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IAM Highlights Concerns Of Driving With Dementia

Thu, 03 Apr 2014

THE Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) has revealed through a new survey that a decline in cognitive abilities – for example the onset of dementia – is the greatest concern that families have about elderly relatives driving.

Forty-two per cent of people who have concerns about an older relative driving have tried to discuss this with them.

According to the IAM, people with dementia may still be able to drive safely for some time after it has been diagnosed, but because of the progressive nature of the disease, there will come a time when they have to give up.

Drivers must tell the DVLA if they have dementia or another condition that affects their driving. The law assumes that people have a right to drive safely and only intervenes when medical conditions impair driving ability. If the DVLA allows someone with dementia to continue driving, then they will almost certainly have to have periodic medical assessments.

Commenting on the issue, IAM chief executive Simon Best said: “Staying healthy is the simplest way to ensure you are fit to drive but an independent and objective driving assessment will also help people make the right decision at the right time.

“Experts warn that the numbers suffering from dementia will continue to grow and it is important drivers seek advice before using their cars. Families and friends need to be aware of the early warning signs of dementia and seek advice and medical help as soon as possible.”

It’s reported that over 800,000 people in the UK currently have dementia (17,000 are under 65), and this is expected to increase to over a million people by 2021.

By Press Association reporters