario. Here’s our Privacy Policy. driver number on their driving licence (if known). If the person with dementia is the main or only driver in a family, this change can be challenging for everybody. You will need a valid driving license for this assessment. It is not only the person with dementia who can be affected by their ceasing to drive. Talk about the safety of the driver and others 4. … They never ask for a home visit as he always drives her to the surgery. The person with dementia must also bring their driving licence and any glasses they need for driving. In this case, someone else will need to drive the person home if they came to the centre by car. Results >8 or <5 on the GPCOG patient section were assumed to be cognitively intact or impaired, respectively. The first step for someone who is diagnosed with dementia and wants to keep driving is to tell DVLA/DVA about their diagnosis straightaway. You are here: Home / Get support / Diagnosis and next steps / Driving and dementia. Licensing decisions made by the DVLA are usually based on medical reports. There are two components: a cognitive assessment conducted with the patient, and an informant questionnaire (only considered necessary if the results of the cognitive section are equivocal, ie score 5-8 inclusive). It is carried out by a specialist occupational therapist and an advanced driving instructor. 2 Dementia UK Driving and dementia When someone who drives receives a diagnosis of dementia, one of the first concerns they and their family often have is whether they can continue to drive. Dementia UK is a registered charity in England and Wales (1039404) and Scotland (SCO47429). Dementia and driving You must tell DVLA if you have dementia. So when a person is diagnosed with dementia, they may start to worry that they will no longer be able to drive, due to a loss in coordination and spatial awareness, or difficulty recalling directions. If the DVLA decides you are safe to continue driving, they will issue you with a new licence that is valid for a limited period. Here is some information on the legal requirements, as well as some practical suggestions to support both the person with dementia and their family. 7th Floor Not everyone will need a brain scan, particularly if the tests and assessments show that dementia is a likely diagnosis. These guidelines, endorsed by the BGS, set out the responsibilities of clinicians to their patients and provide a framework for thinking about the management of their driving safety. 2115499. www.dementiauk.org/emotional-impact-of-the-diagnosis, Dementia UK leaflet on Changing roles and relationships When someone with dementia stops recognising you, How to commission or host an Admiral Nurse service, www.dementiauk.org/emotional-impact-of-the-diagnosis, www.dementiauk.org/changing-roles-and-relationships, www.drivingmobility.org.uk/ find-a-centre/, www.gov.uk/government/organisations/driver-and-vehicle-licensing-agency, Take some time together to share your concerns with the person and explain what you are worried about and why. Discussions about Driving in our online community, Talking Point... We will remember your selection for future visits; you can change your choices at any time, Five things you should know about dementia, Equipment, adaptations and improvements to the home, Using technology to help with everyday life, Take part in Dementia voice opportunities, Make your organisation more dementia friendly, Risk factors and treatments - we discuss evidence, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Dementia, When DVLA/DVA decides that a person with dementia must stop driving, Giving up driving after a dementia diagnosis. Prices vary but the average cost is between £70–90. Dementia UK, An immediate revoke of the person’s licence Although stopping driving can be a challenging time, it does not mean that you and the person you care about cannot live a fulfilling life. Driving Assessments for people with Dementia. The assessment is not a driving test, but is an overall assessment on the impact of dementia on the person’s driving. Driving is a complex task, requiring the use of various skills, including navigation, spatial awareness and speed of reaction. After that, your competence will be reviewed at least once every 12 months. EC3N 1RE, Tel: 020 8036 5400 In some cases, a person with dementia will continue to drive despite encouragement not to, or will decide not to inform the DVLA of their diagnosis. People with a diagnosis of dementia often want to continue driving. Reaction time and limb strength are tested on a special static ‘rig’. Practice dilemma - Driving with dementia. It will take only 2 minutes to fill in. If you have any feedback, please send an email to: feedback@dementiauk.org. Once the person has returned it, DVLA/DVA will speak to their doctor. In these cases, the person must get in touch with the centre directly and pay for the assessment. With ongoing support and understanding, a person with dementia and those who care for them can successfully adjust to not driving. As the disease progresses the ability to drive safely is eventually lost and at that point current regulations demand that driving stops. Assessment. DVLA/DVA may: In all cases, DVLA/DVA will tell the person in writing. They can get in touch with their licensing agency by post, on the phone or online (see ‘Driving and dementia – other resources’ for full contact details). If an on-road assessment is required, then the DVLA will refer the licence holder to a centre close to them. The person condition’s must be reviewed every time they renew their licence. Most mobility centres provide an aftercare service for people who have stopped driving (see Sources of support). To help us improve GOV.UK, we’d like to know more about your visit today. While a person with dementia may be able to drive safely, driving may feel a bit more difficult than before. We can be contacted by telephone on 0300 300 2240 or by email at info@rdac.co.uk Begin the conversation as soon as possible and involve the doctor 2. It can be very worrying for families if the person they care about continues to drive as there can be concerns about the person’s safety. The Dilemma - You have been the GP to an elderly couple for over 20 years. The person drives with the advanced driving instructor in the passenger seat and the occupational therapist in the back. People can self-refer or be referred by a … Assessment Stopping driving in the interim, persuading, breaking confidentiality After informing the DVLA Who to call for advice? A license may be given on an annual basis for review or up to a maximum three years, when dementia progression is slow and people retain sufficient skills. Driving can be part of maintaining independence and an active life. You can be fined up to £1,000 if you don’t tell DVLA about a medical condition that affects your driving. Brain scans are often used for diagnosing dementia once the simpler tests have ruled out other problems. Some carers feel this is an indication that the person’s dementia is progressing. Overall, it can take about two hours. 