Following a stroke, an individual's ability to drive safely may be compromised because of changes in the patient's range of motion, strength and coordination; changes in vision, visual perception or cognition may also impact driving safely.
While many of us take driving for granted, it is a very complex task involving a number of different skills. For Americans in particular, driving is vital to maintaining or regaining functional independence following a stroke.
At our Blythe Boulevard location, we have occupational therapists who are specially trained to complete objective evaluations that assist the physician, patient and family in determining if or when the patient is ready to drive safely. In addition, these occupational therapists are knowledgeable about and may recommend adaptive equipment to help make driving again a reality.
These assessments take approximately two hours to complete and are conducted Monday through Friday. An individual must be referred by their physician or the Department of Motor Vehicles. The occupational therapist will gather information on the patient's history and will perform a physical assessment and vision screening. They will then test visual perceptual skills, reaction time and cognitive functioning.
Once the assessment is complete, the occupational therapist will review the results with the patient and family and make recommendations. This may include a referral for an on the road evaluation and training at a certified driving school. They may also make specific equipment recommendations that may allow the individual to drive safely. The results of the evaluation are sent to the referring physician who ultimately determines when an individual is cleared to resume driving following a stroke.
To make a referral or for more information, call 704-355-4300.