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April 26, 2013     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, APRIL 26, 2013 PAGE 7B Advice for coping with an older driver's changing abilities (BPT)--As we age, and The experts at AARP Driver Second, family members entrance and exit ramps prefer to hear about driving createdjointlybyTheHartford watch our loved ones grow older, it's important to think about--and plan for--a time when we may no longer be able to drive. But how do we decide when it's time to transition from driver to passenger? In our busy suburban com- munities driving is essential to an independent lifestyle, and the decision to stop driv- ing is a sensitive, personal one. In addition to creating practical challenges, giving up driving may stir feelings of anger, frustration, isolation and depression, so it is. not to be taken lightly. With the significance of&iv- ing in mind, family members can help older drivers make the transition from driver to passenger. But how doyou initi- ate the difficult conversation? (BPT)--If you're just enter- ing retirement, chances are you have many years of good health and independence ahead. But the normal aging process still brings limitations that we all need to prepare for--such as slower reaction times and declining vision--which can lead to accidents and injuries. Many accidents are prevent- able though, and you can take simple measures to enhance your safety as you age. In your home Falls are one of the greatest age-related risks inside the home. One in three adults older than 65 falls each year, and the risk of injury rises with age, according to the National Safety Council. Many falls are caused by hazards that are easy to avoid if you know what to look for. To prevent trippin elimi- nate clutter on floors, remove throw rugs or tack them down with double-sided tape, and make sure electrical and phone Safety and The Hartford offer some advice. First, help older drivers stay safe behind thewheel for as long as possible. Adult children can help aging parents regularly maintain their vehicles. And if it's time for a new car, adult chil- dren can help identify choices with new technologies that can enhance safe driving, like reverse monitoring systems. Older drivers can brush up on their driving skills with AARP Driver Safety's course, which is specifically designed to help people 50 and older refresh their driving skills. To find a classroom course near you, call (888) 227-7669, or visit www.aarp.org/findacourse; or sign up for an online course. Courses are available in English or Spanish. should observe an older loved one's driving by taking a ride as passenger and keeping an eye out for warning signs. It's important to look for changes in driving abilities. These signs include: * Frequent "close calls" or near-crashes * Unexplained dents or scrapes on vehicles, fences,- mailboxes, garage doors, etc. * Getting lost, even in famil- iar locations * Difficulty seeing or follow- ing traffic signals, road signs and pavement markings * Slower responses to unex- pected situations, trouble mov- ing the driving foot from the gas to the brake, and confusing the two pedals * Misjudging gaps in traffic * Experiencing road rage or inspiring it in other drivers * Easilybecomingdistracted while driving * Difficulty turning around .to check the rear view while backing up or changing lanes * Receiving multiple tickets or warnings from law enforce- ment officers. Third, if you notice a pat- tern of warning signs and an increase in frequency, then it's time to initiate a conversation. It's important to choose the fight time, place and mes- senger. "It's important that the right person initiate the conversa- tion," says Jodi Olshevski, a gerontologist and assistant vice president at The Hartford. "Research indicates that 50 at intersections or on highway percent of married drivers concerns from their spouses first, then doctors and finally adult children. Whoever initi- ates the conversation should have a strong rapport with the older driver." "Whoever it is should be empathetic, armed with facts about her driving and able to offer ideas for alternative trans- portation if needed," Olshevski advises. Avoid bringing up the topic of driving during family gather- ings. Instead, look for a quiet, private time when all pa'ties involved will have privacy and minimal distractions. If it's time to initiate a conversation with a parent or spouse about driving, AARP Driver Safety's "We Need to Talk" seminar can help. De- veloped based on information Reducing risk, increasing peace of mind cords are kept out of the way. You might need to rearrange some of your furniture as well, to ensure that there are unobstructed pathways into and out of every room. In the bathroom, use a nonslip rubber mat or stick nonslip adhesive strips to the bottom of the bathtub or shower. You may also want to consider installing grab bars. Keep a night light on in the bathroom at night, and remove any obstacles in the path from the bedroom to the bathroom. If your house has stairs, make sure they have good lighting (with light switches at both the top and bottom of the staircase) and sturdy handrails (preferably on both sides). Attaching nonslip rub- b er treads is a good idea if the steps are potentially slippery. The kitchen presents a slightly different set of poten- tial hazards. To reduce the risk that you'll cut or burn yourself, make sure there is bright, nonglare lighting over so emergency personnel can pared in caseofan emergency, all food preparation areas. Also, it's better to store sharp knives in a knife block or rack rather than loose in a drawer. And make sure any hazardous substances (such as cleaning supplies) are well marked and stored in a place where they're unlikely to be misidentified or come in contact with food. Outdoors To make your yrd safer, replace or repair any broken or loose paving stones and clear the walkways of overgrown branches or any other poten- tial tripping hazards. Make sure all handrails are firm and secure. Mark the edges of steps with reflective tape and check that there is enough light to see obstacles at night. You might want to consider a timer or motion-detector light near the front door so you don't have to fumble with your keys in the dark. And, just in case, makesure your house number is visible and lighted and MIT AgeLab, the free, on- lin seminar helps caregivers and those with an older loved one initiate productive and caring conversations about driving safety. To take the free seminar, visit www.aarp.org/ weneedtotalk, and to download or order a free guidebook, visit www.thehartford.com/ lifetime.