JHF begins driver assessment program
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JHF begins driver assessment program

The Jewish Home Family has launched a driver assessment program to help older adults and their families maximize driver safety. The program, at the Jewish Home at Rockleigh, offers of a battery of assessments to measure reaction times, vision, range of motion, and cognition.

At the first stage, an occupational therapist gives a report than can include recommending special equipment to enhance safety. The second stage takes place on the road with an occupational therapist in a dual-control vehicle, to assess road skills.

If a driver is found to be unable to continue driving, the Jewish Home will deal directly with the physician, sparing family members having to do it themselves. Independence specialists also will offer advice on all the local safe transportation options available.

JHR occupational therapist Happy Thampikutty assists a client. (Courtesy JHF)
JHR occupational therapist Happy Thampikutty assists a client. (Courtesy JHF)

“We are here to objectively measure an individual’s abilities and to be there for the client and their family during this very sensitive decision-making process,” said Ilana Dallas, director of rehabilitation. “We know that more and more people want to age in their homes, in the community,” added Carol Silver Elliott, the Jewish Home Family’s president and CEO. “Living in a spread-out world, getting around for those at home can be complicated, and people are understandably reluctant to give up driving. Yet we also know their skills may not be at a level that allows them to drive safely.

“Offering professional, clinical driving assessment allows us to help individuals and their families know when it is time to stop driving as well as whether there are ways we can help folks continue to drive safely. It’s a natural fit for us to offer this new service, using our outstanding therapy staff to continue to work with the older adults in our community wherever they live.”

For information or an appointment, go to www.jewishhomefamily.org/driving, call (201) 518-1174, or email driving@jewishhomefamily.org.

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