Oct 11, 2018

Dementia Care, 4 Suggestions on How to Take the Car Keys Away from a Person Living with Dementia

Our expert Rita Jablonski wrote a very useful article with 4 suggestions on how to take the car keys away from a person living with Alzheimer's or a related dementia.


driving on a lonely raod

This is a major problem for most caregivers and often leads to a lot of anxiety, stress and arguments.


Amazingly, Dotty often told me she hired an attorney, and he was going to get her license back for her so she could start driving again. She was still telling people she was driving every day for years after I took her car keys away.

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Here is an excerpt from her article.

1. Take a “break” from driving.

In my practice, I often tell the person with dementia (PwD) that I want him or her to “take a break” from driving until I can see them again (3-6 months later).

Most times, the PwD is unaware that he or she has memory problems and will hotly deny it if someone brings up the topic. I try to use a physical, non-threatening reason for the “break” (see #2).

Think about it: what feels better to you, “Give up chocolate for a couple of months” or “You can never have chocolate again”?

Read Rita's article.

Dementia 401*: 4 Ways to NICELY Take Away the Car Keys (or the Car!)


More on Alzheimer's and Driving


The Fit to Drive Test for Dementia Patients

Driving with Alzheimer's Can Mean Death

How to Explain to Someone with Alzheimer's Disease that it is Time to Stop Driving

7 Signs and How to Get a Person Living with Alzheimer's to Stop Driving

Having a Problem with Your Loved One Living with dementia? Check out these Topics Page for help, advice and tips.

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Rita Jablonski, PhD CRNP is an internationally recognized expert in dementia behaviors. She is tenured professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a funded researcher, with over 50 publications and book chapters to her credit.
Rita blogs at  Make Dementia Your B*tch. She offers caregivers coaching and guidance for caregivers at DementiaCentric Solutions.

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