Jane's Mix Tape 10- Workin' For a Livin'
Workin for a Livin is our anthem this month in recognition of National Safety Month. Many of us are working longer and well into what some would call retirement years. My father worked until he was 80. I remember him as a hard worker who was proud of the work he did. The thought of him not working just didn’t add-up to the man I knew as my father. Work gave him financial security, a social structure, a sense of purpose, and filled his days with activity.
Dad always drove to work. He worked in road construction and being on the road and behind the wheel was second nature. As he got older, medical issues he experienced led to him having two crashes within a 6-month period. While car damage was significant, we were lucky that no one involved in the crashes was hurt. However, this did lead to a number of conversations and some changes in his life. Dad had to face up to the fact that he needed to change his driving habits. It wasn’t easy – he hated admitting that he couldn’t do things like he always did and he feared giving up his independence. He found a co-worker that he could car pool with, took a driving assessment and safe driving class, and greatly reduced his time behind the wheel. It was tough but it was worth it – he didn’t have any more crashes and it gave my mom and all of us kids peace of mind.
Whether by choice or necessity working as we age means we need to be aware of the impacts aging might have on our safety not only in the workplace but as we commute to and from work. If you get to work by bus, train, biking, or walking, keep an eye out for others on the road. Use the crosswalks, follow the traffic signals, and keep in the bike paths when they are available. As a driver be aware of those walking or biking, getting on and off of buses, and emerging from train stations. You can also take steps to learn how to be safer on the road through a CarFit appointment, other assessments, learning about the safety features of your car, and using alternate transportation such as public transportation.
So, if you’re “Workin for a Livin” like me and so many of us “seniors,” be mindful. Take the steps you need to be safe not only in the workplace and but also on the road.