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Although it can seem like second nature, driving is one of the most complex activities adults do, requiring all our multitasking and attention abilities at one time. For those who may have suffered a medical event such as a stroke or brain injury or those living with a neurological diagnosis like Parkinson’s Disease or Dementia, driving can become even more challenging which is why Banner Health offers a medical-based driver evaluation program intended to support safer roads in our community.
Kristen Garlick, an occupational therapist with Banner, helps to lead this program in Loveland and Greeley. Because the state of Colorado does not have a medical review board for driving, these evaluations done at Banner are critical. With a doctor’s referral, Kristen works with patients to consider their unique circumstances and goals and assess physical, visual and cognitive skills with an off-road evaluation first. There is also an on-road assessment done with a certified driving rehabilitation specialist in various traffic environments and then final approval with the referring doctor and DMV before a patient can be cleared to drive safely.
“As the population in northern Colorado ages, there is more and more of a need (for medical-based driver evaluations),” Kristen said.