assesment results question


Registered User
Feb 17, 2007
Nova Scotia Canada
Today I received my Moms assessement results the letter which was also sent to her family doctor (she agreed to this). My mom has scored 16/30 on the MMSE test indicating moderate cognitive impairment. It indicated she was still driving but did not say stop. It requested a brain scan and she is to start on Aricept after this and an ECG as she also has heart disease. I am in Canada with this diagnosis but coming over in April. I am phoning her family doctor to see if these further tests can be done when I am in the UK. my question is should she be driving with this result? and what does moderate cognitive imparment mean.


Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
near London
Hi sooty

I'd be very concerned at someone driving with a score of 16 on the test.

Not that the MMSE is a test that would be indicative of that per se, but simply that, with such a relatively low score, there may be quite a few faculties that are compromised, and driving requires good coordination of many senses.

I know that's not a good thing to hear when you are so far away.

Others may feel differently because we always post here only based on our own experiences.


Registered User
Feb 17, 2007
Nova Scotia Canada
sue38 said:
My Dad scored 14/30 on the memory test in December and on the advice of the Consultant we reported his diagnosis to the DVLA and his insurers. At the moment he is still driving (with the approval of his insurers) although I know that the DVLA has contacted his GP. Not sure what will happen next but this fact sheet may be useful:

I have downloaded the form from the DVLA to tell them of the diagnosis but if your Dad is allowed to drive with a score of 14/30 from his insurers it seems she can drive as insurers are usually the first to question things. How is your Dad with other things? Does he get daily care for meals etc?


Registered User
Mar 6, 2007
Wigan, Lancs
My mum is my dad's main carer and so he doesn't need any help outside the family at the moment.

I'm not entirely happy that he is still driving. Although he drove my Mum to the beach at Southport and back yesterday (approx 30 mile round trip) and she said he drove fine.

I know the time is coming when he will have to stop driving and I am dreading taking that away from him as he resents any attempt to take away his independence.

As he is undergoing tests at the moment I thik we will have to say that the DVLA has advised against driving until we get to the bottom of the problem rather than saying 'that's'll never drive again'. I've read quite a lot on here about 'little white lies' and am learning fast.:)

His low score may in part be due to the fact that his ability to remember words is particularly bad which may be due to a sub-arachnoid haemorrhage ( a type of brain haemorrhage) some 15 years ago. That's too many 'mays'! Am also fast learning 'doctor speak'! :D

Sue xx


Registered User
Feb 17, 2007
Nova Scotia Canada
I think that your phrase 'that the DVLA has advised against driving until we get to the bottom of your problem" is a good one that I will try as she does have to have the CAT scan and EKG. When I call her GP tomorrow I shall suggest that to say to him when we meet and hopefully he is in agreement. It was me who pressed for the geriatric assessment so he is the sort that has to be led but then says OK I agree. Then I will give her the form to sign from the DVLA(I have already filled it out, as she cannot fill out forms anymore, but can just sign her name .) and can say this is what I was given at the Doctors. I want to get back to the UK fully prepared. Thank you


Registered User
Jul 10, 2006
south lanarkshire

When Dad first saw the geriatric consultant, he told him to stop driving instantly and his score was 15.

We are now 4 years down the line and to this day Mum will say he is a good driver. He cannot make a cup of tea, does not know a jacket from a shoe, but Mum still says he can drive. HE DOESN'T.

My Mum also has dementia, so it is a different scenario, but the point I am making is it another life style change, that maybe your Mum doesn't want to acknowledge.

Hope everything works out for you



Registered User
Nov 20, 2006
Ahh the driving thing..:(

All through his life my Dad did the driving, rearely letting mum drive ( in all honesty she's not that great ) but we were told in no uncertain terms that dad should not drive. I don't know his test score, I am guessing pretty low actually.

His driving was ok to the point of the technicalities but direction finding in the afternoon was terrible and the trigger it seems for some of the bigger drama's they have been having. He is currently under the impression he can't drive until at least the brain scan and they can see what's wrong. He won't drive agin though I'm sure.

I haven't yet told the DVLA as they still have an insurance claim going through for something that happened nearly 2 years ago - incredibly hard to get parts for motorhomes, I don't want to complicate that for now, but I will then notify them.

Interestingly the Dr said they could no longer tell the DVLA anything as it breaks confidentiailty rules.



Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
Actually, Scoop, that's not entirely true, althought I suspect a lot of doctors think that (or at least say it because it's a convenient shield to hide behind). Every doctor should have a copy of the "At a glance guide to the current medical standards of fitness to drive", and in there are clear guidelines issued by the GMC about situations in which the GP should inform the DVLA. In part it says "If you do not manage to persuade patients to stop driving, or you are given or find evidence that a patient is continuing to drive contrary to advice, you should disclose relevant medical information immediately, in confidence, to the medical adviser at DVLA" (Page 4)



Registered User
Feb 17, 2007
Nova Scotia Canada
driving after asssesment results update

Thank you all for your ideas yesterday. I called Moms GP and was full of info talking to him . When he saw I had all the info from the DVLA he just said she must stop driving tell the DVLA and I will support you. With a score of 16/30 he said she should be in a sheltered home but knows it wil be such a sad thing for her but would support me there too. Then I called Mom and told her what he had said and she said "alright " just like that . I could not believe it after the rows we had had, and wonder if she really means it. She is going downhill again and I am loosing her as a personality I know. Her voice is flat and monatone and she just is in her nightie all day and up at night looking fo rhope she said. she was so out of it ,said she did not care when I came but I don't think she understands me really. I had a little cry. this is so sad for me. I love her so much. Tomorrow I am speaking to her social worker about elevating the care. I am flying home April 17. Sooty

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