Navigation Links
Improved techniques may help recovery and prevent incidents of missing drivers with dementia
Date:12/14/2012

Tampa, FL (Dec. 14, 2012) A new study focusing on how people with dementia become lost while driving, how missing drivers are found, and the role of public notification systems like Silver Alert in these discoveries suggests techniques that may help recover drivers with dementia and prevent potentially harmful incidents.

The study was led by principal investigator Meredeth A. Rowe, RN, PhD, FGSA, FAAN, professor and endowed chair at the University of South Florida College of Nursing. The findings were published online last month in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society: Missing Drivers with Dementia: Antecedents and Recovery.

Based on the study results, the research team reported several recommendations to help guide local policies and training for Silver Alert-type programs that broadcast information about missing seniors with Alzheimer's disease, dementia or other cognitive deficits, including:

  • Rapid, direct notification of law enforcement agencies as well as equipping officers a mechanism for quickly assessing the cognitive status of drivers is critical. Law enforcement officers are more likely than citizens or family members to discover missing drivers with dementia.

  • More detailed information about a missing individual, not just a description of the car being driven, may better assist law enforcement officers and citizens in rescuing lost drivers who have left their vehicles to wander on foot.

  • State and federal agencies planning a Silver Alert program need to develop policies and procedures that recognize the distinct differences between those missing while driving and those lost while walking.

  • Retirement from driving is the only preventive option when individuals can no longer safely operate a motor vehicle because dementia interferes with their ability to retain and use new information.

"With the baby-boomer generation getting older, the number of the people living with Alzheimer's disease is on the rise," Dr. Rowe said. "Most Americans depend on driving their own car to meet their transportation needs, even for the most basic needs such as food. It will be critical to identify other means of transportation for people with dementia (PWD) to facilitate driving retirement. This strategy will be the most effective intervention to reduce and prevent incidents of missing PWDs. Strategies commonly recommended, such a hiding the car keys, are potentially protective only in a small number of cases."

According to Alzheimer's Association, 5.4 million Americans live with Alzheimer's disease, including 800,000 who live alone. One in eight older Americans lives with the memory-robbing disease, including 450,000 Floridians age 65 or older. These statistics highlight the need to find more effective ways to search for missing drivers with dementia and reduce missing incidents.

Dr. Rowe and her colleagues analyzed 156 records from the Florida Silver Alert program for October 2008 through May 2010. These alerts are issued on digital highway signs and news broadcasts in Florida to assist law enforcement officials and the general public in identifying and safely returning cognitively impaired drivers.

The researchers found that most missing drivers were men, ages 58 to 94, who were cared for by a spouse. Most got lost on routine, caregiver-sanctioned trips to usual locations. Only 15 percent were found while driving, with most discovered in or near a parked car and law enforcement officers recovered the large majority of drivers with dementia.

In addition, only 40 percent were found in the county where they were reported missing, and 10 percent were found in a different state. Another 15 percent were found in dangerous situations such as stopped on railroad tracks. There was a 5 percent mortality rate in the study population, with those living alone more likely to be found dead than alive.

"While some PWDs may continue to drive safely, it is imperative that we identify individuals who will get lost, determine predictors of modifiable outcomes, and establish policies that will improve location of those individuals who get lost," said study co-author James E. Galvin, MD, MPH, professor of neurology and psychiatry New York University Langone Medical Center.

A comprehensive Silver Alert program that includes law enforcement and community education as well as rapid alerts is critical to finding missing drivers, the researchers conclude.

Their findings led to recommendations for an additional study on how notifications be more effectively delivered to facilitate increased recoveries from "Good Samaritan" citizens.

The researchers emphasize that getting cognitively impaired people to retire from driving may be the single most effective measure for prevent missing incidents that may lead to injury or death.

"Important aspects of successful driving retirement include a partnership between the healthcare practitioner and caregiver to support the decision for driving retirement, the identification of local and state programs and assistance in finding alternative forms of transportation in the community," they report.


'/>"/>

Contact: Ashlea Hudak
ahudak@health.usf.edu
813-396-9642
University of South Florida (USF Health)
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. UT MD Anderson study finds link between statins and improved survival in inflammatory breast cancer
2. Study links improved consumer welfare to increased prescription drug advertising efforts
3. New, improved mouse model of human Alzheimers may enable drug discovery
4. Scripps studies show community-based diabetes programs are key to lowered costs and improved care
5. Genetic test results for Lynch syndrome improved with new computer program
6. Controlling depression is associated with improved health for heart-failure patients
7. Complementary and alternative therapy improved lives of arthritis patients
8. Survival After General Anesthesia Vastly Improved: Study
9. Improved Developmental Screening Urged for Hispanic Kids
10. Technique using CT linked with improved detection of lymph node metastasis in patients with melanoma
11. Improved nanoparticles deliver drugs into brain
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... ... PawPaws brand pet supplements owned by Whole Health Supply is ... of felines. The formula is all-natural and is made from Chinese herbs that have ... Kidney Support Supplement Soft Chews are Astragalus Root Extract and Rehmannia Root Extract ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, can now turn to Dr. Jessica ... Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. Dorsey brings specialization to include Mohs ... Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was under the direction of Glenn Goldstein, ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Omkar Marathe earned his Bachelors ... Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in Internal Medicine at Scripps Green ... hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he had the opportunity to train ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... A recent article published June 14 on ... article goes on to state that individuals are now more comfortable seeking to undergo ... such as calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area medical group, Beverly Hills ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... The Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) learned during ... two significant new grants to support its work to advance research and patient ... recognizing patients, medical professionals and scientists for their work in fighting pulmonary hypertension ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced the addition ... 2022" report to their offering. ... with kidney failure, it replaces the function of kidneys by ... and thus the treatment helps to keep the patient body,s ... Increasing number of ESRD patients & substantial healthcare ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Research and Markets has announced ... Type (Organic Chemical (Sugar, Petrochemical, Glycerin), Inorganic Chemical), Functionality ... - Global Forecast to 2021" report to their ... global pharmaceutical excipients market is projected to reach USD ... in the forecast period 2016 to 2021. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: ... its Elecsys BRAHMS PCT (procalcitonin) assay as a dedicated ... shock. With this clearance, Roche is the first IVD ... solution for sepsis risk assessment and management. ... and PCT levels in blood can aid clinicians in ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: