bdd book imageFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(July 25, 2015 . Contact:  Matt Gurwell, Founder & CEO, Keeping Us Safe, LLC.  (877) 907-8841 or info@keepingussafe.org)

(South Bend, IN) – Do you wonder if the older driver in your family may be experiencing diminishing driving skills as a result of the natural aging process?  Has your parent become lost recently while driving on an otherwise familiar route?  Have you noticed mom bumping into curbs, mailboxes, or scraping the side of the garage when she backs out?  Are there unexplained scuff marks on the corners of dad’s bumpers?  Has dad been involved in a minor parking lot fender-bender recently, or does he complain about being honked at all the time?  Do either of them seem easily confused or more forgetful when you talk with them on the telephone?

If so, don’t panic; you are certainly not alone.  The most important thing to remember is that the time to start addressing your concerns over driving is now, before “concerns” turn into “tragedies”.

According to AARP, boomers will be turning 65 at a rate of about 8,000 a day for the next 18 years!  Tragically, an average of 15 people ages 65+ die in car accidents every day in the United States.

The issue of taking the keys away from a parent can be extremely sensitive and emotional.  Having this discussion has been likened to trying to throw a diplomatic hand grenade at your parents and the “talk” has been known to divide entire families.  Adult siblings, otherwise close to each other their entire lives, can end up at war with each other (and/or with their parents) on how best to address the driving issue.

“There is a solution.  Keeping Us Safe has developed a workbook titled ‘Beyond Driving with Dignity; The workbook for older drivers and their families’ says Dale Carter of South Bend, Indiana.  “The workbook is designed to reduce the family’s opinion, emotion and speculation from what can be a very difficult family issue, and reduce everything to simple facts.  From that point, the family and the older driver can make appropriate decisions about the individual’s driving future.”  Carter serves the greater South Bend area as one of Keeping Us Safe’s Certified “Beyond Driving with Dignity” Professionals. [click to continue…]

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rsb imageDo you recall the moment of your loved one’s diagnosis of Parkinson’s (or Lewy Body with parkinsonism)?  It is devastating because your loved one is told … you are the best you will ever be.  Your symptoms (the tremors, shuffling gait, balance issues) will only get worse.

When my husband received his initial diagnosis at Cleveland Clinic 9 months ago, I recall pushing the neurologist for an answer to “what more can we do?”  His answer, “intense exercise has been shown to help.”  I heartily agreed.  After we left, I realized how futile that idea was. My husband barely had the energy to get through each day.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago.  A colleague at University of Indianapolis told me, “you’ve got to check out Rock Steady Boxing.”  As I watched videos on their website, I was astounded.  A modified boxing program, founded 9 years ago in Indianapolis, is making a huge difference in “quality of life” for those with Parkinson’s.  I discovered that boxing offers an amazing opportunity for individuals to get moving, work on their balance, hand-eye coordination, focus and speed.  Inspired by their videos and wanting to bring this program to our area, I reached out to Executive Director Joyce Johnson and scheduled a visit.

I arrived, not knowing quite what to expect.  The video did not do it justice.  I saw a vibrant group of people that come together 3 times a week, 90 minutes a session.  In a gym environment with loud music and constant encouragement from the coaches, the class members were immersed in movement, totally committed to continuous work-out segments and having fun!  I immediately understood.  This is not just about the physical (which is huge), it is also about the camaraderie, the support and encouragement from coaches and each other.  Even the spouses (who sit outside the gym, watching through a window) come together and support each other.  One spouse told me when they were choosing where to retire, they chose Indianapolis due to Rock Steady Boxing for her husband’s health! [click to continue…]

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