Find Transportation Help For Seniors Diagnosed With Dementia

| December 1, 2016 | 5 Comments


Find Transportation Help For Seniors Diagnosed With Dementia

In a study conducted by the Conference Board of Canada reported on by the Toronto Star in October 2016, some startling numbers emerged on the transportation gap facing many seniors in the country and in the GTA. Left with few alternatives like adequate public transit, especially in underserved and suburban communities, a high percentage of seniors continue to drive, even long after it’s unsafe to do so. The report found that 68% of older adults between 65 and 74 drove as their primary means of transportation, while nearly a third relied on their cars over the age of 85. A full 17% of seniors diagnosed with Alzheimer’s continue to drive; not only is it dangerous to both the driver and community, it can lead to a sudden and difficult struggle when they are forced to give up their driver’s license.

As many Alzheimer’s experts can attest, being prepared is the best coping strategy for the life changes that affect people suffering from dementia, as sudden changes, especially those that lead to decreased independence, can be hard to accept. When your older parent or loved one is diagnosed, it’s important to have a conversation about how you, as a family, will cope, and prepare them for things like giving up their driver’s license and increasingly relying on home health care for support.

Find Transportation Help For Seniors Diagnosed With Dementia
Find Transportation Help For Seniors Diagnosed With Dementia

However, as the report in the Star outlined, the real issue is a lack of alternatives; once you’ve discussed when your loved one will give up their driver’s license, you have to determine how they are going to get around. Most home senior care agencies offer transportation services, in addition to home, nursing, palliative, and dementia care, which includes not only driving seniors to their appointments and errands but also helping them once they arrive at their destination and ensure they arrive home safely. Isolation is a major mental health concern amongst people with dementia or limited mobility, and it’s important that they be able to continue to run errands, go shopping, and make it to medical appointments for as long as they can. If you have an older parent with Alzheimer’s who still drives, find out how a caregiver can help with all their needs, including transportation.

The Mayo Clinic suggests that it’s time for those with dementia to give up driving when they begin to:

  • Experience difficulty finding their way, especially when it’s to a familiar destination
  • Experience road rage or confusion
  • Miss stop signs and traffic lights
  • Struggle to stay in their lane
  • Feel uncomfortable or unsafe themselves when they get behind the wheel
  • And mix up the brake and gas pedals.
Find Transportation Help For Seniors Diagnosed With Dementia
Find Transportation Help For Seniors Diagnosed With Dementia

If you have observed your loved one display any of these behaviours while they are behind the wheel of a car, it’s time to consider finding an alternative transportation method, such as transportation support from a home care agency. Driving can be dangerous when a person begins to experience the symptoms of a neurodegenerative disease; get them off the road without isolating them with the help of a transportation service for seniors.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Category: Family, Tips

About the Author ()

Lyne is a Certified Infant Massage Instructor (CIMI), Certified Professional Wedding Consultant, and an Event Planner. It has always been her dream to create a website dedicated just for Moms since her children were young. Thus, after 10 years, she finally accomplished it, and the Ottawa Mommy Club was born in May 2011. She loves all things Disney and is an avid chocoholic. She was also the Queen B of the BConnected Conference, Canada's Digital Influencer and social media Conference in Ottawa and Toronto. She coordinated the Annual Infant Information Day/Early Years Expo for the City of Ottawa for 8 years. She was also the co-chair of the Navan for Kraft Hockeyville 2009-2011 committee that organized five community events within 6 months, and helped Navan reach the top 10 finalists in Canada. In April 2011, she received the City of Ottawa Mayor's City Builder Award.

Comments (5)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. loriag says:

    Giving up ones drivers license is a hard conversation to have but an important one. I wish there were more opportunities for transportation for seniors period throughout our country but it is a difficult problem to solve especially in rural areas.

  2. Elizabeth Matthiesen says:

    A very serious topic but I do believe that some are perfectly fit drivers at well over 70 and others are terrible at 40! The things I see drivers do whilst behind the wheel is frightening to say the least.
    I did have a good laugh when I read “Experience difficulty finding their way, especially when it’s to a familiar destination” Heavens I’ve been doing that for the last 50 yrs because of a complete lack of a sense of direction. My children bought me a TomTom for just that reason and it does help me enormously.

    • Lyne says:

      The is no age to be a bad driver lol! I love my TomTom too and have it with me in the car in case I need it. Thanks for sharing!

  3. KD says:

    A senior I knew, who was in good health, used to volunteer one day a week to drive around other seniors who were no longer able to drive. It would be great if we had more volunteers (of any age) like her!

Thank you for commenting! Your comment is moderated before being published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: