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Driving is a symbol of autonomy and independence, eagerly awaited during adolescence, cherished during adulthood and reluctantly rescinded during old age. It is nevertheless an individual’s privilege, not right, especially as driving may affect other drivers and pedestrians on the road. It is therefore not only the individual patient who is at stake but essentially the entire community. In this case scenario, we describe the situation that arose when a patient with multi-infarct dementia wanted to go for a drive and his son and grandson tried to convince him that he could no longer drive. What went wrong in the caregivers/patient interaction is presented. The futility of arguing with patients who have dementia is highlighted as well as the suspiciousness it may generate. Alternate actions that can be useful to avoid/avert the situation from escalating and having a catastrophic ending are discussed. Testing/evaluating patients with dementia for fitness to drive is also reviewed and a list of select resources is included.

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© The Author(s) 2018. This document was originally published in Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License