Friday, May 17, 2024
Friday, May 17, 2024
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Can You Drive With Parkinson’s Disease

Tips For Traveling With Parkinson’s Disease

Driving with Parkinson’s Disease
  • Always try to travel with a companion.
  • Place the names of your doctor, insurance company, emergency contact, and medications in your wallet or purse.
  • Carry identification stating that you have Parkinson’s disease.
  • Use a “fanny” pack or backpack so that you have both hands free to balance as you walk, especially if walking any distance.
  • Pack snacks and carry a water bottle to take medications.
  • Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing and good walking shoes.
  • When making hotel reservations, request a room on the ground floor or near an elevator. Ask if they have rooms that are handicapped-accessible; these usually include grab bars in the shower and bathroom and have wider spaces between furniture for wheelchair access.

How Visuospatial Ability Is Measured

Certain cognitive tests include sections that help identify visuospatial impairments. These tasks include the clock drawing test, the task of drawing intersecting shapes or copying a complex figure and the ability to recognize an object, such as a pencil or watch.

Additionally, the;Visual Object and Space Perception test was designed to specifically assess visuospatial ability and can be helpful in identifying impairment in this area.

Driving With Parkinsons Disease

Parkinsons disease is a progressive condition that may affect someones ability to drive safely. Dr Wyn Parry, DVLAs Senior Medical Adviser, tells us more about driving with this condition.

I joined DVLA as Senior Medical Adviser after thirty years in the NHS. Its my job to advise on how certain medical conditions can affect someones ability to drive. After blogging last year about driving with diabetes, this time Id like to focus on driving with Parkinsons disease.

Parkinsons disease affects the nervous system and may affect the muscles, causing movement problems. In some circumstances, it can even affect the functions of the brain.

Also Check: How Long Can A Person Live With Parkinson’s Disease?

How Can Parkinsons Affect My Driving

Driving is a complex skill. Parkinsons-related physical, emotional and mental changes may affect your ability to drive safely.

  • Parkinsons can cause your arms, hands or legs to shake even when you are relaxed. It can also make it harder for you to keep your balance or start to move when you have been still.
  • If you have Parkinsons and you try to drive, you may not be able to:
  • React quickly to a road hazard.
  • Turn the steering wheel, push down on the gas pedal or brake.
  • Many Parkinsons medicines can also reduce your ability to drive safely. Common medications including carbidopa/levodopa , amantadine, dopamine agonists;and;anticholinergics; may produce side effects such as sleepiness, dizziness, blurred vision and confusion. Not every person with PD experiences these side effects and they may be decreased by simple medication adjustments. Note any changes and report them to your physician.
  • My Parkinson’s Story: Driving

    Can You Drive A Car With Parkinson

    This 9-minute video alternates between an interview with a man and his wife and several specialists. The man and his wife share how he gave up his driver’s license due to Parkinson’s symptoms and how he is adjusting. The specialists share how Parkinson’s symptoms affect a person’s ability to drive, and how driving and cognitive assessments can determine a person’s fitness to drive.

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    Parkinsons Disease And Sex Issues: Libido Sex Drive

    Parkinson’s disease and sex is a complicated topic. No matter your age, gender or relationship status, sex plays a significant part in many people’s lives. Sexual desire does not go away with a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, and most people are perfectly able to continue having intimate relationships. However, you may experience changes to your libido or physical ability during sex. As with all Parkinsonian symptoms, it helps to be prepared so that you’re aware of your options. With this in mind, here’s what to expect from Parkinson’s disease and sex.

    Is It Ok To Limit Driving Instead Of Stopping Completely That Is Only Drive Locally Or During The Day

    What we find is that as we age, most people normally begin to restrict their driving. For example, older drivers often prefer to not drive at night, drive in familiar areas only, and limit highway and rush-hour driving. Drivers usually are more comfortable driving in familiar areas that are close to home and driving during the daytime. The more frequently we drive places, the more familiar we are with the streets, traffic patterns, and routes, making it easier for us to navigate.; But even when driving locally, the unexpected situation can still occur . ;Therefore, restricting driving to a persons local area is not always sufficient. It really depends on both the type and level of severity of impairment that the person with PD is experiencing. Restricting driving is most useful when the type and severity of impairment will support the drivers ability to follow through safely with the restriction. Advice from a physician and/or occupational therapist who works with driving can be beneficial in guiding such a decision.

    An additional concern arises when drivers who need to restrict their driving fail to do so.; Usually those who fail to restrict when necessary have cognitive impairments which limit their insight into the need for restrictions.

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    Nicolas Finds Even Long Trips Relaxing When He Is On Holiday Travel For Work Is More Of A Problem

    What about stiffness after a long haul flight?

    ;One of the best things I did, because of the resort we were staying at, was get a massage.;So that was good.;I did have a bit of an adverse reaction to it because I was quite stiff, but I got over that quite quickly. Swimming was useful. Its interesting I dont have any difficulties with gross movements like swimming. Its the fine motor control and the small movements that I struggle with.;So I appreciated that, so that was another form of exercise while I was out there.

