Upstream has been working on behalf of Project Onwards to facilitate conversation with people affected by dementia about the challenges of retiring from driving and what types of support might help the process. They’ve been holding workshops across Scotland, which have been fantastic and moving, upsetting and thought-provoking. They’ve talked about what driving means to us all and what the key challenges are when giving up or facing the prospect.

Early learnings:

  • Driving symbolises independence and freedom, the ability to travel where and when we want; something that other transport options appear not to offer.
  • Many people are advised to stop driving at the time of diagnosis and different medical professionals might be involved in the conversation along the way
  • There is sometimes little information about why the decision has been made or what to do next
  • This is an issue that people want to talk about but find it difficult to. They want more information but don’t know where to find it.

These conversations were just the starting point. Upstream has since returned to the groups to begin to co-design a service to support the transition away from driving and to gain insights into how best this service should be delivered. What should the service touchpoints be? How will people become aware of the service? How will they use it?

(Article adapted from the Upstream Blog –

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