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November is National Alzheimer's Awareness Month -- Dealing with Drivers with Dementia

Published Nov 25th 2007, 6:04pm by Jody DeVere in Featured Articles

Brocovrev3_3 Life is filled with difficult decisions. That is especially true when dealing with a devastating illness like Alzheimer's disease or dementia. T.K. Anderson has more on how family members can find help in knowing when to transition their loved one from driver to passenger.

People suffering from Alzheimer's disease or dementia are driving an average of ten months longer than their caregivers think is safe.

MIT and Boston University helped them develop educational materials to help called, “At the Crossroads.”

Their goal with these materials is to not only give caregivers knowledge but also give them the tools they need to take action in the driving decision. They are helping caregivers have sensitive and successful discussions about this difficult topic.

Listen to more here:

For Drivers with Dementia:

The following tips can help people with dementia ease the transition from driver to passenger:

* Confide in a friend or family member about what driving means to you. Help them understand what you have to give up when you stop driving.

* Work with your family to create a transportation plan that meets your needs.

* Consider the Agreement with My Family about Driving as a way to balance your independence with safety.

* Volunteer to be a passenger. Allow others to do the driving.

For Caregivers:

The following tips can help caregivers who are struggling to decide when to limit or stop driving privileges for a person with dementia:

* Imagine for a moment your own life without driving. Allow your relative with dementia to express how he or she feels about not driving.

* Initiate conversations about driving and transportation needs early and often.

* Observe the person with mild dementia when driving.

* Keep a written record of observable driving behavior over time.

* Share observations of unsafe driving with the person with dementia, other family members and healthcare providers.

* Create opportunities for you or others to drive the person with dementia.

For more information or to order materials, log onto

Produced for The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc.

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