Home' Intouch : In Touch Autumn 2016 Contents AUTUMN 2016 IN TOUCH 9
The National Dementia Helpline is available 9am to
5pm, Monday to Friday.
T: 1800 100 500
PROFESSOR HENRY BRODATY AO AND PROFESSOR
PERMINDER SACHDEV AM, CO -DIRECTORS,
CENTRE FOR HEALTHY BRAIN AGEING (CHEBA)
For most people, mobility is key to maintaining a good
quality of life. Mobility equals freedom, flexibility and
independence. What if you could not go shopping, see
your doctor, visit family or meet with friends? For many
people, driving is the preferred transport option.
But what if you have a medical condition that
interferes with your ability to drive? National medical
guidelines1 state that a person is not fit to hold an
unconditional licence if the person has a diagnosis of
dementia. This does not always mean giving up driving
immediately, but eventually they will have to stop driving
because dementia involves a gradual decline in cognitive
and physical ability.
Once dementia is diagnosed, the driver must notify
Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) within two weeks in
NSW. Otherwise the insurer might not provide cover and
the driver might be liable for any accidents. There is no
need to notify the insurer of the condition if the person
is legally able to drive and has met their responsibility of
notifying the licensing authority. If in doubt, it is best to
check with the insurance company.
Early diagnosis can smooth the transition to not
driving. Community mobility assessment and planning
includes family support, accessing public transport and
use of the Taxi Transport Subsidy Scheme (TTSS)2.
Resources are available to support retirement from
driving through Alzheimer’s Australia3,4
Losing the ability to drive is traumatic for anyone
and can lead to enormous family tension. A planned
approach can lessen the impact.
Special thanks to Beth Cheal, Rehab on the
Road, for her advice and recommendations.
Find out more about CHeBA at ww w.cheba.unsw.
ed.au. Professor Brodaty is an honorary medical
advisor to Alzheimer’s Australia NSW.
Austroads Assessing Fitness to Drive 2013
AP-G56-13 (pp 71 & 136)
2 Taxi Transport Subsidy Scheme (TTSS)
3 Alzheimer’s Australia
https://fightdementia.org.au or 1800 100 500
Staying on the Move with Dementia, Alzheimer’s Australia
Barry Freeman represents Alzheimer’s Australia
NSW on Transport for NSW’s Accessible Transport
Advisory Committee (ATAC), which is a forum for
identifying and considering opportunities and barriers
in the current transport system.
Barry worked as a chemical engineer and in the
private sector prior to his wife, Joanie, being diagnosed
with Alzheimer’s disease.
“I needed to care for her full-time. Our experience
with dementia has involved me as a full-time carer for
four years until there became the need for residential
care because of Joanie’s deteriorating health as well
as my own, to a degree,” Barry says. “I ’m still involved
with her most days of the week to give her outings and
physical exercise to ensure that she has the best quality
of life that I can give her.”
Barry says transport is critical for those with
dementia, and certainly their carers, as there are many
needs for travel within the caring role.
“Examples are medical appointments, respite from
home care, and just the enjoyment of going somewhere
for a movie, a show, the beach or the country. It all is
necessary to maintain some quality of life,” he says.
“T he ATAC committee meetings are very interesting
in terms of understanding what Transport for NSW
is doing with various forms of transportation. It also
gives various interest groups a real opportunity to input
their concerns and needs about the relevant planning
that goes on in the development of new and existing
“T he committee has the opportunity to really
influence the final outcomes of these projects. I know
that Transport for NSW values the input they get from
ATAC, and I’m sure we make a difference for those with
challenging situations in their lives, ensuring their needs
are more effectively understood and catered for.”
14/03/2016 2:21 pm
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