3. only drive when they feel fully awake and well. Evaluating driving safety in patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia can be challenging. … • Performance on tests compared with the overall decision by the centre on participants fitness to drive. © Dementia UK 2021. I know [at some point] I will give up driving.” Three steps you must take following a diagnosis of dementia Step 3: Complete an ‘on-road’ driving assessment Your insurance company and your doctor may ask you to complete an ‘on-road’ driving assessment. His wife doesn't drive, but knows it's time to discuss finding alternative transportation. Read more about this and find out what happens if DVLA/DVA decides a person with dementia can keep driving. These tests are known as cognitive assessments, and may be done initially by a GP. This is an assessment to look at your ability to keep you, your passengers and other road users safe. A driving assessment will be arranged for drivers diagnosed with dementia (Image: … You can change what you receive at any time and we will never sell your details to third parties. Because symptoms of dementia are likely to worsen over time, individuals who pass a driving evaluation should continue to be re-evaluated every six months. This series of leaflets has been written by Admiral Nurses, to help you to make decisions as a family about accessing the support you need, as well as anticipate and manage some common issues. Cognitive assessment is central to the diagnosis and management of dementia and should be performed in all people with suspected dementia [Sorbi, 2012]. Registered as a company limited by guarantee and registered in England No. Ongoing dementia assessment. The loss of a driving licence can present other opportunities for people with dementia and their partner, for example, finding more local groups and going on walks together as opposed to driving. If you have a medical condition or disability which may affect your driving, you should take an assessment at a Mobility Centre, rather than just a simple driving assessment or refresher training. The DVLA will talk to your medical team and may, if it feels it is necessary, ask you to attend a driving assessment at a mobility centre. Following a diagnosis, it is often better if the person with dementia decides to stop driving themselves, as this not only reduces any risks to them and others, but also helps them to maintain their sense of control. which drives in UK • 1 Taking anti-depressants and hypnotics, both proven to hinder driving Who did the equation misclassify? It is the best test of a person’s driving ability. People with symptoms of dementia are given tests to check their mental abilities, such as memory or thinking. of driving ability than surrogate assessments. Driving is a complex task, requiring the use of various skills, including navigation, spatial awareness and speed of reaction. www.dementiauk.org/changing-roles-and-relationships, Dementia UK leaflet on Dealing with stigma These skills can be affected by dementia, depending upon the type of dementia someone has and the part of the brain that is affected. If DVLA/DVA decides that a person with dementia can keep driving, they will send them a new driving licence. It is important to acknowledge this is how they may be feeling and allow them to talk about this openly, even if you are unable to provide a resolution. Confusion Over Colors, Words, or Road Rules. For people with early dementia, this may be up to three years. www.dementiauk.org/staying-healthy, Dementia UK tips for better communication Tel: 020 8036 5400 Ongoing dementia assessment After you've been diagnosed with dementia, the GP should arrange to see you from time to time, to check how you're managing. If you are concerned about any other conditions that a person has, it is important to visit your GP, or write to them, if you are caring for someone from a distance. It is a good idea for those close to the person with dementia to stay aware of their driving skills. It is better at identifying those who are safe, than unsafe on the road. They won’t have to pay a fee for this and DVLA will send a reminder letter. People can self-refer or be referred by a … The memory service where you were assessed may also continue to see you in the early stages. Many clinicians use the adage that if the son or daughter of a person with dementia is happy for their own kids to go in the car alone with the grandparents, then everything is probably fine. If the decision is that the person can drive safely, they’ll be advised how to do this confidently. If they decide that you have to stop driving, you will have to return your driving licence. Stopping driving can be seen as a loss of independence and it is important to ensure that the person with dementia feels respected throughout, Try to drive in daylight and during quieter times on the roads, Try to keep driving to familiar routes with short distances, Reduce distractions such as turning off the radio and limiting conversations, Try to have a passenger in the car to help with navigation, Find local services such as peer support groups which are nearby, to help reduce any social isolation caused by stopping driving Invite friends and family over to your house to prevent the need to travel, Set up an account with a local taxi service and order taxis in advance, Find local voluntary agencies which may be