How Alzheimer’s Dementia Can Affect Your Driving

No one likes to think about taking someone’s life long independence, or hurting their pride, but when it comes to progressive dementia with Alzheimer’s, it will eventually have to be done. My father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 1999, after 19 years of a slow decline in cognitive skills, and then a rapid fall in 1998. He certainly wouldn’t have been driving if my mother had not passed away a few years earlier. If you’re concerned about someone, or you’ve been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, consider the consequences of driving on a public road. Take charge before it takes over you, and your ability to reason. Read about a few nightmares, and how you can prevent them by handing over the keys, instead of the keys being taken by the state, or a family member that loves you.

The sad fact is that many Alzheimer’s patients often live far away from other immediate family members, and a spouse is already deceased. This is the case that happened to me and my family, and it could’ve been tragic, not only for my father, but for others as well. Fortunately for me, I was still able to up root, and move back with my father to care for him for the last 2 Ã?½ years that he was able to stay at home. Of course this is not the case with most, and I feel blessed that I was able to stop him from driving. Yes, I say blessed because many people with Alzheimer’s are seriously hurt or killed in car accidents on the road every year in the U. S.

Alzheimer’s disease has symptoms that you’ll need to be aware of, and that can drastically inhibit their ability to drive. The list below will inform you of the dangers of driving with Alzheimer’s dementia.

� Loss of recent memory experiences]
� Loss of language ability
� Loss of task association
� Loss of value judgments
� Loss of abstract abilities
� Loss of emotional stability
� Loss of consistent stable physical reactions

Even though this is a partial list of symptomatic dementia associated with Alzheimer’s disease, it’s seen that the reasons for not driving are clearly evident. Endangerment of the public, and the one you care about, or even yourself isn’t worth the risk! If you doubt that all of these tasks are not important for driving, consider the following facts. For example, knowing where you’re going is important in case you get lost.

Being able to communicate effectively with others is very important for a variety of reasons, such as car breakdowns for communications with others to help you on the road, or calling home. The ability to react quickly in pulling out in on coming traffic and the speed of other vehicles is obviously important. Don’t forget about road rage too, you need to have emotional stability to drive a car. Road rage from others is a cruel fact, and you or the other dear one in your life, doesn’t need to experience this terrifying consequence because they are driving to slow or out of control, and enraging other drivers.

Finally, consider the fact that if you or someone you, love kills another on the road, how will you emotionally live with the fact, when something could have been done. My father would have never driven if he could’ve realized that he was incapable of driving anymore. Too often, even after we lived with him, he would find ways to sneak out during the night, and drive. One morning was the last incident, when the state police department knocked on our door, and he had wrecked his car, while driving down the wrong side of road. We took the keys from him, and sold the car. It had to be done for his safety and others.

If you feel hesitant about giving up your keys or asking the state to take your loved ones keys, read some verifying information about the effects of dementia and Alzheimer’s at www.cdc.gov, http://www.nim.gov, or www.alz.org. All of these are reliable websites, funded by the federal U. S. government, and supports the continued research and development of therapy, for Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) will also give you the statistics on death tolls from car accidents by Alzheimer’s disease.

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