Cona Elder Law


Melissa Negrin-Wiener, Esq. on Dementia and Driving


Below are attorney Melissa Negrin-Wiener’s insights regarding Dementia and Driving which have been discussed in a recent Newsday article titled “Dementia and driving: Families, doctors wrestle with when to take away keys“. If you’d like access to the full article please reach out!

The decision to take a loved one’s keys away has long been a topic of discussion in the elder law and estate planning community.  Experts have differing opinions on when someone exhibiting signs and symptoms of dementia should stop driving.  Some feel it should be immediately upon diagnosis with mandatory reporting to government agencies, while others feel there should be continuing road tests and evaluations of cognitive decline.  While it is true that the disease affects people differently and at a different pace, the risk of someone being out on the road when their memory is declining and their reaction time has slowed far outweighs the discomfort and difficulty involved in having to take the keys away, unplug the battery or ultimately get rid of your loved one’s vehicle.  The loss of independence can be devastating for the individual who is told or decides to stop driving.  It is so important, especially here on Long Island, to make sure that alternative modes of transportation are arranged so as not to completely disrupt your loved one’s daily routine.  This Newsday article includes both professional opinions and personal stories regarding this very important topic.

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