Caregiver decision-making and driving: What we say versus what we do

Katina Hebert, Kristin Martin-Cook, Doris A. Svetlik, Myron F. Weiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


A series of individual caregivers were studied to investigate caregivers' experiences with the issue of driving and dementia. Caregivers first responded to questions about driving and driving cessation related to a fictitious scenario. Caregivers were later asked to respond to a series of questions regarding their personal experience actually coping with the issue of driving with their loved ones. Comparisons revealed a discrepancy between caregivers' general knowledge of the risks and considerations for dementia patients' driving and their actions when confronted with the issue of driving as it pertained to their own care recipients. Responses to questions regarding an undiagnosed, memory impaired fictitious character's driving ability were overwhelmingly in favor of immediate driving cessation (12/16) or restriction (4/16). In contrast, 14 of 16 caregivers allowed their care recipients to continue driving after a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease had been made, for an average of 28.2 months after diagnosis. Further, caregivers were easily able to identify a number (4.8) of issues to be considered in response to the fictitious character's ability to drive, whereas fewer (2.7) considerations were identified in their own personal circumstances. A discrepancy was also found between the scenario and real life experience of caregivers when asked about transportation options for care recipients who stopped driving, with 3.6 options for the fictitious character and 1.9 for personal situations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-29
Number of pages13
JournalClinical Gerontologist
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2002


  • Alzheimer's
  • Caregivers
  • Dementia
  • Driving

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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