Occupational therapist urges seniors to brush up on driving skills
Many senior citizens require occupational therapist work as they grow older in order to retain their longevity and quality of life, and a new program is using this type of therapy to enhance the ability of the elderly behind the wheel.
The University of Pittsburgh's Department of Occupational Therapy is raising awareness of senior citizens and their interpretation of the technology used in modern cars. With the help of AAA and the American Occupational Therapy Association, the "CarFit" program has been launched to help the elderly on the road.
"We have things like a wedge cushion, a swivel seat, and there's even a device for people who can't reach their seat belt that allows them to reach across their body and get to it," said Pamela Toto, assistant professor in Pitt's occupational therapy program. "(Driving) is very important for seniors. Our role is to help them continue to participate in driving, and to do it safely."
The event will consist of AAA-trained volunteer technicians walking senior citizens through some car basis, including proper seat belt techniques, head restraint positioning and getting in and out of the car.
Occupational therapist work can be a huge benefit for senior citizens and baby boomers on the verge of elderly age. As the body grows older, minor aches and pains in various joints and muscles can intensify. Proper therapy can reduce various neck, back, hip and other body part pain while improving mobility and hand-eye coordination.
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