Older Driver Safety Awareness Week: You can promote OT’s role in community mobility

By Katie Riley posted 11-20-2020 16:07


AOTA’s Older Driver Safety Awareness Week is coming: December 7-11, 2020. We invite all occupational therapy practitioners, educators, and students to get involved to help raise awareness of how the profession promotes community mobility for older adults. 

AOTA will again lead an expanded version of a Twitter chat by posing daily focus questions intended to welcome input from all who have an interest in supporting older drivers and their families. Posts will appear on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook this year and will follow #ODSAW20. 

To participate: 

  1. Follow @AOTAInc on Twitter, @aotainc on Instagram and search #ODSAW20. On Facebook, you can simply “like” AOTA’s page to see the posts.
  2. When you see the day’s focus question (posted each morning)
    • On Twitter: Retweet the post with your comment and add your answer. Be sure to include #ODSAW20
    • On Instagram and Facebook: Comment on the post with your answer or create your own using #ODSAW20.

Answers to the questions can include your experiences or AOTA’s resources that promote community mobility. The Older Driver Safety Awareness Week page on aota.org has a lot of information; here are a few of our favorites (with shortened links) for you to share: 

  1. Older Driver Safety Awareness Week webpage: aota.org/driver-safety
  2. Older Driver Safety practitioner webpage: aota.org/older-driver
  3. AOTA’s Tip Sheet: “Keeping Older Drivers Safe on the Road” (Conversation tips for adult children of older drivers):  http://ow.ly/YVbi50CqF8r
  4. AOTA’s Tip Sheet: “Driving Safely As You Age” (For older adults):  http://ow.ly/mQWR50CqF6m
  5. AOTA & AAA’s Driver Planning Agreement planning tool:  http://ow.ly/jfJF50CqF56

As an AOTA member, you have early access to the daily focus questions to give you the chance to help frame your answers:

Monday, December 7, 2020: Anticipating Changes that can affect driving

Medically-related changes may affect an individual’s or a loved one's driving safety, but this recognition should prompt the exploration of solutions to remain safely mobile as driver or non-driver. What are some conditions that affect driving to watch for and what tips can you provide?

Tuesday, December 8, 2020: Family Conversations

Planning ahead for your own and loved ones’ future community mobility needs, both as a driver and passenger, empowers everyone. What tips can you offer to start the transportation planning conversation with a loved one?

Wednesday, December 9, 2020: Screening and Evaluations

Driving safely depends on our ability to see, move, and think. How can you (or an expert/resource from your organization) help older adults recognize changes that may impact their safety behind the wheel, and find resources for building self-awareness, self-screening and professional assessment? 

Thursday, December 10, 2020: Interventions that can empower drivers and families

This year especially, technology has helped us to do things in new ways as we work to stay healthy, safe and mobile during a pandemic. What are some strategies, devices or technologies drivers may use to compensate for aging and/or medically related changes?

Friday, December 11, 2020: Staying engaged in the community with or without a car

One way to protect our mobility is to avoid becoming “car dependent.” Shared-ride, on demand and public transit services are increasing in availability, many offering tailored services for seniors. A repertoire of options offers the greatest choice for safe mobility on any given day. What tips do you have to help older adults feel more comfortable utilizing these services when driving is not the safest choice? 

We hope you’ll join us in this virtual effort to promote OT! You can craft responses to the questions now and save them in a Word document or notepad first, and then simply copy and paste into your social media platform of choice during the week of December 7. Looking forward to seeing you online!

If you have any questions, contact me at kriley@aota.org.


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