Preventing Car Fatalities Among Seniors: Parentgiving.com Offers Expert Advice for Families
When Having "The Talk" Isn't Enough available as public safety resource
MONTCLAIR, NJ--June 12, 2013: According to the most recent data available, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2011, 5,401 people age 65 and older were killed and 185,000 were injured in motor vehicle traffic crashes. Seniors made up 17 percent of all traffic fatalities and 8 percent of all people injured in traffic crashes during that year.
Those aren't just statistics to www.parentgiving.com editor Julie Davis, whose elderly father died following a car crash in last month. "This simply didn't have to happen. My father shouldn't have been behind the wheel," said Davis. "My stepmother always did the driving, but when she left him for a few hours to check in on her ninety-three year old mother whose health was failing, he decided to go out. My father never listened to advice--and that's a problem millions of families are facing or will face."
With accidents among senior men at three times the rate of senior women, this Father's Day is the perfect time to sit down and have a frank conversation with senior loved ones about their driving ability.
The problem for many adult children is how to broach the topic. To help, Parentgiving has put together a toolkit from a variety of sources, including the NHTSA and two of the website's most trusted advisors, Dr. Robert Murden, of Geriatric Medicine at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus who has spoken and published on the topic extensively, and Dr. Douglas Scharre, Director of the Division of Cognitive Neurology at the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. Because the need for this information is so great, the article, Seniors and Driving: When Having "The Talk" Isn't Enough, is being made copyright-free for republishing purposes and available to media outlets and other interested parties as a public safety resource.
"This situation hit the Parentgiving family hard and we know that it is being repeated countless times among families across the country," said Parentgiving CEO David Spain. "As an online destination for senior wellbeing and daily living aids, Parentgiving realized that we needed to cover the problem in a much more intensive way than we had in the past. We believe that sharing Julie's story will help seniors and their children and other caregivers understand just how urgent dealing with this very difficult yet delicate problem is."
Taking action isn't easy. "Families often are afraid to be the bad guys and take the verbal complaints if they make driving impossible, even though this is the only truly safe option," said Dr. Murden.
The article features specific steps to take, from assessing a senior's driving to talking points to action steps, including how to take away the keys. It can be accessed at Seniors and Driving