Setting your location helps us to show you nearby providers and locations based on your healthcare needs.
Your Location is set to Change My Location
Cone Health wants to help you get well and stay well. This section provides tools and information to achieve good health and maintain your well-being.
Learn what community resources are available to help you get well and stay well.
View health and wellness news you can use from Cone Health providers on
View Advanced Search OptionsView All Doctors
View All Locations
Home > Patient & Family Resources > Health Library > Memory Problems: Issues With Driving
Whether a person with Alzheimer's disease or another dementia should still be allowed to drive is a common dilemma faced by people who have the disease and by their caregivers. Taking away driving privileges may reduce the person's sense of independence and increase dependence on family and friends. But it is extremely important to prevent the person from driving when it is no longer safe.
Experts recommend people not drive if they have moderate Alzheimer's disease—when memory loss is noticeable and complex activities are impaired.
A diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease or another dementia does not mean that the person needs to stop driving immediately. People in the very early stages of the disease should have their driving performance checked to make sure they can drive safely. Also, their doctors should reassess their condition about every 6 months, because the disease is likely to progress. Family members can help detect changes in the person's ability to drive by riding along when the person is driving. Some people who have very mild Alzheimer's disease may be able to continue to drive safely for a year or more.
In addition to adequate vision, hearing, and coordination, safe driving requires the ability to:
These abilities decline at different rates in different people who have dementia. So it is important to monitor changes in ability to continue driving. It often is up to family members or other caregivers to watch for signs that the person should not be driving anymore. Warning signs may include:
The family doctor may also be able to offer some guidance on whether the person is able to drive safely.
Some people may become angry or depressed when they are told they can no longer drive. They may try to get access to the car anyway. If you are the caregiver, you may need to hide the car keys or park the car in a different location. Be sure to arrange other options for transportation so that the person does not feel cut off from activities that take place outside the home.
Health Tools help you make wise health decisions or take action to improve your health.
Current as ofMay 28, 2019
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal MedicineKathleen Romito, MD - Family MedicineMyron F. Weiner, MD - Geriatric Psychiatry
Current as of:
May 28, 2019
Medical Review:Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Myron F. Weiner, MD - Geriatric Psychiatry
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2019 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Subscribe to our Wellness Matters e-newsletter, a monthly snapshot of the some of great wellness content from Cone Health providers.