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More than 60% of Seniors with Cognitive Declines Continue to Drive

A vast percentage of seniors who have age-related cognitive declines continue to operate motor vehicles, seriously increasing their risks of being involved in an auto accident. Senior are especially susceptible to serious personal injuries when involved in a car accident which makes preventing these accidents a high priority.

According to a new study, far too many seniors who have impaired cognitive abilities or thinking declines as per a cognitive assessment score continue to operate motor vehicles without hesitation.  The  study found that more than 600 adults in a particular county suffered from thinking declines as per the cognitive assessment test,  and that more than 61% of these persons who suffered cognitive declines continued to drive.

Suffering a cognitive decline does  not automatically mean that a person may be unable to drive.  In  fact, not all of the caregivers who were involved in the study believed that  the senior drivers in the  study had their driving skills   affected by their  cognitive difficulties.  About   one -third of the  caregivers  admitted to having concerns about  the driver’s ability to safely operate a car. However, there are  safety issues involved when a person with cognitive issues takes to the road.

Most  cognitive declines can be linked to Alzheimer’s disease or age- related dementia.  These  early declines may not  always be diagnosed on time.  That  means that many senior persons who continue to suffer from these symptoms may continue with their normal routine activities, including driving a car.  Family  members may continue to remain unaware  about their loved one’s risks of being involved in a car accident.

The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that close to 7 million Americans above the age of 65 live with symptoms of Alzheimer’s. That makes it  one in   9 persons above the age of 65 who  live with this condition. This number does not take into account the millions of Americans above the age of 65 who may be suffering from other  Alzheimer’s – related symptoms.  The  symptoms can include  forgetfulness, lack of focus and concentration, disorientation and other symptoms that can affect a person’s ability to drive a car safely.

Family  members need to frequently monitor their loved one’s driving abilities in order to ensure that cognitive or thinking declines have not impacted their driving abilities.  Look  out for signs  like forgetfulness,  confusion,  taking a long time to return home from a drive and other  signs of cognitive declines. The  researchers in the study, in fact, insist on families and caregivers frequently  providing on- the- road evaluations of the motorist’s driving skills.  During an on- the- road evaluation of a senior driver,  look out for sudden and unnecessary braking,  sudden acceleration of speeds,  breaking traffic rules,  running red lights and general confusion.

The Atlanta car accident lawyers at Katz Personal Injury Lawyers are dedicated to the representation of persons who have  suffered injuries in car accidents in the metro Atlanta region and across the state of Georgia.  If  you or a  loved one have suffered injuries in a car accident, talk to   a lawyer at our firm  and determine your legal options for a claim for damages.  You  may qualify for a   claim that includes damages for medical expenses,    lost income and other forms of compensation.  Talk  to an attorney at our firm and discuss your case. Initial consultations are free.

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