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Dementia and driving pilot project

A pilot project aimed at helping people with an early diagnosis of dementia to determine when to consider retiring from driving is currently underway in Adelaide's Northern metropolitan area.
A new booklet can help people with an early diagnosis of dementia determine when to consider retiring from driving.
A new booklet can help people with an early diagnosis of dementia determine when to consider retiring from driving.

The Dementia and Driving pilot project is a collaboration of Seniors Information Service, SGIC (Insurance) and the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure and includes a training program for local GPs on how to manage and approach the issue and the distribution of the Dementia & Driving Decision Aid (DDDA) booklet.

This information booklet has been produced by Illawarra Health Medical Research Unit at the University of Wollongong in NSW and is proving to be a valuable tool for medical practitioners, health and aged care workers and family members alike.

Seniors Information Service Chief Executive, Jenny Hughes says, “The decision to stop driving can be stressful and overwhelming for older people, especially older people with dementia. It can result in a loss of freedom, identity and independence. The booklet aims to provide knowledge and support to everyone involved in making the decision.”

The initial phase of the project has been a workshop for GPs and practice nurses, and the roll out of the DDDA Booklet to GP surgeries.

“Doctors can initiate the conversation with patients and give the booklet out as a resource. This will help the patient and their family to start thinking about putting an early plan in place,” Ms Hughes says.

“The workshops also help GPs look at how they can further support patients by making some changes in their practice, such as by making additional follow up calls.”

Ms Hughes says Seniors Information Service has received enquiries from other organisations regarding the project and are hopeful there may be other opportunities for more people to get involved in the future.

“It would be great if we could role the project out state wide in the future,” she says.

The Dementia & Driving Decision Aid booklet has recently been translated into Vietnamese, Italian and Greek and it is hoped they will be printed and available for general distribution soon.

Download a copy of the booklet from Senior Information Service website or contact Seniors Information Service on (08) 8168 8776.


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