In order to characterize the driving and mobility status of older adults with dementia, a questionnaire was mailed to 527 informants in a university based memory clinic; 119 were returned. The majority of patients were diagnosed with Dementia of the Alzheimer's Type. Only 28% were actively driving at the time of survey. Our activity questionnaire was useful in documenting activity patterns, frequency of visits, and mileage estimates to out-of-home activities. In summary, many older adults with dementia had either stopped or reduced the number and type of driving destinations in their community. Once a degenerative dementia develops and is diagnosed, our data indicate that these individuals will be at-risk for driving cessation and decreased social networks. A referral to a health professional to determine how to maintain critical out-of-home activities should occur early in the disease process. Educational interventions that assist older adults and their caregivers with tools to assist this process (e.g. Hartford brochures We Need to Talk and At-the-Crossroads) or referral to social workers or occupational therapists with mobility counseling expertise may assist in maintaining key driving destinations.
|Title of host publication||Traffic Psychology|
|Subtitle of host publication||An International Perspective|
|Publisher||Nova Science Publishers, Inc.|
|Number of pages||20|
|State||Published - Dec 1 2011|