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Should my Dad still be driving?

You noticed some paint scratched off the driver's door, as well as a dent in the rear bumper of your Dad's car. No need to be worried about it right, he has been driving for the past 57+years without a problem, he taught you to drive, and how would your Mum get the groceries if he can't drive her to the shops, you are too busy with the school run and work.... His GP will have noticed if he shouldn't be driving anymore, right.

When you mention the scratches, Your Dad can't recall how long the scratches have been there, or how they were made, he assures you that it would have been a trolley at the shopping centre. You notice your Mum roll her eyes and walk away. The butterflies start to flutter a little in your stomach.. Your first thought is- I don't have time to sort this, I don't want to over react and I definitely don't want to be the bad guy..This will break Dad.. Then later that night you start scrolling the internet.. Then you can't sleep because all you start thinking is- what if he caused an accident? what actually caused the damage to his car? what if he gets lost on the way home?

You might schedule a call with your Dad's GP, or speak to family and friends. Somewhere along the line an Occupational Therapy (OT) Driving Assessment is mentioned. But it all sounded vague and the first OT practice you called only deals with children, and the local community centre couldn't help.

At ATZ Driving Solutions we focus on providing OT Driving Assessments without the long wait time and without all the mystery. We understand that it can be overwhelming, that the cost is a shock to the system, and that often someone's independence is on the line. But we also understand that road safety if pivotal to the community safety and that for our kids to walk to school safely we need the licenced drivers to be bringing their best driving behaviour every time they get in the car.

So if you have been having concerns about a parent, or grandparent's driving, you can talk to us. If you have noticed that they are having trouble parking the car, they seem to have trouble staying in their lane, or driving 20km below the speed limit is top speed, we are happy to chat. Your concerns will be discussed in confidence and there is no silly question. If an assessment is recommended we can accept referrals direct from family members and can talk everyone through the process, or it may be that just some extra information is all you need for the time being.

Once a referral is submitted we will make contact with the person's GP and also complete a licence check, following on from this, we will schedule a time for assessment, with the location either being our Medowie clinic or the person's home. The assessment starts with comprehensive theory based testing (including vision, physical and cognitive screening) and then concludes with a drive in a dual control vehicle. At the end of this we will provide an outline of the recommendations and then a report is completed and sent to all parties.

If you have started to lose sleep over your parent's (or grandparent's) ability to continue driving safely, we are here to help you explore and navigate the whole picture. Take a look at our website ATZDS for more information and while you are there you can download a flyer about the OT Fitness to Drive process.

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