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Caregiver Communications and the Transition From Driver to Passenger Among People With Dementia

D'Ambrosio, Lisa A. PhD; Coughlin, Joseph F. PhD; Mohyde, Maureen MA; Carruth, Anastasia MPH; Hunter, Jennifer C. MPH; Stern, Robert A. PhD

Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation: January-March 2009 - Volume 25 - Issue 1 - p 33–42
doi: 10.1097/TGR.0b013e31819149ee

Growth in the population of older adults will be associated with increases in diagnoses of dementias such as Alzheimer's disease. Many who receive diagnoses will be drivers, dependent on their cars. These drivers over time will no longer be safe to continue driving; they will lack insight to evaluate their driving skills. Thus, caregivers must address difficult issues of driving and cessation, but often with little knowledge or support. This article examines caregivers' communications with the person with dementia about driving. The article concludes with how education may benefit caregivers in helping those with dementia transition smoothly from driver to passenger.

From the MIT AgeLab and the New England University Transportation Center, Cambridge, Mass (Drs D'Ambrosio and Coughlin); The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc, Southington, Conn (Ms Mohyde); and Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Mass (Mss Carruth and Hunter and Dr Stern).

Corresponding author: Lisa A. D'Ambrosio, PhD, MIT AgeLab, 77 Massachusetts Ave, E40-291A, Cambridge, MA 02139 (e-mail:

The MIT AgeLab gratefully acknowledges the support of The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc and the US Department of Transportation's Region I New England University Transportation Center at MIT. This research was supported by P30-AG13846 (Boston University Alzheimer's Disease Core Center).

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.