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CarFit: Ensuring safety and comfort for senior drivers

Hospital news | Friday, August 31, 2018

Prairie du Chien, WI - "Safe driving is about your driving ability, not your age," explained Angela Wagner, Occupational Therapy Manager at Crossing Rivers Health. "Find out how to take steps to keep yourself and your loved ones safe on the road by signing up to participate in CarFit, a free 12-point safety checkup for mature drivers."

Crossing Rivers Health is teaming up with the Occupational Therapy Assistant program at Western Technical College to conduct free CarFit check-ups in Prairie du Chien on Friday, September 14, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the North Parking Lot at Crossing Rivers Health Medical Center. Appointments may be scheduled by calling Occupational Therapy at 608-357-2662 or 608-357-2230. Each appointment will take approximately 20 minutes. In the case of inclement weather, the event will be cancelled.

“CarFit provides older adults with the tools to understand and apply the safety features of their car,” said Javier Alvarez, Crossing Rivers Health Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant. “At a CarFit event, trained volunteers complete a checklist with each driver including the correct position of the driver’s seat, the driver’s ability to easily reach the pedals, and the proper adjustment of mirrors.”

Crossing Rivers Health occupational therapists will be on hand to provide a consultation, if needed, to teach drivers how to maintain and improve aspects related to their driving health. The therapist can also provide information to participants addressing individual needs, including information about local community resources on exercise, nutrition and other programs to help keep them safe on the road.

“Driving means freedom and independence," added Alvarez. "It is largely up to you how safely and how long you can drive, as you take responsibility for your physical readiness, choices about your car's safety and maintenance, and your decisions about how and where you drive."

CarFit is national program developed by AAA, AARP and the American Occupational Therapy Association. The program is designed to give a quick, yet comprehensive check on how well an older driver and their vehicle work together.