This help sheet provides information on how technology and environmental adaptation may be used to support the driving and transport needs of a person living with dementia.

Seat Belt Alarm

Travelling by car, bus, train or taxi helps people to participate in community life and be productive. Access to transport is a key to independence and maintaining our life roles. The feelings of loss, anger, frustration and shame that can be felt upon losing the ability to drive need sensitive and supportive responses. Knowledge of technologies and schemes that can help may reassure and provide a sense of independence.

To travel alone safely using public transport a person with dementia needs to be able to:

  • Cross streets safely, with and without traffic signals;
  • Recognise and get on board the correct bus or train as well as get off at the right stop;
  • Recognise and avoid dangerous situations and obstacles and ask for help from appropriate persons if needed;
  • Deal with unexpected situations, such as the cancellation of a service, changes to a timetable, road detours or getting lost.

Where there is concern about a person’s ability to drive, discuss your concerns with the person. If necessary, raise your concerns with the person’s doctor or report your concerns to the appropriate roads and traffic authority in your state or territory. For information about whether, as a carer, you are entitled to a disabled parking permit, contact Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres on 1800 052 222.