2.2.5 Progressive conditions
Often diagnoses of progressive conditions are made well before there is a need to question whether the patient remains safe to drive (e.g. multiple sclerosis, early dementia). However, it is advantageous to raise issues relating to the likely effects of these disorders on personal independent mobility early in the management process.
In a mobile society people frequently make choices about employment, place of residence and recreational and social activities based on the assumption of continued access to a car. Changing jobs, home and social contacts takes a great deal of time and places substantial emotional demands on patients and their families.
It is therefore recommended that the patient be advised appropriately where a progressive condition is diagnosed that may result in future restrictions on driving. It is important to give the patient as much lead time as possible to make the lifestyle changes that may later be required. Assistance from an occupational therapist may be valuable in such instances (refer to Part B section 6.1 Dementia).