5 Ways Drivers With Mild Dementia Curb Their Own Driving

Convincing a driver with impaired cognition to give up the keys doesn't usually happen in just one conversation. Be prepared to build on small steps. Here are five things drivers with mild dementia often do on their own to adapt to changes such as memory loss and reaction time:

  1. They stop driving at night.

  2. They avoid busy highways.

  3. They no longer take long road trips, sticking only to familiar routes.

  4. They stop driving in city traffic.

  5. They insist on having the radio or music off in the car, to maintain concentration.

If you notice these inclinations, support them. Your loved one may be more open to your efforts to line up rides with friends, bus services, taxis, or community transportation. That can help him or her transition to using such alternatives more often when it becomes absolutely necessary.

Paula Spencer Scott

Paula Spencer Scott is the author of Surviving Alzheimer's: Practical Tips and Soul-Saving Wisdom for Caregivers and much of the Alzheimer's and caregiving content on Caring. See full bio

about 3 years, said...

It helped to recognize early signs of dementia and that the person affected does actually know something is happening.

almost 6 years, said...

sband doesn't have dementia or Alzheimer's but has primary progressive aphasia which is closely related. I think there is quite a bit of crossover. I am grateful for your website and monitor it closely. Keep up the good work! There are lots of us caregivers out here who need your advice.

almost 6 years, said...

My Husband has not committed to doing any less driving, just wont let me drive him anywhere. I tell him if he dont stop driving so wreckless I will not ride with him anymore.

over 6 years, said...