Secure Driving And Alzheimer’s Disease

Naomi was hopelessly lost. As she drove, absolutely nothing looked familiar. The girl noticed a fluttering in her stomach. She had to admit that she was in a lovely area, with large shade trees and a wonderful lawn, but there were no homes where she could stop in order to ask directions. And the road seemed so narrow. She was starting to feel confused again. And there is nowhere to turn around. So the girl stopped the car and placed the gearshift into park.

Some time handed down before a groundskeeper noticed the vehicle on the golf course cart path. He or she called the police. A patrolman examined Naomi’s identification and called her husband. The police officer then informed the state driver’s licensing authority that will Naomi should be retested.

Knowing when and how to take away the keys to the vehicle is one of the most troublesome issues facing families who have a loved one with the illness. As we age, our eyesight plus hearing may worsen. Depth belief plays tricks. Our reaction period slows. These elements of normal aging may interfere with our ability to drive a motor vehicle safely. For someone with Alzheimer’s disease, these normal processes are complicated by additional signs and symptoms related to the disease’s effect on the brain. In fact , studies show that a person with Alzheimer’s disease has twice the chance of being involved in a motor vehicle accident being a driver of the same age with no illness.

While a person in early phases of Alzheimer’s disease may support the ability to drive a motor vehicle, as the illness progresses, the time is likely to come when he or she is no longer safe behind the wheel. At the same time, the person with Alzheimer’s disease will cling to whatever sense associated with independence he or she can.

The American Psychiatric Association says that some Alzheimer’s patients with moderate impairment and all severely impaired patients pose unacceptable risks to themselves and others when driving of a motor vehicle. Even those in early stages of the disease may be unable to drive even short distances safely. Depending on the individual, family members and others have a responsibility to assess the situation and, when necessary, step in and eliminate the keys.

Warning Signs

How do you know whenever to restrict driving privileges in a person with Alzheimer’s disease? Trust your own instincts. If you feel uncomfortable riding along with him or her-or letting your kids ride along-you may have unconsciously chose that the time has come. Another indicator is the person’s inability to follow a recipe or perform simple home tasks. These types of activities require a few of the same mental abilities necessary for securely operating a motor vehicle.

Deterioration in the ability to concentrate, as well as impairment of judgment seen in people who have Alzheimer’s disease, add to the concern about such patients traveling motor vehicles. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, a few things to watch for include the following:

1 . Getting lost.

Anyone can get dropped in an unfamiliar area. Those with Alzheimer’s disease may become disoriented and be not able to find his or her way in familiar locations.

2 . Ignoring traffic signals.

Failure to notice or obey stop indicators, traffic lights or other freeway markers may mean the driver failed to notice them. In addition , the driver might have lost the ability to associate the indication with its meaning. He or she may see the particular sign, but not know what it means.
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three or more. Lack of judgment.

Inability to estimate the speed of oncoming traffic, choosing whether to stop for a yellow light or slide through the intersection, or even becoming confused at a four-way stop sign are some examples of poor common sense while driving. Being slow to make decisions-or making poor ones-when generating can result in accidents that can harm the driving force, as well as others on the road.

4. Driving too fast or too slowly.

Inconsistent driving at inappropriate speeds may indicate a lack of concentration, as well as poor physical coordination. It may also indicate poor judgment.

5. Anger and dilemma.

You don’t have to have Alzheimer’s disease to have road rage. Frustration during traveling can make anyone flustered or angry. If the driver has Alzheimer’s illness, however , watch for frequent occurrences of anger or confusion, as well as inappropriate or exaggerated reactions, while driving.


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