It is a fact of life that people grow older every day. With increasing age come changes in physical, mental and sensory abilities that can challenge a person's continued ability to drive safely. But there are a variety of safe travel options for people of all ages. The real need is a broader awareness of the solutions, rather than a narrow focus on the problem.
The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) believes that occupational therapy practitioners have the skills to evaluate a person's overall ability to operate a vehicle safely and provide rehabilitation, if necessary. Many are specially trained in the full scope of driving rehabilitation. Occupational therapy practitioners work with older adults as well as their families and caregivers, offering individualized assessment. They can identify individuals' unique challenges and find strategies that will help them live life to its fullest by keeping them active, healthy, and safe in their communities.
AOTA's Older Driver Safety Awareness Week, December 4–8, 2017, aims to promote understanding of the importance of mobility and transportation to ensuring older adults remain active in the community—shopping, working or volunteering—with the confidence that transportation will not be the barrier to strand them at home.