Older Drivers, Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, and National Family and Caregivers Month
In America, six million people are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease, but by 2050 that number is projected to more than double.1 As the rate of Alzheimer’s disease rises, more caregivers will need to care for those living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Currently, more than 11 million Americans provide unpaid care for people with Alzheimer’s.1
November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month and National Family and Caregivers Month. Alzheimer’s Awareness Month is intended to bring awareness and show support for those who are living with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and mild cognitive impairments. National Family and Caregivers Month is a time to honor families who have taken on the additional responsibility of caregiving. While both observations intertwine in various ways, one, in particular, is those family members who care for their loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease.
There are several facets to Alzheimer’s disease and safety. Providing care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or mild cognitive impairments may present several challenges, including transportation and traffic safety. Alz.org created a sheet on dementia and driving to help caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s and Dementia, which helps caregivers understand signs of unsafe driving. These signs may occur in the early stages or around the time of diagnosis.
Caregivers will need to discuss road safety and driving with their loved ones and timing can be key. When someone is diagnosed with mild cognitive impairments, dementia, and/or Alzheimer’s disease, the conversation about their transportation future should occur. Use the Clearinghouse for Older Road Users Safety (ChORUS) resource to address when to talk to someone about their driving and how you can work with an older driver to develop a safe driving plan. If you are a caregiver to a family member with Alzheimer’s disease, these resources may help you plan for your loved ones’ financial transportation future and logistic transportation future.
Alzheimer’s Awareness Month and National Family and Caregivers Month shed a light on two incredible groups of people in America. ChORUS has several resources to enhance both groups’ lives, such as the impact of cognitive impairments on driver safety, identifying medically at-risk drivers, and the My State Info page, where you’re able to explore alternative transportation options in your community.