New guidelines issued on elderly driving after dementia or Alzheimer’s diagnosis

Having mild dementia is no longer a reason to take away an elderly person’s car keys, according to newly revised guidelines from the American Academy of Neurology.

Citing new evidence that 76 percent of drivers with dementia could still pass on-road skills tests, the AAN changed guidelines that previously discouraged any driving once someone was diagnosed with mild dementia or Alzheimer’s. The updated guidelines were unveiled an the AAN’s annual meeting in Toronto.

via New Guidelines Issed On Elderly Driving After Dementia Or Alzheimer’s Diagnosis – ABC News.

Driving and Early Alzheimer’s

Elderly people with failing memories often keep driving, but a study of Alzheimer’s patients suggests the risk of getting lost — even on familiar streets — may be greater than once thought.

Even with early dementia, there may be no safe period behind the wheel because the disease is unpredictable, said Linda Hunt, an associate professor in the School of Occupational Therapy at Pacific University, Oregon, and author of a new study.

“Alzheimer’s disease affects memory and navigational skills. These impairments may lead to getting lost, which is a life-threatening problem,” Hunt said. “Family members and friends of individuals with dementia need to recognize these impairments as serious threats to safety for anyone who has dementia.

“It is estimated that 30 to 45 percent of Alzheimer’s patients continue to drive after diagnosis.

via Driving With Early Alzheimer’s May Be Ill-Advised.