Staying connected to your community is an important part of your well-being. For most of us, driving our own car is how we stay mobile and on the go. Driving is the most common means for seeing the people we want to see and getting to the places we want to go- at our convenience. But changes in our physical, mental, and sensory abilities can challenge our continued ability to drive safely.
Role of Occupational Therapy
Occupational therapy practitioners trained in driving rehabilitation understand the critical demands of driving and how our ability to move about our community affects the quality of our lives. These occupational therapy practitioners have the skills to evaluate an individual's overall ability to operate a vehicle safely.
Occupational therapy practitioners have the science-based knowledge to understand progressive conditions and life changes that can affect driving. Because occupational therapy practitioners take the time to understand the role that driving plays in your life, they are able to help individuals make the transition from driving to using other forms of transportation that offer the services and features they require to maintain safe community mobility. In doing so, they help people maintain their autonomy, independence, and sense of worth.
Getting Around Safe and Sound
For most of us, driving represents freedom, control, and competence. Driving makes it easier to get to the places we want or need to go. For many of us, driving is important economically. We drive as part of our job or volunteer activities. Driving is also important socially. It allows us to stay connected to our communities and to participate in the activities we find meaningful. If it is the only means of transportation you are familiar with, it may be difficult to imagine using any other means of transportation to get to the places you want to go!
This section gives information about changes that can affect our ability to continue to drive safely and to remain mobile in our communities. Understanding those changes as well as the myths and realities about older drivers can help us make more informed decisions about driving.