Driver Rehab Specialist in San Luis Obispo

Hi, my name is David, and I’m an Occupational Therapist and driver rehab specialist in San Luis Obispo county.

Living in California, the central coast is probably one of the best places to drive. There’s less traffic, friendly drivers, and beautiful scenery, but right now there are more older adults behind the wheel than any other time in history.

Driving is a big part of your life, but if you’re an older adult, it’s important to stay safe behind the wheel.

I started this driver rehab program to help you determine whether or not you’re fit to drive.

Why older adults are at risk

Overcome Senior Driver Concerns With Occupational Therapy (public awareness)

According to the CDC, in 2030 adults ages 65 and up will make up 20% of the U.S population, and most of them will be licensed drivers.

With increased age, comes increased risk of accidents.  Older adults are more likely to have chronic medical problems such as heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, hypotension, neuropathy, macular degeneration, vertigo, and muscle weakness. 

Many of these diseases require medications that may cause drowsiness, delirium, seizures, dizziness, changes in blood pressure, nausea, weakness, and the list goes on.  

Other problems with aging may result in vision acuity or visual field changes and problems with cognition. 

Can you drive with Dementia in California?

Yes, you can drive with dementia in California, but it depends on the progression of dementia. Read my other article that discusses this more in detail here.

Occupational Therapy driving Evaluation

It’s my hope that I can provide you with a driver evaluation and assessment to meet your needs. To do this, I will start by asking about your driving behavior and perform screening measurements for cognition, vision, and motor functions.

Initial Testing

Before completing the driver evaluation, you will complete a remote cognitive test.

The test includes testing for 7 domains that screen for problems related to executive functioning, visuospatial abilities, short-term memory, attention, concentration, language comprehension, and orientation.

The test is administered and analyzed by a certified instructor, and it’s a quick way to know if you’re safe to drive.

Driver Safety Evaluation

After conducting an initial cognition screening, the next step in assessing the ability to drive safely. This involves a comprehensive, in-person driver evaluation.

This evaluation is crucial in determining various factors that directly impact one’s capability to operate a vehicle safely.

Among the aspects assessed are vision, strength, range of motion, and cognitive abilities crucial for effective decision-making while driving.

Behind the Wheel Assessment

Following the in-person driver evaluation, the next step in the assessment process typically involves a behind-the-wheel assessment.

This hands-on evaluation provides a practical opportunity to observe the individual’s driving skills in real-time and assess their ability to apply the knowledge and capabilities identified in the initial screening and in-person evaluation.

After the Evaluation

After your evaluation, the information is then used to create an individualized report for your doctor so they can make informed decisions about when it’s safe to drive or if you should retire from driving completely.

To begin your driver rehab evaluation, get tested now.