‘We need to Talk’ seminar to focus on older drivers

ndunn@newsobserver.comMay 9, 2014 

  • ‘We Need to Talk’

    The Clayton Center for Active Aging will offer “We Need to Talk” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 13, in the Poole Room at The Clayton Center, 111 E. Second St. The seminar is designed to help family members and friends start conversations with older adults about limiting or stopping driving. The seminar is free, but registration is limited to 20 participants. To register, call the Center for Active Aging at 919-553-4350.

Louanne Mobley of the Clayton Center for Active Aging says a car symbolizes independence. It’s one reason, she says, that it’s hard to tell an older adult that it’s time to limit or stop driving.

“It can be like the ‘sex talk,’” Mobley said.

“We need to Talk,” a free seminar scheduled for 7 p.m. May 13, aims to show family members and friends how to begin the sometimes sensitive conversation with aging drivers. Sponsored by the Clayton Center for Active Aging, the seminar will take place in the Poole Room at The Clayton Center, 111 E. Second St. To register, call 919-553-4350.

Mobley, who will conduct the seminar, said she will talk about several strategies to make sure “the talks” are successful. One includes alternative ways older adults can remain active and engaged in the community, even after they limit or stop driving.

“There are more ways than one to get from ‘Point A’ to ‘Point B,’” Mobley said.

Johnston County has no public, circulating bus routes. However, the Johnston County Area Transit System, or JCATS, has a fleet of vans that transport county residents who need a ride. Requests can be made by calling 919-202-5030.

Mobley said when talking with an older adult about driving, it’s important that the discussion isn’t threatening.

“It’s not like once we talk, you are going to lose your license,” Mobley said as an example. “It’s more about just getting the conversation started.”

The AARP estimates that by 2030, one in four drivers will be age 65 or older and more than 30 million older drivers will be on the roads. In Johnston County, the state projects that the population of adults 60 and older will grow from about 28 percent to 45 percent by 2032.

Selena Royal is program coordinator at the Clayton Center for Active Aging, where most programs are aimed at older adults. But seminars like “We Need to Talk” can be a resource for younger age groups, she said.

“It always helps when you’re talking with an elder about any subject to have some hard evidence, so they don’t think it’s some type of emotional ploy,” Royal said.

Because of the interactive and personal nature of “We Need to Talk,” the seminar is limited to 20 participants, Mobley said. For more information or tips, go to www.aarp.com/home-garden/transportation/we_need_to_talk.

Dunn: 919-553-7234, Ext. 104

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