Refining a Driving Retirement Program for Persons with Dementia and Their Care Partners: A Mixed Methods Evaluation of CarFreeMe™-Dementia

Colleen M. Peterson, Robyn W. Birkeland, Katie W. Louwagie, Stephanie N. Ingvalson, Lauren L. Mitchell, Theresa L. Scott, Jacki Liddle, Nancy A. Pachana, Louise Gustafsson, Joseph E. Gaugler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objectives: We adapted the CarFreeMe™-Dementia program created by The University of Queensland for drivers in the United States. CarFreeMe™-Dementia aims to assist drivers living with dementia and their care partners as they plan for or adjust to driving retirement. This semistructured program focuses on driving retirement education and support. Topics include how dementia affects driving, lifestyle planning, stress management, and alternative transportation options. This study evaluated the feasibility, acceptability, and utility of the CarFreeMe™-Dementia intervention. Methods: This pilot phase of the study included 16 care partners and 11 drivers with memory loss who were preparing for or adjusting to driving retirement. Participants completed 4-8 CarFreeMe™-Dementia intervention telehealth sessions. Online surveys (baseline, 1- and 3-month) and postintervention semistructured interviews informed evaluation of the intervention program using a mixed methods approach. Results: This study established initial support for CarFreeMe™-Dementia in the United States. Participants indicated the program facilitated dialogue around driving retirement and provided guidance on community engagement without driving. Respondents appreciated the program's emphasis on overall well-being, promoted through lifestyle planning and stress management. They also reported the program offered practical preparation for transitioning to driving retirement. Discussion: The CarFreeMe™-Dementia intervention, tailored to an American audience, appears to be a feasible, acceptable, and useful support program for drivers with memory loss (and/or their care partners) who are preparing for or adjusting to driving retirement. Further investigations of the efficacy of the CarFreeMe™-Dementia intervention in the United States, as well as in other countries and cultural contexts, are warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)506-519
Number of pages14
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved.


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Caregiving
  • Observational studies
  • Qualitative methods

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural


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