During National Older Driver Safety Awareness Week December 6th-10th, Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care is helping to keep everyone safe on the roads by offering safety advice for older drivers. Transportation fears are too often the barrier that prevents seniors from living their lives the way they would like to — but fortunately, there are a few key strategies that drivers can use to ensure their safety.
The expertise of a trained professional can help ensure safety and confidence. Most importantly, it is good to have a plan in place. There is so much that we cannot anticipate in day-to-day life, but a simple strategy for what we can control can make a world of difference.
This week of awareness, launched by the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), has been established to promote the importance of mobility and transportation for older adults, and to ensure they can remain active while doing what they love. The ability to drive safely can be affected by changes in our physical, emotional, and cognitive health. Although changes are a part of normal aging, they occur individually and at different rates and times.
Transportation is too often the barrier that prevents seniors from living their lives the way they would like to — but fortunately, there are a few key strategies that drivers can use to ensure their safety. The AOTA lists out some key details that can help promote transportation safety, ranging from simple conversations to fully structured strategies.
- Anticipating personal cognitive changes that can affect driving.
- Having conversations with family about potential concerns.
- Screening and evaluations with a therapist (or caregiver).
- Having compassionate interventions with seniors over serious concerns.
- Staying engaged with the community, with or without a car.
- Assessing if the weather or conditions are safe enough for driving.
When it comes to safe driving and safe travel, we can engage with people on an emotional and cognitive level. Some strategies will work better for some than others, which is why it is a huge benefit to know an audience, know how a message can be received, and know the exact degree of assistance that is recommended for everyone.
Seniors Helping Seniors® can assist with potential interventions when needed, all while making sure we stay compassionate and mindful of how people feel about travel struggles. Interventions alone can often be met with pushback by those being intervened with, but our strategies have helped generate understanding by all parties. We seek to ensure that safety and compassion are placed at the forefront of client understanding.
An adaptive approach can ensure safety remains a priority. Our health changes can make us more responsive to certain things over time than others. When it comes to personal health and safety, it is important to have a team in place that can recognize these changes and can look after others in multiple ways.
If you or a loved one needs help staying independent, give us a call at 630-324-6086.