A caregiver told me about a very scary experience driving a client, back in the 1990s. The client got so agitated that he opened the door of the moving car and jumped out into traffic. Somehow, no one was injured and no vehicles crashed, but it was extremely stressful for all involved.
The caregiver – who drove alone with the client – said this was a regular behaviour.
“He was obsessed with the bathroom and he couldn’t handle not having access to one, so I had to make washroom stops part of every trip,” said the caregiver, who tried to keep track of detours or road construction. “We mapped our drives out together in advance, and I couldn’t deviate or he would get really agitated. He tried to get out all the time.”
It was a constant battle for a few more months until the caregiver got a new job. I never learned if improvements were made for the new worker who took the job, but I sure hope something was done, for everyone’s sake. I thought about it recently when I saw this video from WorkSafeBC, which suggests several ways to handle this type of situation – for example, having a second worker in the car or re-evaluating their need to travel by car.
Another source of info is this bulletin: Reducing the risks while driving clients.