    Business travel, I feel is a bit more pressurised.;In that its much more intensive for me. Our head office is in Toulouse. So its a flight there and back in a day and its a long day. And thats quite intensive and that I struggle with, and youve got to do a days work while your there and all that sort of thing. So that can be a bit awkward.

    Advice On Driving With Parkinsons

    Can I drive a vehicle if I have Parkinson’s Disease?

    Surrendering your drivers license is like surrendering your independence but unfortunately that time must come at some point in your Parkinsons journey.

    It is important to remember that Parkinsons can affect your ability to self-evaluate. Therefore, it is a good starting point to discuss your driving with your caregivers and your doctor. They may have a different perception of your driving skills.

    In the early stages of Parkinsons, you have the option to modify your driving habits to address the physical and cognitive changes you are experiencing. For example, you can adapt by driving shorter distances and avoiding peak hour traffic and night- time driving. Or if you drive a manual car, it may be sensible to convert to an automatic instead.

    However, as your condition progresses, issues may develop which could result in impaired driving performance.

    Insurance Regulations

    It is recommended that you inform your insurance company of your Parkinsons diagnosis however it is not mandatory. In some cases, failure to disclose this information may result in your insurance being cancelled.

    Driving, Parkinsons and Medications

    Just as sight-impaired people must wear their glasses when driving, people living with Parkinsons must take their medication as prescribed when driving.

    Therefore, when starting to take a new medication, check with your doctor and pharmacist that it is safe to drive.

    Roads and Maritime Service Requirements

    Will your doctor notify the RMS?

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    How Do I Know If I Can Drive Safely

    • Ask a trusted friend or family member for honest input about your driving skills.

    *Please note that not all content is available in both languages. If you are interested in receiving Spanish communications, we recommend selecting both” to stay best informed on the Foundation’s work and the latest in PD news.

    Driving A Vehicle Safely

    Being able to drive a vehicle requires high levels of skill and ability. A driver either needs to be unaffected by a medical condition, or have a medical condition that is controlled so that symptoms are highly unlikely to cause any problems.

    Sadly, Parkinsons is a progressive condition and deterioration is inevitable. Itll affect many activities, including driving. This is why it is so important that all drivers who are diagnosed with Parkinsons must tell DVLA. The rate of deterioration varies, but recognising that it will happen is important. It allows the patient and their family time to make plans for any lifestyle changes that may be necessary.

    Knowing you will eventually lose the ability to drive is never easy to accept. But it may be more bearable if the person has time to adjust and plan alternative ways of travel. For example: public transport, taxis, or lifts from friends and relatives.

    For professional drivers, who must demonstrate a greater level of fitness to drive, it may involve reviewing work options for the future.

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    How To Ease The Transition

    Frank discussions with family members and doctors are often enough to convince people with Parkinsonâs disease to modify their driving. Some people may need additional input from a support group, lawyer, or financial planner to ease the transition.

    Some people with Parkinson’s disease can continue driving under strict guidelines, although the long-term goal will still be to eventually stop driving. Guidelines for limited driving may include:

    • Drive only on familiar roads
    • Limit drives to short trips
    • Avoid rush-hour traffic and heavily traveled roads
    • Restrict drives to daylight hours during good weather

    Itâs important for family and friends to find ways to help their loved one reduce their need to drive. These include arranging for groceries, meals, and prescriptions to be delivered to the home, or for barbers or hairdressers to come to the home.

    Itâs also important to help your loved one become accustomed to using alternate methods of transportation, such as:

    • Rides from family and friends
    • Taxi cabs
    • Public buses, trains, and subways
    • Walking

    Your local Area Agency on Aging can help you find transportation services for a loved one. Eldercare Locator, a service of the U.S. Administration on Aging, can also assist. Its phone number is 800-677-1116,

    If your loved one refuses to voluntarily limit or stop driving, despite a demonstrated need to do so, you may need to take more aggressive steps, such as:

    • Hiding the car keys

    Can I Still Drive With Pd

    Parkinsons Disease Symptoms And Signs Stock Illustration ...

    Most likely yes, in the early stages and if you take medicines that control your symptoms. Staying fit and active helps keep the muscle strength you need to drive. Here are some other options to help you maintain optimal driving safety:

    • Eliminate driving distractions. Listening to the radio, talking on a cell phone, eating or drinking while driving all affect concentration and reduce safety.
    • Avoid nighttime driving if you have vision changes in reduced light settings.
    • Do not drive when you feel fatigued or your medication wearing off.
    • Choose familiar, comfortable routes and non-peak driving hours. Consider a GPS system for directions.
    • Maintain good posture. Reduce back strain with a lumbar support cushion.
    • Do regular neck and trunk stretching exercises to increase mobility when backing up or watching for traffic and other obstacles.
    • Consider taking a defensive driving course. AAA, AARP and other agencies offer these classes. It may also lower auto insurance premiums.

    Also Check: How Long Does It Take For Parkinson’s Disease To Progress

    How Dementia Affects Visuospatial Abilities

    Depth Perception

    Dementia can affect depth perception, making it more difficult to navigate tasks such as going downstairs and thus increasing the risk of falls. Activities of daily living such as getting into a bathtub, getting dressed or feeding oneself can also become more challenging.

