NEWTON-WELLESLEY HOSPITALTO OFFER FREE SEMINAR DURING OLDER DRIVER SAFETY AWARENESS WEEK
For many older adults, driving is a symbol of freedom and independence and represents the ability to maintain connections and actively participate in the community. However, driving abilities can change over time due to declining vision, decreased strength, stiff joints, slowed reaction times, medical conditions or medication usage. Motor vehicle injuries are the leading cause of injury-related deaths among 65 to 74 year olds and are the second leading cause, after falls, among 75 to 84 year olds.
On Wednesday, December 5, Newton-Wellesley Hospital will offer a free seminar called Tips for Talking with Older Drivers. The event will be held from 6:30 – 8:00 pm in the Bowles Conference Center, Second Floor, Newton-Wellesley Hospital, 2014 Washington Street.
Talking with an older driver about stopping or altering driving can be a difficult and challenging conversation. This seminar offers easy-to-use, practical information to help families advise their loved ones on whether it is time to limit or give up driving. The seminar will cover topics like warning signs, conversation openers, how to construct a caring, effective conversation about driving, selecting the right messenger, and finding other forms of transportation so your loved ones can continue to be active and remain part of the community.
Debbie Kerrigan, MS, OTR/L, a senior occupational therapist at Newton-Wellesley Hospital, will facilitate the program. She has been involved in driving rehabilitation and older driver safety for the last five years. Last spring, Debbie was a recipient of a mini-grant from the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) in partnership with the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA). Under that grant, she developed two different educational presentations targeted toward older drivers, as well as physicians.