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Free CarFit check-ups to help improve comfort and safety fit for senior drivers

Hospital news | Tuesday, August 18, 2015
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Contact: Kris Lawrence

“As we age, changes in our vision, flexibility, strength, range of motion and even size and height may make us less comfortable and reduce our control behind the wheel,” explains Angela Wagner, Occupational Therapy Manager at Crossing Rivers Health. “If you are among the millions of mature drivers on the road, we invite you to sign up for a free, 12-point safety check-up at CarFit.”

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.

Crossing Rivers Health will conduct free CarFit check-ups in Prairie du Chien on Friday, September 18, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., in the North Parking Lot at Crossing Rivers Health Medical Center, across from the Prairie du Chien Airport. Appointments may be scheduled by calling Occupational Therapy at 608-357-2662 or 608-357-2230. Each appointment will take approximately 20 minutes.

“CarFit provides older adults with the tools to understand and apply the safety features of their car,” said Christine Krueger, Occupational Therapy Assistant Program Chair, Western Technical College, LaCrosse, WI. “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.”

Occupational therapists are also on hand to provide a consultation, if needed, that will 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.

“It is critically important that mature drivers make safety a personal priority,” added Christine Krueger. “Driving today is more difficult than ever because of increased traffic congestion, longer commute distances, new technology and faster speeds. Older drivers can take important measures to mitigate the stress associated with driving.”

In the event of inclement weather, the event will be cancelled.