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Keeping Seniors Safely In The Driver’s Seat

Your browser does not support this object. View the original here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHVaBsg_8cs

Video published January 21, 2011 | Download MP4 | View transcript

Above: Maintaining the ability to drive is a sensitive issue for seniors because it contributes to their independence. But there's no getting around the fact that physical issues can affect the ability to drive safely. To help keep seniors driving as long as they can, the California Department of Motor vehicles created a senior driver program. Richard L Kohr, is Senior Driver Ombudsman for the DMV.

Maintaining the ability to drive is a sensitive issue for seniors because it contributes to their independence. But there's no getting around the fact that physical issues can affect the ability to drive safely. To help keep seniors driving as long as they can, the California Department of Motor vehicles created a senior driver program. Richard L Kohr, is Senior Driver Ombudsman for the DMV.

Transcript

This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

MAINTAINING THE ABILITY TO DRIVE AS A SENSITIVE ISSUE FOR SENIORS BECAUSE IT CONTRIBUTES TO THEIR INDEPENDENCE, BUT THERE'S NO GETTING AROUND THE FACT THAT PHYSICAL ISSUES CAN AFFECT THE ABILITY TO DRIVE SAFELY. TO HELP KEEP SENIORS DRIVING AS LONG AS THEY CAN, THE CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES CREATED A SENIOR DRIVER PROGRAM. RICHARD CORE IS SENIOR DRIVER OMBUDSMAN. WHAT RESOURCES DOES THE DMV OFFER FOR SENIORS?

WE OFFER A VARIETY OF RESOURCES, RANGING FROM SEEKING ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITIES TO TAKE TESTS TO VARIOUS TYPES OF RESTRICTIONS, TO ADAPTIVE EQUIPMENT, SUGGESTIONS IN TERMS OF REFERRALS FOR A DRIVER TO OBTAIN DIDN'TIVE EQUIPMENT, TO LIMITATIONS ON THE DRIVING PRIVILEGE, EVEN PERHAPS IN SOME LIMITED CASES A RESTRICTION WHICH MAY LIMIT THE DRIVER WHERE THEY'RE NO LONGER ABLE TO DRIVE FOR LARGE AREAS OR LARGE AMOUNTS OF TIME SAFELY, BUT IN A LIMITED SETTING DRIVING TO THE STORE OR TO THE DOCTOR MAY BE ABLE TO DRIVE SAFELY. THOSE ARE THE TYPES OF RESOURCES.

SOMETIMES JUST DRIVING TO A STORE OR DOCTOR, YOU PUT THE FOOT ON THE GAS INSTEAD OF BRAKE IS A PROBLEM. SO WHAT SYMPTOMS SHOULD FAMILY MEMBERS LOOK FOR TO ALERT THEM THAT A SENIOR MAY NO LONGER BE SAFE ON THE ROAD?

MISTAKING THE BRAKE OR THE ACCELERATOR FOR THE OTHER ONE IS A REAL INDICATION THAT IT IS PROBABLY TIME TO RETIRE FROM DRIVING.

RETIRE TOTALLY?

TOTALLY.

SO NO DRIVING, SAFETY DRIVING PROGRAM WILL HELP THERE?

WITH SOME THINGS SUCH AS A STROKE OR SOME TYPE OF PHYSICAL DISABILITY AS WE MAJOR AGE, MANY TIMES OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY CAN BE VERY BENEFICIAL AND A DRIVER CAN REHABILITATE TO THE POINT WHERE THEY'RE ABLE TO DRIVE SAFELY. WHEN WE'RE DEALING WITH COGNITIVE ISSUES AND YOU'RE DEALING WITH A DECLINE IN COGNITION, WITH ISSUES SUCH AS ALZHEIMER'S AND DEMENTIA, MANY TIMES UNLESS IT'S VERY MILD, IT'S REALLY NECESSARY FOR THE PERSON TO STOP DRIVING.

OKAY. BUT WHAT HAPPENS IF MOM OR DAD WON'T GIVE UP THE KEYS?

THAT IS WHERE IT'S VERY IMPORTANT TO HAVE A COLLABORATIVE EFFORT BETWEEN THE DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES, LAW ENFORCEMENT, MEDICAL COMMUNITY, FAMILIES, SUPPORT GROUPS, IN TERMS OF ENCOURAGING PEOPLE IN A PROPER TONE, MAINTAINING THEIR DIGNITY AND RESPECT AT THE SAME TIME, BEING ABLE TO REASONABLY DISCUSS THIS AND ULTIMATELY UNFORTUNATELY IN ISSUES OF COGNITION, IT FREQUENTLY IS THE CAREGIVER OR THE FAMILY MEMBER THAT HAS TO MAKE THE DECISION.

OKAY. SO THEN WHAT OPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE TO THE SENIORS SINCE THEY TO GIVE UP THE DRIVING? CERTAINLY, THERE ARE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS. DOWNTOWN SAN DIEGO, FOR EXAMPLE, WE HAVE THE TROLLEY MTS. WE HAVE MANY PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS. ADDITIONALLY, THERE ARE MANY PRIVATE PROGRAMS WHERE CHARITABLE ORGANIZATIONS OFFER EITHER LOW-COST OR NO-COST TRANSPORTATION FOR SENIORS, WHO HAVE TRANSPORTATION NEEDS.

THAT'S ALL REALLY GOOD INFORMATION, AND I'M SURE THERE ARE MANY MORE, BUT NOW WE KNOW THAT THE PROGRAM EXISTS AND WE THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

Comments

Avatar for user 'KeepingUsSafe'

KeepingUsSafe | January 22, 2011 at 9:38 a.m. ― 3 years, 7 months ago

"Beyond Driving with Dignity; The workbook for the families of older drivers".

This user-friendly workbook was developed to offer concerned families a working roadmap (complete with actual exercises) on how to address the issue of driving safety with an older adult in your family.

The workbook has been designed to offer additional peace of mind to families, help older drivers maintain their independence and dignity, and at the same time help prevent unnecessary deaths and injuries on our nation's roadways.

Please visit our website at www.keepingussafe.org to learn more about the Beyond Driving with Dignity workbook.

Matt Gurwell
Founder & CEO
Keeping Us Safe
877-907-8841
www.keepingussafe.org
email: info@keepingussafe.org />

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