EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Haverhill

October 15, 2012

Elder Q&A: Aging may impact driving abilities

(Continued)

Avoid distractions while driving such as the radio being turned up too high, using a cell phone or eating and drinking. If you often have young grandchildren in the car make sure they are secured in their seats and do not become animated to the point of causing you to take your eyes off the road. Think about the route you are going to take to reach your destination, the fastest way may not be the safest if the traffic is unusually heavy or the road is not well maintained.

In the last few years numerous organizations have been devoting resources to assist older drivers. These may not be available in all parts of the country but it is definitely worth the time and effort to find out what may be available to you where you currently reside.

Inquire through your health provider to see if they have a contract with a Driver Rehabilitation Specialist. This information is also available at the American Occupational Therapy Association. AARP sponsors review courses in select locations. On-line resources can be accessed by anyone who has internet connection.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at www.nhtsa.dot.gov. promotes “Safe Driving for Older Adults”. Another recommendation is the “Drive Well” program through the American Society on Aging www.asaging.org.

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If you have a question direct to ro@esmv.org or Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley, Inc. 360 Merrimack Street B#5, Lawrence, MA 01843. Rosanne DiStefano is the Executive Director of Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley, Inc.

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