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HealthInfo Canterbury

Safe driving in early dementia

Being diagnosed with dementia does not necessarily mean you need to stop driving. You will eventually have to stop, but many people continue to drive safely for some time after their diagnosis.

Warning signs that dementia may be affecting your driving include:

You may benefit from some driver refresher training to improve your confidence and skills while you are still safe to drive.

Your GP or occupational therapist may refer you for an On-road safety test or for a driving assessment at Burwood Hospital.

What should I do if I am worried that a friend or relative isn't safe to drive?

If you are worried about someone else's safety to drive, talk to them about your concerns. They may recognise they are beginning to place themselves and others at risk. If they don't recognise the risk and don't believe they need to stop driving, talk to their GP or other healthcare professional about your concerns. They will be able to assess the person's ability to drive and take action if necessary. Read the New Zealand Transport Authority leaflet below.

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed July 2016.

See also:

Driving & transport for older people

Page reference: 46313

Review key: HIMLD-33325