Researchers will evaluate the effectiveness of CarFreeMe for supporting people living with dementia in new trials.

 

CarFreeMe is an evidence-based approach to supporting older people living with dementia (65+ years) and their family members, who are adjusting to life without driving.

For many older Australians who are living with dementia, relinquishing their driver’s licence is a potentially overwhelming event, says The University of Queensland’s NHMRC-ARC Dementia Research Fellow, Dr Theresa Scott. “The transition to non-driving comes at significant personal cost, including increased risk of depression, anxiety, loneliness and isolation, identity loss, and grief.”

“The CarFreeMe program is helping older people with dementia who are contemplating stopping driving (or have stopped) to remain engaged in their communities, as well as providing support for the emotional and practical challenges that come with this life transition”, says Dr Scott.

CarFreeMe participants collaborate with a trained health professional, one-to-one and in small group sessions, to develop tailored solutions to individual needs. CarFreeMe sessions will be held over a 7-week period. Participation in the trials will also involve individual assessments about participants’ community life and wellbeing, before and after the program. Participants’ community mobility and wellbeing will be evaluated using GPS devices and surveys.

Low contact delivery of the current trials have resumed. We are delivering CarFreeMe to older people living with dementia and their family members in various locations across Australia. To accommodate COVID restrictions, we are using telehealth technology to deliver the program.

If you are interested in knowing more about the study, please contact Mrs. Donna Rooney, The University of Queensland School of Psychology at donna.rooney@uq.edu.au . 

* This story was updated in November 2020.