November 14, 2016

Driving and Dementia - Discussion Paper 18 - (November 2016)


Driving and Dementia

Mandatory reporting should be considered to ease confusion around driving and dementia - Mandatory reporting for health professionals to transport licensing authorities for conditions including dementia should be considered to ease confusion around the legal and licensing requirements when it comes to driving and dementia, a new discussion paper has found.
The discussion paper, Driving and Dementia, released today by Alzheimer’s Australia NSW, has
found that there is still a lack of information and understanding around what is required by people
who have a diagnosis of dementia and who hold a driver’s licence, little clarity around the role of
doctors in this area and a lack of information and support regarding alternative transport options.


Alzheimer’s Australia NSW CEO The Hon. John Watkins AM said these all combine to make what
is already a very difficult time in people’s lives more confusing, stressful and challenging.
Driving, for many, represents freedom, independence and, for some, plays an important role in the
formation of their identity
,” Mr Watkins said.

“Currently, in NSW, once dementia has been diagnosed, a driver has a responsibility to inform the
Roads and Maritime Service and their insurer of their diagnosis, but many drivers are not aware of
these requirements."


Key recommendations from the discussion paper:
• Consider mandatory reporting for health professionals to the RMS for conditions that are
likely to affect public safety;
• Improve the guidelines for medical professionals to support their role in the transition from
driver to non-driver;
• The NSW RMS to develop a Driving and Dementia information pack for doctors in NSW to
issue to patients with dementia at the time of diagnosis. This should include material
highlighting the need to consider ceasing driving, the need to check their insurance
liabilities and the need to disclose a diagnosis of dementia to the RMS. This material should
also be made available to Aged Care Assessment Teams (ACATs), Dementia Advisors and
other health professionals;
• Introduce policies that subsidise the issue of cost and accessibility of on-road driving
assessments in order to make the service timely and affordable for people with dementia;
• Improve the process of driving cessation by streamlining communication between doctors,
the RMS and occupational therapists who undertake on-road assessments for drivers with
dementia;
A full copy of the discussion paper, along with the full list of recommendations, can be found at
https://nsw.fightdementia.org.au/nsw/research.

NATIONAL DEMENTIA HELPLINE: 1800 100 500

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