A wheel innovation for dementia

Ernie and Maria Mastroianni test ''drive'' the new car. 181919 Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS

By Casey Neill

Dementia patients are getting back behind the wheel at a Dandenong aged care home.

Scottvale Aged Care partnered with Jerome Engineering to develop a modified car, which they unveiled on Friday 22 June.

Dementia patients can sit in the front seat and take the wheel while a staff member manoeuvres the vehicle.

“It gives them the feeling of still having their independence while steering the wheel,” Scottvale’s Cyril Christopher said.

Ernie Mastroianni was the first driver wife Maria, the Greater Dandenong Volunteer of the Year, beside him.

There were tears in his eyes as he ‘drove’ for the first time since dementia took hold.

St Mary’s Dandenong Parish Priest Father Brendon Lane blessed the car, believed to be among the first of its kind.

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