If you were no longer able to drive, would you know how to maintain your independence and navigate other ways of getting around? This Aging and Driving Workshop had speakers and resources to equip seniors with safe driving tips and options for alternative transportation.
Saanich CRN Interactive Workshop Event
Saanich Peninsula CRN Coordinator, Anna Hudson, hosted a workshop for local seniors on aging and driving this spring. The goal of the workshop was to give older adults information about safe driving and alternate modes of transportation for when driving is no longer an option. For many seniors, losing the ability to drive can lead to loss of independence and vulnerability, making it easier for them to become the victims of exploitation and harm.
The goals of the workshop were to:
- Educate attendees about the impacts of aging and driving, with tips and resources for safe driving.
- Explain the process of Enhanced Road Assessments with an opportunity to ask questions to an ICBC examiner.
- Provide information and resources from organizations and businesses about alternatives to driving: from scooter viability to volunteer medical drives and public transit.
- Introduce the new RCMP Community Policing Officer for Sidney.
- Explain the work of the SPCRN and the connection between losing independence and possible outcomes of becoming vulnerable to abuse, neglect and self-neglect.
- Provide information about BC CRN educational programs and resource materials.
- Create community connection through interactive sessions and door prizes.
Speakers from ICBC addressed some key points on the impacts of aging and driving with a focus on explaining the process of the enhanced road assessments. There was a driver examiner on hand to answer open questions about the driving portion in particular. Two presentations from BC Transit delivered a talk on alternative transportation options and also brought along a demo bus for people to have some hands-on orientation. Other presentations included information about utilizing scooters, volunteer medical drivers, HandyDART and how disability parking permits work.
Under the theme of “Keeping Safe in Our Community”, this event allowed for a special opportunity for people to understand that we all are all responsible for keeping ourselves and others safe in our community, and learn the many ways that seniors can become vulnerable to abuse, neglect and self-neglect. The loss of a driver’s license, whether through a person’s own volition or having it imposed by the medical system or police, can have an enormous impact on mental health and well-being. Loss of independence can result in isolation, depression, loneliness, and anxiety. The more education and awareness provided through educational workshops such as this, the more prevention of harm and exploitation is possible.
Over 130 people attended the two-hour event, held at the SHOAL Centre in Saanich. Participating organizations had resource booths and representatives on hand to provide resources and answer questions from attendees. The refreshments and info booths created lots of positive energy in the room as people mingled, asked questions, and collected give-away items. The crowd got very excited at the chance to win one of six door prizes from local grocery and drug stores since food security is one of the top concerns among seniors. Participants were asked to complete an evaluation and almost 100 evaluations were turned in with very positive feedback.
Community partners included in this event were: the Insurance Corporation of B.C., a representative from the Sidney RCMP Community Policing office, Sidney Scooters, Beacon Community Services, Volunteer Medical Drive Program, SHOAL Community Outreach Programs, SHOAL Community Centre resources (distribution of TideLines Newsletter), Disability Parking Permit Satellite Program, Alternative Bus Services by BC Transit, and our BC CRN regional mentor Cari Taylor, who provided handouts and materials on our educational programs and resources, gave out useful swag items, and answered questions about our organization and mandate.