Wednesday, July 1, 2009

NASW member on Radio Station, WBUR

Adding to the good news we congratulate NASW member Lissa Robins Kapust, LICSW who appeared live on WBUR Radio, Friday June 26. Lissa is the Program Manager of the Cognitive Neurology Unit at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

The broadcast explored elders’ driving and the alternatives when they can no longer drive. In the wake of several serious accidents by elderly drivers, lawmakers on Beacon Hill are considering changes to rules regarding seniors and driving, including one that would issue new driving tests to anyone over 85. Another bill makes it easier for doctors to recommend elderly drivers have their licenses revoked. There is debate as to whether or not the Registry of Motor Vehicles should take over screening elders when they apply for a new license.

Ms. Kapust and an environmental professor from MIT spoke about the challenges of the transportation infrastructure of MA and the US as a whole. She noted the difficulties for elders to get around and do simple things like get an ice cream without a driver’s license. It was noted that removing driving privileges should be a conversation that is addressed in a non-crisis time. It should begin when you notice that there have been minor issues like backing into a trash can. The focus of the conversation should be on the medical diagnosis that is impairing an elder’s mobility and the need for safety. The person who cares for the elder most often should have the conversation. Additional resources such as The Ride or private companies can assist in getting elders to and from where they need to go and should be presented as alternative options for the elder.

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