This past week the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) held its annual meeting in Toronto. At this meeting neurologists revised and updated guidelines about driving and dementia. Adult children and physicians can use the information to help determine if and when an aging parent with dementia should stop driving.
Here is a list of news resources about the new AAN recommendations.
- American Academy of Neurology News Release
- WebMd Story
- LA Times Booster Shot Blog
- ABC News Story
- Evaluation and management of driving risk in dementia. Report of the Quality Standards Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology (abstract)
- Download link for entire AAN article in pdf format This article is technical, filled with statistics and medical terminology; however, it can be a useful document to hand to a physician, especially if that person does not specialize in neurology. At the end of the article are examples of questionnaires that family members and caregivers can use to evaluate a family member.
Family members and physicians should work together, considering the following when trying to make a decision to stop a parent from driving:
- Opinions and observations of caregivers and family members
- History of accidents or crashes
- Recent traffic citations
- Significant situational avoidance (avoiding left-hand turns, certain types of parking, certain locations, a lot less driving)
- Personality issues such as aggressiveness or impulsiveness
Many physicians will use the Mini Mental State Examination to as a screening tool for cognative issues. I wrote about this in the post States of Dementia, Part II. There is also a description of the MMSE in this article at the Alzheimer’s Association web site.