As our population ages, the proportion of drivers with dementia will continue to rise. Increasingly, health professionals are faced with the clinical dilemma of determining fitness to drive. Unfortunately, the management of drivers with dementia is fraught with hazards.
This article attempts to provide an overview of the complex issue of driving and dementia as it relates to general practitioners in Australia. In addition, an evidence based management strategy is proposed.
When determining an individual’s fitness to drive, a clinician’s input may have legal, ethical, emotional and social ramifications. At present, a clear consistent national protocol detailing how one should establish fitness to drive is lacking. There is a need for research addressing how to facilitate early retirement from driving without jeopardising patient-doctor relationships.