An initiative of the Massachusetts Councils on Aging

Local Government: Transportation

Offering accessible transportation in a community provides residents the opportunity to live independently.   Feelings of confusion or disorientation are common for people with cognitive changes, particularly while traveling.  Public or private dementia-friendly transit options can allow an individual to leave home and reach their desired destination safely.

As cognitive changes occur due to dementia, the ability to drive may become compromised to the point that driving becomes unsafe for the individual and others on the road. Simplifying road signs could help a community become more dementia-friendly. However, it is imperative to recognize the warning signs and behaviors that indicate that the individual should use other transportation methods.

Regional and local government agencies can promote reliable, inclusive public transport options to support residents with physical and cognitive difficulties.  It may not be necessary to develop new transportation systems. Communities may already offer public transportation services or paratransit options that could be enhanced by requiring employee training.  Educating transportation professionals to recognize dementia symptoms and understand how to engage with someone experiencing cognitive challenges may be one way to promote dementia-friendly goals.

Dementia Friendly Transportation Checklist

Dementia Friendly America Transportation Resources

Dementia Friendly America Transportation Core Sector Video

Dementia Friendly America Transportation Resources

Dementia & Driving

Alzheimer’s Association- Dementia and Driving

Dementia and Driving

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration- Driving and Alzheimer’s Disease

Public Transportation Resources

American Occupational Therapy Association- Find a Driving Specialist

Creating A Dementia-Friendly Transportation System (UK)

Dementia Friendly Public Transportation Flyer (Oregon)

Mass.gov- Get Help Finding a Ride

Mass.gov- Accessible Transportation

Mass Options- Transportation

National Aging and Disability Transportation Center-  Dementia & Transportation Webinars

Safe Mobility for Life Coalition- Tips for Caregivers, Family, and Friends

Safe Mobility for Life Coalition- Tips for Transit Drivers

Safe Mobility for Life Coalition- Tips for Transit Providers

The Arc of Massachusetts- Transportation

Transportation Questions for Focus Groups for Dementia Caregivers and Persons with Dementia

Tufts Health Plan Foundation- A Scan of Transportation Options Available for Older People in Massachusetts

We Help Caregivers – Useful Transportation Services for Dementia Sufferers and Caregivers

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