Friday 9 May 2008

Seniors Driving

With an increased life span, and many people with health issues we must be more vigilant in monitoring health issues in seniors. Current buzz revolves around keeping senors off the road.

The Star seems concerned about this issue with two articles!

Physicians, health care providers, family members and insurers are responsible for reporting seniors who are unable to drive. Despite the magic age of 80, we must be aware and take responsibility at the earliest signs of dementia. Families have a responsibility to monitor their aging family members to protect society. If a family member has shown dementia-related factors, then adult children must monitor these issues.

CBC this morning featured a clip that stated that "100,000 drivers over the age of 65 will be on the roads in 2028." I was quite surprised. How certain are they that these folks will have dementia? I hope to sail through my 60s in good health. Such ageism in this day and age...

We can prevent, identify and ameliorate dementia symptoms, but they must be recognized and faced up front by family and neighbours. Most are in denial in my experience. When accessing services caregivers and family members might be at their wit’s end.

In Ontario the CCAC oversees patients released from hospital, but their mandate does not cover frail or ailing seniors at risk in the community. Very few resources exist. Some seniors can find resources through non-profit agencies (see my links), but these agencies rely on donations, rather than tax dollars, and care is finite and difficult to arrange. Aging at home funding agencies and programs have been slow to develop, despite a long-standing client bases in those who are disabled and in supportive living and day programs.

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