How can occupational therapy help me?
Occupational therapy can help people participate in the things they want and need to do through therapeutic use of everyday activities/tasks.
Occupational therapists have training, knowledge and skills in physical and psychosocial development and disorders and therefore look at the whole person, not just the physical aspects of the person’s problem. They also look at these problems or risks in terms of how they affect someone’s function. Occupational therapists help people recovering from injury to regain skills and provide supports to older adults experiencing changes in their lives.
What services do Driving Assessment Centre offers?
- We work with people who require support, advice and information about maintaining independence at home, work. This can involve advice re modifying their home, advice regarding specific assistive device/equipment such as powered wheelchair.
- Many of the people we work with are older people but also people who due to ill health or accidents find they are unable to complete the daily activities associated with living and working in today’s world.
- Occupational Therapy Services also advises on fitness to drive issues completing comprehensive review of both off road and on road driving ability. This review takes place in a clinic/home.
What do occupational therapy services cost?
Occupational Therapy Services is a privately run business and charges a fee for its services. All intervention costs €100 per hour.
Home visits for the purpose of advice on home modifications costs € 250 plus travel costs outside of the city. This includes the provision of 2 copies of the report to access grants and other services.
Fitness to Drive Reviews cost €250 including the report which is also sent to the relevant medical doctors involved in your care.
How do I know I need Fitness to Drive Evaluation?
- Your doctor will advise you based on your medical condition if you need a fitness to drive evaluation. It may also be beneficial to undergo an evaluation if a family member or friend has expressed concern over your driving.
- You or a family member may also complete the Adelaide Self-Efficacy Scale. If you are poorly confident in few areas then you may need to discuss this with your doctor who will determine if you need a referral.
What does Fitness to Drive evaluation/review involve?
- You will undergo a number of tasks which look at skills required for driving: how you think and process information, your strength and range of movement, an eye-sight screening test, and if appropriate, an on road review with a driving instructor.
What do I need to bring to a driving review?
- You need to bring a current valid provisional or full driving licence.
- If you do not have a licence the off-road testing will be completed.
- The on-road assessment will be completed after discussion with your doctor.
- You will need to bring glasses if you wear them, both for long and short distance.
- Any medication that you require during the day would also be needed.
Where will this take place?
- The review will take place in the Clinic or at your home.
- An in-car assessment will take place at your home.
- If you require an in-car assessment in your own locality. The review can take up to 2.5 hours.
What will this cost and who will pay for it?
The cost of the review (Occupational therapy assessment and in-car review, where safe) and your report is €250. This must be paid for at least 2 days before the appointment. You may be able to reclaim some of the fees against your tax or against your medical insurance. Please check your insurance provider covers occupational therapy.
Why are there new medical standards?
- Advances in our understanding of medical conditions indicate that regular review of all guidelines relating to healthcare practice, including driving, is required.
- Sláinte Tiomáint reflects current medical knowledge. It is designed to promote mobility in a safe way. Once a driver is aware of any health aspects that impact on driving and follows the advice of their doctor, they can continue to drive in most cases.
When did the new fitness to drive standards come into effect?
The standards were introduced in January 2013 and came into effect immediately.
What types of conditions might affect my ability to drive?
Some of the conditions which you must disclose are diabetes, epilepsy, stroke, fits or blackouts, pacemaker, chronic neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, memory problems, alcohol misuse, loss of sight in one eye, severe learning disability, serious hearing deficit and others not listed.
What are my responsibilities?
The laws require you to report to your driver licensing authority, any permanent or long-term illness that is likely to affect your ability to drive safely. You must answer any questions about your health truthfully. You must follow the guidelines regarding your medication and you must comply with the requirements of your licence as appropriate. (Ref: Sláinte Tiomáint)
Who makes the decision about whether I am fit enough to drive?
Your doctor has the final say in whether you are fit to drive. He or she may avail of supporting information from an occupational therapist and/or a driving instructor experienced in this area.
What if my condition is only temporary?
Your doctor will advise you but in most cases it will not affect your licence status provided you follow your doctor’s advice. For example, you may be advised not to drive while wearing a temporary eye patch.
What is the legal basis for medical standards?
Since January 2013 the Road Safety Authority is the licensing authority with the responsibility of ensuring that all licence holders are fit to drive.
The legal basis of fitness to drive arises from the Road Traffic (Licensing of Drivers) Regulations 2006, Statutory Instrument Number 537 of 2006, as amended in 2010 and associated regulations, as well as the Directive (91/439/EEC) on driving licences. Directive (91/439/EEC) was amended by Directive 2009/112/EC with effect from 15.9.09 and these amendments came into force in Ireland in 2010.
Who will notify the Licensing Authority if I am not medically fit to drive?
Your doctor will complete a form and you are responsible for contacting the Driving Licensing Authority and let them know you have a condition, which may impact on your driving. Your doctor will keep a copy of this completed form.
What happens after medical fitness to drive driving review?
- You will be provided with a brief outline of the information that will be sent to your doctor in a report. A copy of that report will also be sent to you. Copies may also be sent to other health professionals involved in your care.
- If I only ever drive a short distance near home, is a restricted licence available?
Unfortunately a restricted licence is not available in Ireland. You must satisfy all the requirements to drive if you wish to hold a licence.
What can I do if my licence is not renewed?
The responsibility for issuing, renewing or refusing a driving licence lies with the Driving licensing Authority. An appeals procedure is available for drivers who have been refused a licence on medical grounds. The Driving licensing Authority will inform drivers of the appeals process when informing them of licensing decision. Again, the cost of any appeals must be borne by the individual.
Fitness to drive reviews
The guidelines published by the Road Safety Authority and the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland highlight “the need for all of us to appreciate that the state of our health impacts, to a greater or lesser degree, on our ability to drive safely”. The fitness to drive review is a comprehensive service that looks at all the skills required for driving that may be affected by ill health or disabilities/difficulties. For most people the review will include an off road and an on-road assessment. The on road assessment is completed by specially trained instructors. It is not a driving test.
On-Road driving assessment is an assessment of a realistic driving situation
The assessment can be key in helping a person begin, continue or return to driving. A trained and fully qualified instructor will perform assessment in the client’s car, in local area where the person is most likely to drive. The safety of the driver as well as road users is priority in assessing the abilities and competency of the driver. Upon completion of the Assessment a report is formulated and recommendations discussed. A comprehensive report will then be forwarded onto the referring GP/Consultant/Health Care Professional. Final decision on fitness to drive with always lies with GPs/Consultant.