The beginning of December brings more than just the holiday season. It also marks the annual Older Driver Safety Awareness Week (ODSAW) developed by the American Occupational Therapy Association. The week, December 5-9, highlights the importance of providing comprehensive mobility and transportation options to ensuring older adults remain active in their communities. The aim is to not let their driving ability define their confidence in transportation.
In honor of the week, we utilized our website, www.FLsams.org to promote safety messages and activities going on around the state that coincide with the week’s daily themes. This includes CarFit safety events, AAA Driver Safety courses, and of course, our annual Safety is Golden Mobility!
Palm Beach County was selected as the destination for this year’s mobility fair based on our data findings that placed it in the Top 10 Urban Priority Counties for aging road users. After careful consideration we partnered with The Volen Center in Boca Raton to host the event. The Volen Center began on 1968 and now has their own transportation program that provides roughly 80,000 rides per year to older adults of South Palm Beach County. Learn more about The Volen Center here.
The event was held on Tuesday, December 9, 2016, from 10am to 1pm and kicked off with opening remarks by Mayor Susan Haynie of Boca Raton and Robin Goldberg with The Volen Center . Inside was a diverse group of 21 vendors providing information on safety, access, and mobility for the Palm Beach County area. Throughout the event, we provided safety tips which can be found on our YouTube page here. Upon entering the indoor portion of the event, guest were given the opportunity to enter into a free raffle which included prizes like the Safety is Golden cane umbrella, Palm Tran goodie bag, t-shirts, and more!
Outside the FLOW (Florida Licensing On Wheels) Mobile was parked offering a convenient method to renew a driver license, obtain a replacement driver license, change a name or address on a driver license, get an identification card, and renew a vehicle registration. Last but never least, our partners, Florida CarFit, held a safety event offering older adults the opportunity to check how well their personal vehicles “fit” them. For a complete list of vendors in attendance visit www.flsams.org/ODSAW2016.htm.
By the end of the day we had been visited by approximately 78 older adults from the center and the surrounding area. Fourteen of the attendees participated in CarFit where technicians gave them hands on advice on how to fit safety in their vehicles and were able to speak with an occupational therapist about other mobility issues one-on-one.
The Safe Mobility for Life Coalition would like to thank everyone who helped make the Safety is Golden Mobility Fair a great success and especially to the people of Palm Beach County who offered us a warm welcome. We look forward to more community events in the area. For more information regarding the event be sure to read the Palm Beach Post coverage here.
If you are interested in educational materials from the Safe Mobility for Life Resource center or would like to schedule an event or presentation near you, contact information can be found here.