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3.6 Strategies from others who stopped driving

There are a range of strategies and travel options to get to the places you need to go.

Here are some strategies from others living with dementia for getting around when you no longer drive.  People with dementia describe using different travel options to get to different places through the week: 

  1. Ask family and friends to drive you. If you have friends going to the same gathering or activity, ask them for a lift. Travelling together can become part of the routine. Asking a few different people spreads out who you’re getting help from and you get to spend time in the car with different people. Make a list of names and numbers of those who have offered to drive you and keep it by your telephone. 
  2. Change where you go for some services so they are easier to get to without driving. Change your hairdresser, pharmacy, or exercise class so that you can get there by walking or public transport. If possible, go to one place that offers many services, so you only need to take one trip.
  3. Group your activities and plan appointments to occur in the same area on the same day to reduce travel.
  4. Use businesses which offer home delivery, such as grocery stores or pharmacies. 
  5.  If you use a taxi, try to use the same taxi driver. If there’s a taxi driver you like, ask them if they will give you their number so you can book them again. Having a familiar taxi driver, you can book with makes taking taxis easier.
  6. If you use a smartphone, set up a ride sharing app such as Uber. This makes it easy to call a driver when you are home or out.
  7.  Ask about a ride share program in your area, some faith groups offer to drive members to attend services, some community volunteer groups offer to drive people at a reduced fee or for free, and some long-term care homes offer to drive non-residents.
  8. In most cities you can get a public transit card which you can use on public transportation. If you haven’t taken public transportation such as the bus or subway for a while, or aren’t confident using it alone, practice with a friend to see if it’s a good option to get to certain places.
  9. Talk to other people with dementia in your area about solutions they found helpful. 

Learn about transportation options

  • For information about transportation options in Canadian provinces or territories, please click here

Tell the driver’s license authority

  • Tell the driver’s license authority (Department of Public Safety or Motor Vehicles, or the provincial Ministry of Transportation) in your province or territory that you have dementia. Book a driving lesson if you want to assess your driving.  

Plan for transition from driving

  • Plan how you will get to your usual activities and appointments when you do not drive. Use the Dementia and Driving Decision aid,  ‘At the Crossroads’ booklet, or the Alzheimer’s Society of Canada resource. Talk with your family and friends about your options and any of your concerns.