Driver expo sharpens seniors' skills

12:31 PM, Aug 19, 2011   |    comments
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WATERVILLE, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Driving experts have tips for senior citizens to sharpen some of their skills that may have diminished with age.

The Senior Driver Expo is set for Friday, Aug. 19.  It is being held in Waterville at the Muskie Community Center at 38 Gold St. from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

The event is sponsored jointly by Spectrum Generations, AAA and the Maine Secretary of State's office.  Admission is free.

NEWS CENTER'S Lee Nelson discussed the importance of keeping seniors safe on the roads with Secretary of State Charlie Summers and Pat Moody, Public Affairs Director for AAA Norhtern New England.

Moody said the issue is only getting more critical.  He cited U.S. Census data that shows Maine is already the oldest state in the country with a median age of 42 years old.  Within 20 years, the number of Mainers over 65 is expected to grow from its current level of 15 percent of the population to 26 percent.

Summers said the subject of diminishing driving skills is sensitive for seniors.  In a rural state like Maine in which residents often must travel long distances for basic services, Summers said the ability to drive is crucial for maintaining a sense of independence.

The Driver Expo features a number of workshops to keep seniors mobile while improving their safety.  They are taught to recognize warning signs and formulate a plan to compensate for those problems as they arise.  Tests are available to check hearing, vision and brake reaction time.  And vendors will be in attendance to showcase the newest technology to further assist seniors.

In addition to the Driver Expo, there are also several online resources to assist seniors.  Click here for a link to the AAA website.  This link will direct you the Maine Secretary of State's website.  And the Spectrum Generation's website can be accessed via this link.


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