A Message from Craig Eichelman, AARP Missouri State Director
Any collaboration requires strong leadership, a willingness to listen, and a willingness to ask “What if?” Betty Hutson, Missouri’s Driver Safety state coordinator, is that kind of leader. Our work goes beyond cross-promoting our activities in the community. It involves actually blending goals and outcomes together into programming our members want. Two examples are now part of the AARP Missouri state office 2013 state plan: We Need to Talk, and Driving & Medications.
These two programs are Driver Safety focused workshops that will now have the direct support of state office resources, including staff. This month, Driver Safety and the state office will pilot a We Need to Talk workshop in St. Louis. The pilot will give us the opportunity to learn, build, and prepare for launching efforts statewide in 2013.
We Need to Talk fits in well with our efforts around ‘caregiving’ in general. The workshop gives practical tips on how to recognize warning signs and develop a plan to begin talking about driving retirement. When a loved one needs to stop driving it can represent the end of their freedom and independence and can cause strong emotions. This program is designed to help caregivers talk to someone about retiring from driving when driving is no longer a safe option for them.
Driving & Medications is our second collaboration with Driver Safety. Medications can have side effects that may seriously impact our driving. That’s why AARP Missouri and Driver Safety have teamed up with the Missouri Nurses Association (MONA) to develop a program that will address medication interactions and their effect on driving safely. It’s good information for you to have for yourself, or for an aging parent.
I hope these two examples clearly illustrate our direction. As we cross the state and deliver caregiver focused information and resources, these two Driver Safety programs will be an important part of our value proposition to our members. I personally want to thank the entire Driver Safety family in Missouri for their willingness to think outside the box and for their steadfast interest in having all be safer drivers.
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