    Increased Risk of Wandering

    Persons with dementia can also become easily lost and wander, even in very familiar environments. They might not recognize the path home that they’ve taken every day for many years, or be able to locate the bathroom in the middle of the night.

    Recognizing Faces and Locating Objects

    Visuospatial changes may also contribute, along with the cognitive symptoms of dementia, to the inability to recognize faces or find objects that are in plain sight.

    Difficulty Driving

    Driving may become more difficult as dementia develops, in part because of changes in the ability to understand spatial relationships. For example, navigating a turn, changing lanes or parking a car could become a significant challenge due to a decline in visuospatial abilities. As dementia progresses, the difficult decision to quit driving;usually must be made.


    The ability to read may also decline, in part due to visuospatial changes, as well as a decline inability to remember how to read or comprehend the meaning of the words.

    Parkinsons Disease And Sex: What You Need To Know

    There is no reason why you cannot continue to have a healthy sex life with Parkinson’s disease. However, studies suggest that around 70 to 80% of those with PD experience sexual dysfunction. These common sexual problems are believed to result from Parkinson’s medication side-effects and psychological issues.

    Men and women experience different issues when it comes to Parkinsons disease and sex. In men, common problems include erectile dysfunction, lower sex drive, premature ejaculation and inability to orgasm. Women may experience pain during intercourse, as well as lack of sexual arousal, inability to orgasm and reduced lubrication.

    In addition, the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease can create physical challenges during sex. Many people with PD experience slowed movement and rigidity that makes any movement difficult. Tremors and involuntary movement can also occur during sexual activity.

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    Psychological Issue: Depression And Sex

    With diagnosis and decreased physical capacity, a persons sense of self is disrupted with Parkinsons. Parkinsons itself can cause changes in the brains chemicals that impact ones mood and well-being. Depression can affect up to 40 percent of those with Parkinsons. This is important to realize since sexual disorders may be due to the depression that can come with Parkinsons diagnosis more than by the actual disease itself. The antidepressant medications that may be administered can also result in sexual dysfunction.

    Other emotional issues for those who have Parkinsons, which may result in sexual difficulties, include: anger, stress, grief, and mental fatigue. An individual grappling with Parkinsons may experience reduced self-esteem, which can inhibit ones sexuality. Such is made even more difficult by the body image problems that can arise, due to issues like changes in skin texture or the body smell that results from consuming Parkinsons drugs.

    The partner of a person with Parkinsons can also have trouble coping with the situation. Issues that may arise include:

    • Fatigue and resentment in taking on more responsibility.
    • Dealing with their own feelings related to a partners diagnosis, like fear, anxiety, and depression.
    • Loss of attraction and sexual interest due to the symptoms of PD, e.g., involuntary movements or changes in appearance, like the lack of facial expression.

    What Are Visuospatial Abilities

    Parkinsonâs Disease, Are you Safe to Drive?

    Also referred to as “visual-spatial” and “visuo-spatial,” visuospatial abilities consist of the ability to understand what we see around us and interpret spatial relationships. In other words, this includes both the images we see , as well as our perception of the size and location of our surroundings .

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    Parkinson’s Medication And Driving

    Drowsiness can be a side effect of some Parkinsons medications, particularly dopamine agonists. In some cases, medications can cause you to suddenly fall asleep or feel excessively sleepy during the day.

    Regulations regarding this vary, so it is important that you check with your countrys regulatory body to confirm their policy. If you experience drowsiness you should stop driving until you have spoken with your doctor. Changing medication can sometimes help, but not always.

    Exercise And Healthy Eating

    Regular exercise is particularly important in helping relieve muscle stiffness, improving your mood and relieving stress.

    There are many activities you can do to help keep yourself fit, ranging from more active sports like tennis and cycling, to less strenuous activities such as walking, gardening and yoga.

    You should also try to eat a balanced diet containing all the food groups to give your body the nutrition it needs to stay healthy.

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    Knowing When To Give Up Your Car Keys: Transportation Issues In Parkinsons Disease

    May 28, 2021 by Jared

    In modern society, driving gives us the independence to go to the places we want to or need to, whenever we want. For most of us, transportation is a necessity in order to get to work, to do errands and for social events. ;Those of us who need to stop driving for medical reasons suffer a significant loss. Unless alternate transportation can be reliably arranged, peoples lives can be disrupted. I discuss here how to assess whether you are a safe driver and how to continue to travel if you are no longer able to drive.

    Parkinsons disease may affect your ability to operate a motor vehicle due to both motor and cognitive deficits. ;Predictors of impaired driving in PD include older age, longer duration of disease, slowed movements and cognitive impairment;. Some of the warning signs that you might recognize include that you get lost driving, that your friends and family are concerned, that you feel other drivers drive to fast or frequently honk at you, or that you are stressed when driving. You may also feel drowsy because many people with PD have sleep problems and several medications to treat PD can cause tiredness. Frequently the family of a person with Parkinsons disease recognizes that there is a problem. ;Care-partner perception is actually a good predictor of driving ability . However, they and the patient are often reluctant to bring this up at a physician visit.


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