Topic(s) of Interest:
Medscape is an operating division of WebMD. They are now offering training for clinicians on Older Driver Safety. All activities are free for clinicians to take and obtain CME/Ce credits. Register on Medscape, then take the free course at Driver Safety: The Clinicians Connections.
Mitigating the impact of changing capabilities, medications, and conditions on road safety can increase the health and safety of the patients you serve while they continue to drive. The risk of crashes for older drivers is, in part, related to physical, visual, and/or mental changes associated with aging, medications, and/or disease. You as a Medical Professional can be instrumental in helping individuals recognize when it might be time to stop driving due to the increased risk of injury that occurs as we age. Patients tend to hold a deep respect for clinicians’ authority and guidance. In fact, a recent survey indicated that older adults prefer that driver safety conversations be held with their physicians or family members. (Hartford)
Medical Professionals comprise primary care providers, occupational therapists, and other specialists. Medical professionals are uniquely positioned to discuss driving safety concerns with older patients because they are familiar with their patient's medical issues and the type of medications they use.
What can you do to improve road safety for your patients?
Use annual checkups to review older patients driving practices and capabilities.
Discuss the impact of medical conditions and medications on driving safety.
Identify solutions to help their patients continue to drive safely.
Refer patients to occupational therapists and other specialists who offer the testing, assessments, and interventions to allow older adults to continue to drive safely and the appropriate support and consultations to help them plan for giving up the keys should that time come.