AARP CarFit clinic offers help for mature drivers

A 12-point checklist is completed by a trained volunteer.

AARP CarFit clinic offers help for mature drivers
October 18
01:00 2018

By Judie Holcomb-Pack

Do you “fit” your car? That’s the question the local AARP chapter #1797 is answering at itsCarFit clinics. Especially as seniors buy new cars with more gadgets and options, many seniors are mystified as to how to adjust mirrors or the steering wheel, or how to wear the seat belt properly.

That’s where CarFit comes in. At a recent CarFit clinic at Senior Services, volunteers were helping older drivers become safer drivers. They checked to see if the driver was wearing his or her seat belt in the proper position, the tilt of the steering wheel and position of the airbag, the distance between the steering wheel and the chest, the position of the headrest, and properly adjusted mirrors, just to name a few of the items on the checklist.

AARP will hold a second CarFit clinic on Tuesday, Oct. 23, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., in the back parking lot of Senior Services. Space is limited and is by reservation only. To make a reservation, call Carolyn Samuel at (336) 577-5331 by today, Thursday, Oct. 18. The clinic is free.

The Winston-Salem AARP chapter received a grant from the national AARP to provide two CarFit clinics. The clinic was developed through collaboration among the American Society on Aging, AARP, the American Occupational Therapy Association, and AAA to help mature drivers find the perfect and safest fit with their vehicle. A 12-point checklist is completed by a trained volunteer and drivers will be given recommendations for adjustments to make the driver more comfortable and safer behind the wheel. Some auto insurance companies will give a discount to their policyholders who complete the CarFit clinic.

Physical changes seniors experience, such as arthritis and decreased range of motion, can make driving more challenging for older adults. At the clinic, volunteers also suggest mobility aids, such as seat cushions that swivel to make it easier to get in and out of a car, seat belt extenders to make it easier to reach and fasten seatbelts, larger rearview mirrors and side-view mirrors,  to enlarge the line of vision, and back support cushions to relieve back pain.

About 15 volunteers took part in the first CarFit clinic. Dr. Althea Taylor-Jones, an AARP member and volunteer, noted that “Many seniors buy a new car, but don’t understand how to use all the new features and are afraid to try to make changes. CarFit fits the driver to the car.”

Anne Jenkins, the CarFit clinic coordinator, found that most people have difficulty with seat belt adjustments and knowing how to make adjustments in newer cars. “People don’t know the proper adjustment for seat height or how to adjust the up- and-down tilt of the steering wheel,” she noted as the most common issues.

About Author

WS Chronicle

WS Chronicle

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors