Car Accidents and Alzheimer’s: How to Protect Affected Loved Ones

Did you know that up to 53% of persons aged above 65 years that lost their lives in car accidents had signs or actual Alzheimer’s disease? And, the onset of the disease can happen as early as at 27 years. Then, what can you do to protect yourself or your loved ones driving? Here are quick tips.

Alzheimer’s and Driving

Note that driving is a skill that requires quick and prudent judgment. Yet, a person living with dementia has a dwindling ability to make the right decisions while on the go. Plus, he experiences delayed reaction time, a recipe for accidents to occur.

And since the disease is both gradual and unpredictable, a driver with Alzheimer’s is a safety risk to both himself and other road users.

Don’t Drive

Now, the ideal safety measure is to stop any patient with irreversible dementia from driving. Yet, this decision can cause problems between family members. More so, there are no tests that can determine for sure that the patient is a danger to himself or other road users. Then, asking a loved one to let go of the car keys should in a thoughtful way. Then, the family members should provide options that ensure the patient continues to live an independent life.

Exercise Restrictions

Where quitting driving is not possible, family members should encourage the patient to have less driving time. As an accident lawyer in Las Vegas will tell you, compensation to accident victims will take into account the mental condition of the driver. Then, exercise care by doing the following:

• Dementia patients tend to have a short-term memory. Hence, you should insist on the loved one traveling shorter distances and on familiar routes only.
• Drivers living with Alzheimer’s have poor lane control. Plus, they may use or misinterpret a road signal. And, in case of emergency, they may mistake the brakes for the gas pedals. Then, such persons should avoid using busy routes or driving during peak hours.
• Night travel is dangerous for drivers with Alzheimer’s. Get a taxi or offer to drive the patient home when they stay out late at night.
• Use the same vehicle for all your driving. It makes it easy to react to dangerous situations. For our bodies tend to act on impulse due to our previous habits.

If you or your loved one is showing signs of the progressive Alzheimer’s disease, then you must make lifestyle changes to be safe. Hence, if you are a driver, rethink the need to be behind the wheel in the first place. Finally, consult a medical professional for specific advice about your unique circumstances.