Understanding and Helping Drivers with Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, offers unique challenges for law enforcement as the presence of this chronic disease may impair many older adults’ abilities to operate motor vehicles. The disease challenges law enforcement when an older adult with dementia violates road safety laws. Furthermore, complications arise when law enforcement officers encounter a driver with dementia who is driving lost. This article will review these issues by providing background information on the disease, research on driving behaviors affected by Alzheimer’s disease, and suggestions on assisting drivers with Alzheimer’s disease (and other related-dementias) and their caregivers—usually, family members.