Having a plan for getting out and about and doing the things that you value, without driving, is really important for your wellbeing.
Driving is a complex task that requires good vision and spatial awareness, muscle strength, attention, judgement and quick reactions. While many people with dementia no longer drive, a diagnosis of dementia does not always mean that a person needs to retire from driving immediately. However, due to the progressive nature of the condition, people living with dementia will need to prepare for retirement from driving at some stage.
Being told that ‘you must not drive anymore’ can seem unfair and impossible according to people living with dementia. It can be overwhelming to think that you might not be able to do the things that driving enabled you to do or get to. Loss of driving may lead to people becoming isolated and housebound, and at increased risk of depression and anxiety. So, having a plan for how to get around and do what you want to do, without driving, is really important. Our free program can help you manage the feelings of grief and cope with the practical issues of stopping driving, like finding other ways to get around.
CarFreeMe is a flexible, individualised program that is designed to help people stay active without a car. The program involves the person with dementia and their family member taking part in 7 one-hour sessions with a trained health professional, once a week for 7 weeks in their own home. The program topics range from learning about the impact of dementia on driving, learning strategies for coping with change and loss, and developing an individualised plan for staying engaged in activities that you value. The program also includes a practical outing to try out local transport options.
The CarFreeMe program, developed by The University of Queensland, is currently being evaluated as part of the NHMRC funded Living with Dementia and Driving Study. The CarFreeMe program is currently being offered at no cost to people living with dementia and their family members in QLD, Southern NSW and ACT; and in other areas at a later date. For more information contact:
In the ACT and Southern NSW:
Amy Nussio email: firstname.lastname@example.org [or] telephone: 0457 779 766
Nathan D’Cunha email: Nathan.D’Cunha@canberra.edu.au
Donna Rooney email: email@example.com [or] telephone: 07 3365 6392
Theresa Scott email: firstname.lastname@example.org