The person with dementia must also bring their driving licence and any glasses they need for driving. This can be done without the person’s permission, however, this is best avoided if possible. 3. 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. They won’t have to pay a fee for this and DVLA will send a reminder letter. This test was designed as a GP screening tool for dementia. Licensing decisions made by the DVLA are usually based on medical reports. In England, Wales and Scotland this is the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). 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. Need help? Driving evaluation At the earliest stages, a person with Alzheimer's disease may begin to have difficulty with complex tasks such as driving. The assessment will be at one of 20 approved driving assessment centres around the UK, or at one of their related ‘satellite’ centres (see Driving Mobility centres under ‘Driving – other resources’). You can arrange an independent assessment of your driving performance and safety whilst you still hold a licence to drive. 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. In Northern Ireland it is the Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA). This version is the Nottingham Assessment for Drivers with Dementia. The CMA Driver’s Guide defines moderate-severe dementia as new loss of ability to perform 1 ADL (eg, dressing) or 2 IADLs (eg, shopping) owing to cognitive difficulty. It is better at identifying those who are safe, than unsafe on the road. Dr Alison Evans, of Alzheimer's Research UK, backed the idea of a driving assessment. This version is the Nottingham Assessment for Drivers with Dementia. which drives in UK • 1 Taking anti-depressants and hypnotics, both proven to hinder driving Who did the equation misclassify? Begin the conversation as soon as possible and involve the doctor 2. Call the National Helpline. It can also mean a lot of change for their partner, or another person who cares for them. It is better at identifying those who are safe, than unsafe on the road. Evaluating driving safety in patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia can be challenging. DVLA/DVA will ask someone to take a driving assessment if they are not sure if the person can still drive safely. Due to current government restrictions, RDAC are unable to deliver driving assessments or driving lessons We are still accepting new referrals and are providing an information and advice service. UK law on driving and dementia is clear. 5.3 Prior to any assessment of dementia or cognition (and especially within a memory clinic setting) it is good practice that a person is notified that there could be implications for their future driving.2 Alzheimer’s, vascular, mixed, Lewy body and frontotemporal dementias. The Dementia Drivers' Screening Assessment (DDSA) is a neuropsychological battery designed to assist in this process. 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 A diagnosis of dementia can be a big shock – for the person with the condition, and their family. It will take only 2 minutes to fill in. With ongoing support and understanding, a person with dementia and those who care for them can successfully adjust to not driving. 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. Most people in the early stages of dementia are physically capable of controlling a car. Driving is a complex task, requiring the use of various skills, including navigation, spatial awareness and speed of reaction. Although decisions regarding possession of a driving licence in the UK are made by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), psychiatrists have a duty to advise patients who are unfit to drive to cease driving and to inform the DVLA of patients who pose a risk to the public by continuing to drive when advised not to. DVLA/DVA will then send the person a questionnaire and a request to get medical reports from their doctor. It may also be worth finding local dementia groups such as memory cafes, in which the person is able to talk about this experience with others who are in a similar position. By this stage, a few people will be found to be unsafe to drive and the assessment will end here. This includes notifying the DVLA, your insurance company and GP. Most concur that simply having a diagnosis of dementia should not preclude an individual from driving (Carr & O'Neill, 2015). The driving assessment is carried out by a specialist occupational therapist and an advanced driving instructor. 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 not just dementia that impacts on driving; many other conditions can also have an effect on a person’s ability to drive. These tests are known as cognitive assessments, and may be done initially by a GP. E-mail: [email protected] If the decision is that the person can drive safely, they’ll be advised how to do this confidently. People can self-refer or be referred by a … 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). How to keep driving after a dementia diagnosis. A licence holder who is diagnosed with dementia must contact the relevant licensing agency promptly, or risk a fine of up to £1,000. This is the main part of the assessment. This is not a driving test. Prices vary but the average cost is between £70–90. The assessment is not a driving test, but is an overall assessment on the impact of dementia on the person’s driving. I know that some areas of the UK have driving courses where people with the illness can go for an assessment, to see if they are competent to drive, and that to me is a brilliant idea. If they decide that you have to stop driving, you will have to return your driving licence. Ongoing dementia assessment. As the disease progresses the ability to drive safely is eventually lost and at that point current regulations demand that driving stops. 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. Formal dementia driving assessments are available, but who decides when a patient should be referred for one of these? A thorough assessment is likely to require two visits along with collateral history from family members. © Dementia UK 2021. The driving assessment takes about two hours and generally includes the following steps: The person with dementia answers questions about their medical and driving history, and any driving problems they may have. London Scores on the Mini-Mental State Examination are not predictive of driving risk or motor vehicle crashes. 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. It is a legal requirement to inform both the DVLA and the person’s insurance company when they receive a diagnosis of dementia. There is a charge for this service. only drive when they feel fully awake and well. They never ask for a home visit as he always drives her to the surgery. Based on the doctor’s report, medical advisers at DVLA/DVA will decide if the person can keep driving. It will take only 2 minutes to fill in. This is an assessment to look at your ability to keep you, your passengers and other road users safe. Perhaps everyone should have a driving assessment these days, dementia or not. You can arrange an independent assessment of your driving performance and safety whilst you still hold a licence to drive. The person being assessed should go to the centre with another person who is able to drive or accompany them home using alternative transport, if necessary. For people with early dementia, this may be up to three years. www.dementiauk.org/emotional-impact-of-the-diagnosis, Dementia UK leaflet on Changing roles and relationships 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. There are 850,000 people in the UK with dementia, 1 many of whom are still driving. Assessing driving ability in people with dementia is a serious challenge. 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. Conclusion References. You are here: Home / Get support / Diagnosis and next steps / Driving and dementia. EC3N 1RE, Tel: 020 8036 5400 This puts the person with dementia at risk of a fine and/or prosecution, of potentially invalidating their insurance, and of the risk of harm to themselves and others. One Aldgate 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. If at any point, the licence holder decides that they want to stop driving and give up their licence, then they need to write to the DVLA to inform them. 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