Celebrating Family Caregivers and Planning Ahead for Post-Pandemic Life

At this time of the year, we often take note of those things for which we are thankful. For many of us, it is the family caregiver that helps us live and thrive in our home and community. This year has been particularly stressful for many caregivers—those who have long been serving in this capacity as well as those who have transitioned into the role this year as many older adults have moved home or require additional supports as a precaution against the Coronavirus. 

Our focus now is on remaining safe during the pandemic and finding creative ways to keep our loved ones healthy and engaged in the community. The Caregivers’ Action Network has a wealth of information to help you juggle family care, manage costs, figure out the best way for your loved one to receive the medical attention they require, and keep your loved one connected with family and friends. 

This is also the perfect time to talk with your parents, grandparents, and the older adults in your life about life after the pandemic, to include driver safety. Currently, motor vehicle injuries are the leading cause of injury-related deaths among those 65-74 years old and are the second leading cause (after falls) among those 75-84 years old. When in a crash, older adults are more likely to have a slower recovery and older adult drivers are more than twice as likely to report having a medical problem that makes it difficult to travel, compared with drivers aged 24-64.

The Clearinghouse for Older Road User Safety (ChORUS), relaunching December 1st, has been newly designed to make it easier to find current, reliable, and trustworthy tools and resources that empower older drivers and their caregivers to improve road safety. Turn to ChORUS to learn the signs for when it might be time to consider changing driving habits, how to open a conversation with someone you love about driving safety, links to state and local information and professionals that can help. Now is also the perfect time to develop a transportation plan to ensure a full and active life while maximizing safety. The ChORUS Older Driver Transportation Planning Tool offers a step-by-step guide for assessing driver safety, learning how to modify your car to improve safety, identifying transportation needs and costs, exploring alternate transportation in your community, creating a driving agreement, and planning for when you may need to stop driving. 

Get a jump start on Older Driver Safety Awareness Week and setting New Year’s Resolutions.  Join the ChORUS and get on the same sheet of music with your loved one so that you can all feel safe about driving in the future.  ChORUS:  Drive Safer.  Drive Longer.