This article originally appeared on the website of the Institute for Translational Health Services
How do you know if it is time for an older driver to put away the keys? It is a question that family members and caregivers dread. Thirty-six percent of adult children polled by the website Caring.com and the National Safety Council said talking to their parents about the need to stop driving would be harder than discussing funeral plans or selling the family home.
When you add a dementia diagnosis to the mix, things become even more complicated. One University of Washington doctoral student is seeking to make that conversation easier.
Laura Fraade-Blanar, an ITHS TL1 Multidisciplinary Pre-doctoral Clinical Research trainee and UW School of Public Health doctoral student based at the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center, is studying the role dementia plays in the accident risk of older drivers.
It is important to get this information out to people who are actually on the front lines of this issue and are dealing with it on a daily basis.”
“Most of this research is aimed at helping people with cognitive issues, health care providers, and the families of individuals with dementia to do a very complicated balancing act,” Fraade-Blanar said. “On one hand, withdrawing licensure and ceasing to drive has been shown to have very strong association with depression, early entry into nursing homes, and decreased life satisfaction.”
Laura Fraade-Blanar’s research base is at the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center.
Want to learn more? You can read more on this study on the UW School of Public Health website.