Having family conversations with older drivers

Accidents involving older drivers often call attention to the issue of older adults and driving safety. The facts alone may seem confusing. Statistics actually indicate that the majority of older adults are safe drivers, with high safety belt use and few citations for alcohol-related charges. However, medical conditions, medication usage and reduced physical function can increase the risk of accidents and injury among older adults. Factor in the sense of independence that driving represents for older adults, and you can understand why driving safety for older adults is an emotionally charged topic. “Locally and nationally, there is a large amount of people who feel a need to approach the topic of driving with elder family members” stated Noel Cooper, Director of Injury Prevention Resources #IPR . “However the idea of having that conversation can be quite overwhelming. The good news is that there are great materials that help you not only begin the conversation, but evaluate the situation and take action in a caring manner”. The Hartford Center for Mature Market Excellence ® and the MIT AgeLab developed a guide to help families initiate productive conversations with older adults about driving safety. The suggestions are based on a nationally representative survey of drivers over the age of 50, focus groups with older adults who have modified their driving, and interviews with family caregivers of persons with dementia. We need to be sure we are crafting caring conversations. When families discuss driving issues, they must assess the personality of the older driver, driving record, availability of transportation resources, geographic proximity, and long-term family relationships. The right questions and answers can help you assess your family situation and have meaningful conversations about older driver safety. *Where can you find help locally?* *1. Senior Driving Education: *For years, Mike Yowell and Leslie Calkins with StateFarm taught Senior Driver Education Courses in Fremont County. These efforts, among many others, make them local heroes relevant to roadway safety in Fremont County. There is a new group of champions that have stepped up to carry the torch in our communities; Brady Bower of State Farm in Lander, Jim Davis with Riverton Chamber of Commerce and Steve Dodson from Wyoming Financial Insurance are currently teaching safe driving courses for senior citizens. Riverton and Lander Senior Centers continue to graciously host the courses. If you would like to sign up to attend the course, please contact the Riverton Senior Center at (307) 856-6332 or Lander Senior Center at (307) 332-2746. *2. Information for Conversations with Older Drivers: *Riverton Police Department, Injury Prevention Resources in Riverton and Lander Police Department have recognized the need to provide informational work books that walk you through the entire process from beginning to end. The information is nationally recognized and can help keep our families and roadways safe in Fremont County. You can pick up a book at the Injury Prevention Office in Riverton (303 N Broadway) or Pitchengine in Lander at 333 Main Street. Having conversations about driving, including seat belt use, impaired driving and distracted driving, can prevent serious injury and save lives throughout Wyoming. Don’t wait to have these important conversations, today will shape the future. [image: 382be0a0-927b-4302-891b-83e06476c5b3.png] #county10 #ipr #news #headsup #fremontmotors #sponsored