The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) is hosting Older Driver Safety Awareness Week from December 6-10, 2021. The goal is to promote understanding about the importance of mobility and transportation to help older adults stay active in the community.
As individuals age, changes in physical, mental, and sensory abilities can make it challenging to drive safely. AOTA notes that occupational therapy practitioners often work with older adults as well as their families and caregivers to offer individualized assessments and recommendations to help them stay active and safe in their communities.
Throughout Older Driver Safety Awareness Week, AOTA is highlighting five different topics associated with keeping older drivers safe.
Anticipating Changes That Can Affect Driving
Think about planning for future transportation needs similarly to planning for retirement. Changes in physical, emotional, and cognitive health occur at different times for different individuals. AOTA provides examples of ways for older drivers to stay comfortable and safe in the car, such as attaching a cloth loop to the seatbelt to minimize the need to turn to buckle up for those who find it painful to rotate their bodies.
This annual awareness week is held in December because families often gather at the holidays. Having a conversation with loved ones is one of the first steps in addressing safety concerns for older drivers. Get talking points to use in a family conversation.
Screenings and Evaluations with an Occupational Therapist
Driving evaluations can help older drivers understand if their driving abilities have changed. For example, some older drivers find it difficult to drive at night but have no issues driving in daylight. Whether it’s a self-assessment or a professional evaluation, this process can help older adults and their families understand their ability to drive safely.
Interventions That Can Empower Drivers and Families
After a driving evaluation, adjustments, adaptive equipment, or vehicle modification may be recommended to make driving safer and more comfortable.
Staying Engaged in the Community With or Without a Car
If an older driver discovers a need to make changes to drive safely or finds that they are no longer able to do so, it’s important to know about resources to help them stay independent and mobile in the community. Losing the ability to drive doesn’t have to mean a loss of independence!
If you or a loved one has been injured, contact the Schuerman Law office today. Schuerman Law has been working with personal injury claims for over 40 years. John Schuerman will compassionately advocate for injured individuals as well as their families while fighting for full compensation of their claims. Schuerman Law offers evening and weekend appointments in addition to home and hospital visits. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 1-800-274-0045.