Options to support older drivers to retire from driving
Earlier in the year, Car Free Me was featured on Channel 9 News. This blog is shared from Car Free Me's website - for information click here.
The reporters talked to the team about how to prepare for a car free life. Driving cessation is a big step for most people. But it doesn’t mean that it takes away your freedom and independence. In this two minute segment, Channel 9 introduces the Car Free Me program and how it can help senior drivers in Australia.
Watch the video: Older drivers in Queensland preparing for a car-free
What is Car Free Me?
Car Free Me is for people who are still driving and are considering stopping, and for those who have already stopped driving. It is an interactive and supportive program that runs for 6 weeks. Every week, a group of people gets together with their Car Free Me accredited coach. During each workshop we will give you with the building blocks to becoming car free.
“The important thing is that people take that time to plan for it, to think about stopping driving”, said Dr Theresa Scott, academic at The University of Queensland and member of the Car Free Me research team.
"We are here to support you in your decision and preparation for a car free life. We help you evaluate the options that suit your lifestyle so you can continue to do what you love, without needing a car."
The participants so far have been very pleased with the program. A Brisbane workshop participant wrote: “I have learned about finding alternative means of transport, planning with more wisdom, the search for best retirement options. The information supplied, support and encouragement, professionalism of the program have all been very useful”.
Recommended reading: How does Car Free Me work?
When do I know I need to stop driving?
Did you know that elderly drivers are the safest drivers? Age is not a factor determining whether or not one should stop driving. However when you start facing new health challenges (like mobility issues and vision impairment), this is when you need to start thinking about alternatives.
At 79, Ross McKinnon still drives everyday and has a clean bill of health. But he told Channel 9 that “it’s important to recognise that everybody will have to make that change.” Safe mobility is essential to healthy ageing.
"Don’t leave it to the last minute to start preparing for your car free life."
Car Free Me in regional areas of Australia
Everyone should be able to have access to the help they need. Thanks to telehealth trials, the Car Free Me program will be trialled outside of urban, metropolitan areas.
What is telehealth? The Department of Health defines it as “the use of telecommunication technology for the purpose of providing health education over a distance”. That is, you will be able to chat and see your Car Free Me coach using video-conferencing. Easy and effective.
If you want to attend a workshop near you, please contact The Car Free Me team here
Can I help you?
Please contact me at Driving Well Occupational Therapy if you have concerns about an elderly client's / patient's / loved one's driving.