At age 76 a diagnosis of Dementia early in 2023 meant that I could be placed on a Restricted Driver Licence.

As my wife and I had earlier participated in Club Car Sport and have caravanned extensively since our retirement, we both believed that even though I had problems with short-term memory, my driving skills had not deteriorated.

I acknowledge that it could be a daunting experience but our belief in my driving skills encouraged us to seek a renewal of a full and unrestricted licence for a continuation of my driving freedom, or if necessary a Conditional Driving Licence which would give me more driving access to our current lifestyle (i.e. caravan travel).

We sought the services of Ruth Jardine (OT Driver Assessor) at Warners Bay.

When making my appointment on the phone Ruth prepared me for the 2-hour Assessment by fully informing me of the procedure, including the general route of the physical driving test (to include a variety of suburban roads, intersections, roundabouts, shopping areas), the type of test car and I was told that I would be accompanied by her and a driving instructor. I was also informed of all costs (which we decided was very worthwhile considering that she was accountable for this significant decision). There were no ‘surprises’.

Ruth was quietly considerate and understanding of my situation but was thorough in her analysis of my driving knowledge, reaction skills, decision making and memory of road rules (I ‘brushed up’ on current road rules using the online Services NSW Driver Knowledge Practice Tests) prior to my appointment. Her capable knowledge and use of the Technology in the Assessment was very evident and everything was explained/demonstrated to me calmly and clearly, thus setting me at ease.

Ruth has a genuine and positive manner and I was impressed and given much confidence with her honest appraisal and grateful for her advice for any future assessments that I may need to undertake.

Her analytical and realistic observation of my actual driving skills has given me the self-assurance to continue to enjoy our travels and our interest in historical cars. Thanks to Ruth I now know that a Doctor’s diagnosis does not place all drivers ‘under the same umbrella of a Restricted licence’.