able to assist with transport services, Order shopping online to reduce any burden of travelling. Close. Dr Alison Evans, of Alzheimer’s Research UK, backed the idea of a driving assessment. The DVLA will conduct a reassessment every year; however, it is a good idea for people close to the person with dementia to monitor their driving skills throughout the year and speak to the person’s GP if they are concerned. This is in case the assessment finds that the person is unsafe to drive. www.dementiauk.org/better-communication, Driving Mobility Centres There are 850,000 people in the UK with dementia, 1 many of whom are still driving. To find out about driving and dementia laws, you can call the Department of Motor Vehicles for the state in which the individual resides. The person should also have regular check-ups with their doctor to see how their dementia is progressing. A study highlighted the negative consequences of stopping people with dementia from driving.w11 Stopping driving can limit access to family, friends, and services and is an independent risk factor for entry to a nursing home.w12 Traffic medicine has evolved significantly since the 1990s, with more emphasis on preserving mobility. The following are some tips to help ease the practicalities of losing a licence: It is not just practical factors that can make losing a licence hard. The wife is disabled by arthritis and the husband has been slowly developing dementia. There are two components: a cognitive assessment conducted with the patient, and an informant questionnaire (only considered necessary if the results of the cognitive section are equivocal, ie score 5-8 inclusive). Need help? This MedCase discusses driving assessment for a patient with mild dementia using the 2014 Clinical guideline on Dementia and Driving Safety 1 and the Hui Process, 2 a four-step approach to building relationships with Māori patients and whānau. UK law on driving and dementia is clear. If the assessors decide that the person is not safe to drive, the information and advice they receive will be about other options. Practice dilemma - Driving with dementia. There is a charge for this service. A driving assessment can help to clarify the effect that dementia is having on your driving - this information can help the licensing agency when they are deciding whether you can continue to drive. Dementia; Dementia: assessment, management and support for people living with dementia and their carers. Find a Driver Assessment Near You. The assessment is done in a supportive way and is understanding of the bad habits that many drivers pick up, such as not indicating or turning the steering wheel while parked before moving off. A common one used by GPs is the … It has been shown to have an accuracy of 79% in classifying drivers with dementia as safe or unsafe in relation to an on-road driving test. This is the main part of the assessment. It will usually be valid for one year. The aims of the strategy include: • improving diagnosis, assessment and care for people living with dementia • ensuring that all people living with dementia have equal access to diagnosis Your doctor may ask for feedback from the person with dementia and a caregiver separately to assess risks. A diagnosis of any form of dementia does not necessarily prevent anyone from driving. However, there are many steps that you must follow upon being diagnosed to determine whether driving is still an option. The wife is disabled by arthritis and the husband has been slowly developing dementia. It’s an overall assessment of the impact dementia is having on a person’s driving and whether they’re able to drive safely and in comfort. It is not just dementia that impacts on driving; many other conditions can also have an effect on a person’s ability to drive. In Northern Ireland it is the Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA). In the UK, drivers with dementia have to be referred to mobility centres for assessment of their driving skills, as there are no specialist assessment centres for dementia.There are only16 such centres in the UK (only one in the north-east original papers Naidu & McKeithDriving, dementia and the DVLA Table 2. www.gov.uk/dementia-and-driving, Dementia UK leaflet on the Emotional impact of the diagnosis This is not a driving test. Renewal of the person’s licence When someone who drives receives a diagnosis of dementia, one of the first concerns they and their family often have is whether they can continue to drive. The driving assessment is carried out by a specialist occupational therapist and an advanced driving instructor. It may also be good to hear this from other members of the family, or family friends, or the person’s GP, It may be beneficial to suggest alternatives to driving, and some of the benefits of this. 2. We’ll send you a link to a feedback form. www.drivingmobility.org.uk/ find-a-centre/, Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency www.gov.uk/government/organisations/driver-and-vehicle-licensing-agency, Dementia UK – the Admiral Nurse Dementia Helpline Once these have been received, the DVLA will make a decision as to whether the person can continue to drive, choosing from one of three options: 1. Two leading experts on dementia and memory loss examine the impact that diagnosis can have on people who drive. There are several possible results at this stage. The assessment is not a driving test, but is an overall assessment on the impact of dementia on the person’s driving. Regular assessments during office visits may help your doctor identify a decline in abilities that indicate a greater risk. But driving is also an important tool of independence and can contribute to a person’s sense of self and self-esteem. Print copy below Help us improve GOV.UK. A thorough assessment is likely to require two visits along with collateral history from family members. They assess how much the person’s dementia is affecting their driving and whether they can drive safely and comfortably. Although family and caregivers can watch for signs of unsafe driving, a proactive strategy would be to get a comprehensive driving evaluation by an occupational therapy driving rehabilitation specialist. 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