Is driving with dementia a serious public health issue in Canada and in Nova Scotia?

Answer: Due to population aging, the number of Canadian drivers with dementia is expected to triple in the next 25 years. In the year 2030, one in every 25 drivers over the age of 65 will have dementia (Hopkins et al., 2004).

Currently, up to 35% of people with Alzheimers disease (AD) continue to drive (Gilley et al., 1991). Men with dementia may be more likely to continue driving despite having a diagnosis of dementia (Adler, 2005) and are less likely to voluntarily limit or cease driving.

If these general statistics are applied to the Nova Scotia population, currently over 5000 people with Alzheimer’s disease continue to drive (Alzheimer’s Society Statistics;Gilley et al., 1991). If other types of dementia, such as vascular dementia, are included, this number could be doubled.