- While many olderAmericans are staying safe on the roads and driving longer than ever before, for some, health-related chang- es in vision, hearing, flexibility or cognitive function can make them less safe behind thewheel. With planning, preparation and sensitivity, families can help make the transition from being a driver to being a passenger a bit easier for older drivers and those who love them. Nutrition tips for seniors on the go A buffet can derail a diet quickly. When possible, skip the all-you- can-eat food fest and opt for individual menu items instead. When you can't resist a buffet, eat an entire plate of salad before hitting the main dishes. Just be sure togo light on cheese and dressing and heavy UII Vt:tLdlJlt,5 III'KG UIU,UIJt O.llU (StatePoint)--Today's se- niors are leading active lives, filling their time with travel and new experiences. While staying active is great for one's general well-being and happiness, con- tinuous travel provides many challenges to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Good Ilu[itioll and reguiar find it quickly. In the car To increase your safety on the road, have your vision and hearing checked every year, and, if you need them, wear your glasses or hearing aid when driving. Knowyour limi- tations and avoid situations that make you uncomfort- able-for example, you may decide to avoid driving at night or on extremely busy roads. Have your car checked regu- larly by a trusted mechanic to make sure it stays in good working order, and keep a cell phone with you so you're pre- which can't be emphasized enough. It's good to have a cell phone on hand for any type of emergency--not just in the car. In a 2011 survey by the Pew Research Center, 40 percent of respondents who owned cell phones said that in the past 30 days they had found themselves in an emergency situation in which having their phone with them helped. Knowing that you can call for help at any time provides great peace of mind, and a cell phone doesn't need to. be complicated or expensive. Consumer Cellular (www. consumercellular.com), the exclusive wireless provider for AARP members, is one car- rier that provides no-contract, cost-effective wireless service and cell phones. Their senior- friendly Doro PhoneEasy 618 is an easy-to-use feature phone with a one-touch emergency button and a feature to store all your I.C.E. (in case of emer- gency) information. Most accidents don't just happen. If you follow these sim- ple safety tips, you'll decrease your rsk of injuryaz--and increase your chances of enjoy- ing a long, happy retirement in the comfort of your own home. T.00Jewish Pavilion challenges to maintaining a Good nutrition and regular exercise can keep you feeling great and reduce your risk for diseases such as prostate cancer, diabetes and hyperten- sion. And, as we age, our risk for developing these diseases increases, so it's especially vital for aging men and women to protect their overall health. Next time you take a trip, don't let your health go on vacation too. Here are some wellness tips that will travel as well as yourwrinkle-free shirts: Maybe it's all that waiting, but something about airports makes people hungrier. Pack- ing food may be your best bet for a wholesome meal. If you do buy. airport food, you may want to couple it with a little exercise. Explore the terminal's options before settling on the first fast food joint you see. Salads, low-fat sandwiches and smoothies abound, these days. And instead of snacking on high-sodium pretzels or crackers on your flight, opt for Just as you would never forgetyour itinerary at home, don 't leave town without your good habits. an immunity-boostingpiece of fruit instead. On road trips, pack a cooler filled with fresh vegetables, homemade sandwiches and water. If you do sop along the way, try and wait until you can find a rest stop with plenty of healthy food choices. Incorporate cancer-fight- ing foods into your daily meals. Evidence from several studies suggests that fish can help protect against prostate cancer because they have "good fat," particularly omega-3 fatty acids. Likewise, a lack of vegetables in the diet is linked to a higher risk of aggressive prostate cancer, according to experts at tle Prostate Cancer Foundation. dishes. Justbe sure to go lighton ,4 ......... l ,l .... ;,,u .... l l ....... on vegetables like broccoli'and cauliflower. After the salad, stick with grilled, lean meats and whole grains. Keep the amount of fat you get from red meat and dairy products to a minimum. When you're cooking for yourself, you know exactly what's in your food. Don't give up that knowledge just because someone else is doing the cooking. Ask how your meals are prepared to avoid certain no-no's like trans fatty acids. which are found in margarine. Remember to exercise each day, whether it's exploring a new location on foot. or taking a swim in the hotel pool. Beyond burning calories, endurance exercises are particularly ef- fective at increasing the body's natural levels of antioxidants, eliminating inflammatory molecules that drive cancer. Relax and enjoy your trip. Reducing stress can lead to a longer, happier life. More wellness tips can be found at www.PCF.org. Our elders in long term core should not be forgoffon! The Jewish Pavilion ensures that they are visited and that they ontinue to participate in Jewish fife, enjoying Shabbat and Holidays. Your support is needed to care for the Jewish elderly. 407-678-9363 www.jewishpavilion.org