The fitness solution
One of the ways to improve driver function is to stay well and fit. Older road users suffer more severe injuries than their younger counterparts because they are more fragile. Keeping in good shape also helps promote mental alertness which is another important skill in safe driving. Following is information and resources to help Iowa older road users stay fit and well.
Exercise is important at any age and particularly for seniors who need exercise to maintain strength and flexibility, abilities that contribute to safe driving. Exercise can also help reduce arthritis pain, anxiety and depression. The following links provide information on exercise tips and benefits for older adults:
- The National Institute on Aging, Exercise and Physical Activity: Getting Fit for Life. Click here to access the Web site or visit http://www.nia.nih.gov/.
- National Institute for Health Senior Health's Web site Exercise for Older Adults. Click here to access the Web site or visit http://nihseniorhealth.gov.
- American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons' Web site on Seniors and Exercise. Click here to access the Web site or visit http://orthoinfo.aaos.org.
- To find a provider of age-friendly fitness and wellness near you, visit http://www.icaa.cc/FacilityLocator/facilitylocator.asp or the Iowa Association of Area Agencies on Aging's Web site at http://www.i4a.org/search.php. Click on exercise and the county where you live.
- To find information about physical therapy and how it may improve your mobility and get you back to daily activities, click here or visit http://www.moveforwardpt.com/.
Driving ability can also be affected by medications including those prescribed by a physician and those purchased over-the-counter. In many cases, seniors may not be aware of the affects medications have on driving when taken singly or in combination. To find out more information about medications, visit the following Web sites.
- Driving When You Are Taking Medications is a brochure that provides practical advice and safe driving tips. To view a copy, click here.
- Polypharmacy and Older Drivers: Identifying Strategies to Study Drug Usage and Driving Functioning Among Older Drivers is the result of a study about drug usage by older drivers under everyday, "real world" conditions. The study also examined the consequences of multiple drug use on safe driving. To view a copy of the report, visit http://www.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/olddrive/polypharmacy/.