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Aging Resource Centers Memory Concerns Reporting An Unsafe Driver Transitioning

Families, partners, and friends play a large role in an older adult's safety and mobility. Resources to help prepare families and caregivers to discuss safe driving concerns, including the process to reduce or stop driving, can be found here and also in the Coalition's Tips for Talking with Aging Drivers about Safe Driving Concerns brochure. To request a free copy of the brochure send an email to safe-mobility-for-life@fsu.edu.

Research indicates that driving discussions between older adults and families and friends can be effective to help address the issues of aging and safe driving. In a survey of 7,200 adults aged 50 and older conducted by The Hartford/MIT AgeLab, more than half followed the suggestions made in conversations they had with their families about their driving.

Even when family members and friends are willing to tackle these difficult conversations, research shows they want more information to begin the discussion. Before starting the conversation it is important for everyone involved to know and understand these things:

This conversation can be difficult for everyone involved, but do not let these reasons stop you from having it:

Postponing the discussion until after a crisis has occurred or bringing it up out of the blue at family gatherings, can bring stress to everyone involved. You may feel that there never is a good time to bring up the issue, but proper planning and preparation can help you.


Aging Resource Centers of Florida

Florida’s Aging Resource Centers are committed to helping individuals age 60 and above and those who care about them understand and navigate the complex web of available services, agencies and other options. Their goal is to help you find the information, resources, and services you need to make informed decisions.

Florida’s eleven Aging Resource Centers help find agencies and individuals who can provide assistance on a variety of issues – from housing and home care to meals, transportation and other areas of concern. Visit their website to find an Aging Resource Center in your area.


Memory Concerns

Florida has designated 15 memory disorder clinics that provide comprehensive assessments, diagnostic services, and treatment to individuals who exhibit symptoms of Alzheimer's disease and related memory disorders. The clinics also develop training programs and materials and conduct training for caregivers, respite service providers and health care professionals to help care of persons with Alzheimer's disease and related memory disorders. The DOEA website has a location map and contact information to help you find a Memory Disorder Clinic near you.

Alzheimer's Disease Initiative

The Alzheimer’s Disease Initiative (ADI) was legislatively created in 1985 to provide a continuum of services to meet the changing needs of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, and similar memory disorders, and their families. The Department of Elder Affairs (DOEA) coordinates and develops policy to carry out the statutory requirements for the ADI.

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Reporting an Unsafe Driver

Under Florida law, any physician, agency, family member, or the general public who knows of any licensed driver's mental or physical disability to drive is authorized to report this information to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. DHSMV provides a Medical Reporting form for this purpose and requests the full name, date of birth, and address of the person being reported along with a description of the problem. Anyone reporting the driver must include their own contact information and sign the report. However, this contact information is not shared with anyone, including the driver being reported; it is only used when the report information needs to be clarified.

The reports are kept strictly confidential and no civil or criminal action may be brought against the person who submits the information. For more information on reporting an unsafe driver, visit the FLHSMV Florida GrandDriver Program website.


Transitioning from Driving

For most Americans, a driver's license is considered the first outward and visible step toward becoming an adult. Today, many of us see cars as physical extensions of ourselves - transporting us wherever we want, whenever we want. However, the time may come when driving is no longer a safe option. The decision to stop driving is never an easy one. But, the key for a positive transition from driving is planning.

The Florida Aging Road User Strategic Safety Plan contains a Transitioning from Driving Emphasis Area where we have developed specific objectives and strategies to help achieve our goal to bridge the gap between driving retirement and mobility independence. Working with our national, state, and local partners we will continue to develop programs and resources to help older adults and their families prepare for a safe transition to help them maintain independence and remain active in their communities.

The Safe Mobility for Life Coalition Guide for Aging Drivers contains a "Retirement from Driving" section with resources and information to help individuals and families properly plan for the transition.

NHTSA's Driving Transitions Education: Tools, Scripts, and Practice Exercises Handbook was developed to prepare professionals for effective conversations about driver safety and community mobility issues with older adults, their families, and concerned community members.

“Hanging Up the Keys? Options When Driving Retirement Becomes a Crisis.” is a guide that was developed by Annie Harmon of the University of Missouri - St. Louis as part of a 2009 Student Scholars initiative. The document is designed to assist individuals and families in better understanding the current level of risk older drivers face and to direct them to comprehensive resources. The free guide includes a driving checklist, risk factors to consider, communication and safety tips, and information on alternatives to driving.


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