Intervention approaches to driving and dementia.
C 40675 [electronic version only]
Health and Social Work, Vol. 32 (2007), No. 1 (February), p. 75-79, 22 ref.
|Samenvatting||More than 4 million Americans are estimated to have Alzheimer's disease (AD) and related dementias, diseases that destroy memory, judgment, language skills, and the ability to perform routine activities (Hebert, Scherr, Bienias, Bennett, & Evans, 2003). Dementia has a profound effect on millions more family members who must cope with their relative's progressive decline and increasing needs. Many issues must be addressed after a diagnosis of dementia has been made; however, one of the first and most difficult decisions involves driving. Although some drivers with mild dementia can drive safely, for most driving will at some point become impossible as the disease progresses. Gerontological social workers play a key role in addressing the complex care needs of older adults with dementia and their families. They use skills in assessment, counseling, group processes, and linkage and referral. Hence, social workers are trusted and relied on as families make decisions regarding life-sustaining treatment, finances, and long-term care planning. Because of their expertise, social workers are well suited to assist families in making decisions about driving and in coping with the consequences of those decisions. However, to best assist drivers with dementia and their families, social workers need to understand the effects of dementia on driving, be aware of their state's licensing requirements, recognize the challenges faced by families dealing with a driver with dementia, and consider their professional responsibilities. (Author/publisher)|
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