How Fit2Drive Predicts Driving Abilities in Seniors with Dementia

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Many new technologies are being developed to help seniors live safer and happier lives, including those living with cognitive disorders. Here is an overview of a new driving app many medical professionals and families providing Pembroke Pines dementia home care are using to test the cognitive function of seniors with dementia.

The Purpose of the Fit2Drive App 

The objective of all tests is to determine if seniors with dementia should keep driving or not. The first part is the Screening Stage, which will help determine if your elderly loved one should be referred to the Stage 2 Comprehensive Evaluation, where further observations are then made. A driving interview takes place, and the answers and test scores are used to predict the likelihood your loved one would pass a basic road test.

The Mini Mental State Examination

This 30-point questionnaire tests your loved one’s range of cognitive function and is broken down into the following sections:

  • Orientation – Understanding where he or she is 
  • Registration – Repeating 3 words after an examiner
  • Attention and Calculation – Counting backward from 100 by sevens 
  • Recollection – Recalling the 3 words from earlier 
  • Language – Naming a 3-stage command, reading and carrying out the command, writing a complete sentence, and copying a figure 

Your loved one can score up to 50 points using this test. Drivers who score under 24 points have a higher risk of being in an automobile accident. This particular test is used to measure cognitive impairment, not driving skills. 

The Trail Making Test

This specific test focuses on the reaction time and executive function of elderly drivers who have been diagnosed with dementia. There are 2 parts – A and B. During Part A, your loved one will be required to connect the dots using 25 numbers. The objective is to connect as many dots as possible within a short time frame. Part B of the Trail Making Test is more complex. Your loved one must sequentially alternate those 25 numbered dots with 25 letters. The results of this test are scored based on the amount of seconds it takes your loved one to complete both parts. 

The DriveABLE On-Road Evaluation

This is perhaps one of the most significant parts of the Fit2Drive app. The DriveABLE On-Road Evaluation is designed specifically for drivers with cognitive concerns. This test differs from a traditional driving test where drivers must understand common laws pertaining to operating a motor vehicle, in addition to basic maneuvering skills. It determines if your loved one can drive without drifting or having difficulty making turns. Ultimately, this test will highlight the behaviors caused by your loved one’s cognitive impairment. Seniors are not penalized for bad driving habits that affect all drivers. The computer algorithm score ranges from normal/competent driving to a complete fail. 

If your loved one is no longer able to drive, a professional caregiver from Pembroke Pines Home Care Assistance can provide transportation to medical appointments, social events, and much more. Our caregivers are also trained in comprehensive Alzheimer’s and dementia care. For more information on the high-quality home care Pembroke Pines seniors can count on, call (954) 374-8273 today.