The Alzheimer Society of Ireland has a very useful factsheet on Driving and Dementia, which can be downloaded in full by clicking on this link: download.
There are three key steps you must take after you’ve been diagnosed with dementia, these are:
Step 1: inform your insurance company
Step 2: inform the Driving Licence service. www.ndls.ie
Step 3: Complete an “on road” driving assessment (only required in some cases)
The factsheet also outlines tips for driving safely, in the form of some do’s and don’ts.
- drive routes you are familiar with
- try to keep your journey short
- allow plenty of time to get to where you are going
- travel with someone else
- drive if you feel tired, stressed or upset
- drive at busy times, such as rush hour
- drive in bad weather
- drive at night
The decision whether to stop driving is also covered in the factsheet. You may decide to stop driving yourself. Or your doctor or your on-road assessor may state that you need to stop driving. This is a difficult step. Many people link driving to their independence and freedom. However, there are alternatives to driving yourself which can work very well.
Finally there is some advice on How to Prepare for giving up driving. When you are still driving, you can begin to ease yourself out of driving. Use other forms of transport from time to time to get used to the idea. Remember, when you give up driving, you will not have the costs that come with owning a car, such as car insurance and car tax. You may even decide to sell your car. You can use these savings to pay for other ways of getting out and about. It might even be cheaper in the long run. It is important to try to keep getting out and visiting people and places that you enjoy. Giving up driving does not mean you have to give up everything.
Further information on Driving and Dementia can be obtained from Alzheimer Society of Ireland:
Freefone 1800 341 341