A licence holder who is diagnosed with dementia must contact the relevant licensing agency promptly, or risk a fine of up to £1,000. Here is some information on the legal requirements, as well as some practical suggestions to support both the person with dementia and their family. Licensing decisions made by the DVLA are usually based on medical reports. These guidelines, endorsed by the BGS, set out the responsibilities of clinicians to their patients and provide a framework for thinking about the management of their driving safety. Not everyone will need a brain scan, particularly if the tests and assessments show that dementia is a likely diagnosis. Some carers feel this is an indication that the person’s dementia is progressing. This includes notifying the DVLA, your insurance company and GP. We hope that you found this resource helpful. It may also be emotionally difficult, if the person with dementia blames the person who cares for them for taking away their car. If you live in England or Wales, this questionnaire can also be downloaded from the GOV.UK website . A diagnosis of dementia can be a big shock – for the person with the condition, and their family. As the disease progresses the ability to drive safely is eventually lost and at that point current regulations demand that driving stops. 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. A thorough assessment is likely to require two visits along with collateral history from family members. The effect of dementia on the person’s driving should be considered at these check ups or at other healthcare appointments, where appropriate. Once these have been received, the DVLA will make a decision as to whether the person can continue to drive, choosing from one of three options: 1. It will take only 2 minutes to fill in. EC3N 1RE, Tel: 020 8036 5400 A driving assessment will be requested. In some cases, a person with dementia will continue to drive despite encouragement not to, or will decide not to inform the DVLA of their diagnosis. This is a car with the steering wheel and foot pedals linked to a computer. If DVLA/DVA asked for the assessment, the centre will send them a report. The memory service where you were assessed may also continue to see you in the early stages. • Developed in the context of a specialist driving assessment centre. You may be able to appeal. There are 850,000 people in the UK with dementia, 1 many of whom are still driving. Dad has had his licence rescinded - he's furious! People with a diagnosis of dementia often want to continue driving. For example, there is no need to find a parking space and you may save money on tax, insurance and fuel. But driving is also an important tool of independence and can contribute to a person’s sense of self and self-esteem. Many people with dementia are able to continue driving for some time. 296645. The Dementia Drivers' Screening Assessment (DDSA) is a neuropsychological battery designed to assist in this process. Dementia; Dementia: assessment, management and support for people living with dementia and their carers. Help us improve GOV.UK. So when a person is diagnosed with dementia, they may start to worry that they will no longer be able to drive, due to a loss in coordination and spatial awareness, or difficulty recalling directions. It is the best test of a person’s driving ability. www.dementiauk.org/helpline, Alzheimer’s Society A diagnosis of dementia does not automatically mean that the person must stop driving and many people with dementia can continue to drive following a diagnosis. Driving is something that many people take for granted; it can represent independence and a sense of freedom. The following are some tips to help ease the practicalities of losing a licence: It is not just practical factors that can make losing a licence hard. 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. The first step for someone who is diagnosed with dementia and wants to keep driving is to tell DVLA/DVA about their diagnosis straightaway. The assessment of driving risk can be difficult for clinicians. One in three people over the age of 75 are still driving and older drivers are generally safer than younger drivers. The wife is disabled by arthritis and the husband has been slowly developing dementia. It is possible to appeal against a licence being revoked. 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. After that, your competence will be reviewed at least once every 12 months. If the DVLA decides that a person is no longer able to drive, their licence must be returned to the DVLA and the person must stop driving. Supportive Conversation × Frank has early stage Alzheimer's and the doctor said it's no longer safe for him to drive. In these cases, the person must get in touch with the centre directly and pay for the assessment. The licence holder can ask the agency for a copy of this. The driving assessment is carried out by a specialist occupational therapist and an advanced driving instructor. These skills can be affected by dementia, depending upon the type of dementia someone has and the part of the brain that is affected. The DVLA requires the person to fill out a ‘Declaration of Voluntary surrender’ which can be found on the DVLA website, or can be requested over the phone. Alzheimer’s, vascular, mixed, Lewy body and frontotemporal dementias. You can do it whilst waiting for the licensing agency decision. driver number on their driving licence (if known). 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. They assess how much the person’s dementia is affecting their driving and whether they can drive safely and comfortably. www.dementiauk.org/emotional-impact-of-the-diagnosis, Dementia UK leaflet on Changing roles and relationships Driving evaluation At the earliest stages, a person with Alzheimer's disease may begin to have difficulty with complex tasks such as driving. Read more about this and find out what happens if DVLA/DVA decides a person with dementia can keep driving. Stopping driving can be seen as a loss of independence and it is important to ensure that the person with dementia feels respected throughout, Try to drive in daylight and during quieter times on the roads, Try to keep driving to familiar routes with short distances, Reduce distractions such as turning off the radio and limiting conversations, Try to have a passenger in the car to help with navigation, Find local services such as peer support groups which are nearby, to help reduce any social isolation caused by stopping driving Invite friends and family over to your house to prevent the need to travel, Set up an account with a local taxi service and order taxis in advance, Find local voluntary agencies which may be able to assist with transport services, Order shopping online to reduce any burden of travelling. 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. Ongoing dementia assessment After you've been diagnosed with dementia, the GP should arrange to see you from time to time, to check how you're managing. There are several possible results at this stage. The person condition’s must be reviewed every time they renew their licence. However, there are some legalities that must be followed, to ensure that the person with dementia is safe when driving. may also ask you to complete a driving assessment at a DVLA driving assessment centre. DVLA/DVA will ask someone to take a driving assessment if they are not sure if the person can still drive safely. After you've been diagnosed with dementia, the GP should arrange to see you from time to time, to check how you're managing. Scores on the Mini-Mental State Examination are not predictive of driving risk or motor vehicle crashes. The assessment is not there to ‘catch people out’ and is usually very supportive. don’t go for long periods without driving – to keep their skills and stay confident, keep to short and familiar routes at quiet times of the day – so they are less likely to get lost or stuck in heavy traffic, drive in daylight – with good road and weather conditions, drive without distractions, like the radio – for better focus. The Prime Minister's Challenge on Dementia 2020 sets out the UK Government's strategy for transforming dementia care within the UK. Brain scans are often used for diagnosing dementia once the simpler tests have ruled out other problems. Reaction time and limb strength are tested on a special static ‘rig’. There is a charge for this service. For people with early dementia, this may be up to three years. People with a diagnosis of dementia often want to continue driving. Some centres have a private road that the person drives around first. www.dementiauk.org/changing-roles-and-relationships, Dementia UK leaflet on Dealing with stigma Dementia and driving You must tell DVLA if you have dementia. A person may do this if they have a valid licence but want some extra advice or teaching. Practice dilemma - Driving with dementia. Many clinicians use the adage that if the son or daughter of a person with dementia is happy for their own kids to go in the car alone with the grandparents, then everything is probably fine. The aims of the strategy include: • improving diagnosis, assessment and care for people living with dementia • ensuring that all people living with dementia have equal access to diagnosis The assessment is carried out by an Occupational Therapist and an advanced driving instructor and usually lasts between one and two hours. 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