BENEFITS OF THE SENSE-MD PROJECT
The SENSE-MD Project aims to bring objective and relevant information about risk to older drivers and their chosen driver safety team members. The overall goal of the project is to extend driving activities for as long as safely possible, and inform when driving should be reduced, restricted, or stopped. Having access to information about risk for accidents or other safety incidents (such as becoming lost) has various benefits. Benefits include learning when you should take driving refresher courses and what kinds of weather, traffic, or road series pose the greatest risk. Information about driving risks also helps recognize trends in driving performance and understand your risk of accidents or incidents. Moreover, being aware of changes in performance early on will empower drivers to take steps to improve their driving skills. They can then put strategies in place to minimize risk while continuing to drive for as long as safely possible
Older drivers, their families, and stakeholders in older driver safety will be engaged throughout all stages of the SENSE-MD Project. The ideas and feedback from older drivers are essential for the project to succeed. Moreover, the SENSE-MD project could not be successful without the feedback of people and organizations involved in driver safety.
See below for some examples of knowledge users already involved in the project. This list will be updated throughout the three-year project.
The SAM3 Community Advisory Committee of aging adults and care partners will be directly engaged through their representative. In addition, the program will involve the NRC Life Experience Experts. These two groups bring the voice of aging adults and care partners directly to the research team and help guide the research directions.
The Dementia Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County (DSORC) represents a key aging population. This population is important because it includes people living with dementia and their care partners. As a result, health-related license suspension affects many of them negatively. The DSORC has programs and services to provide support to community members. In addition, they can help translate the results directly to their key community. DSORC is an ideal source which provides access to mature drivers and to information about the challenges that older drivers face when driving in vehicles equipped with advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) features.
Élisabeth Bruyère Hospital provides specialized care for aging adults through its Geriatric Day Hospital, the Bruyere Memory Program, Stroke and Geriatric Rehabilitation services. Physicians in each of these services have to deal with driving safety issues on a regular basis. Moreover, these care programs are all focused on enabling independence for aging adults. Bruyère Research Institute researchers, who are also physicians at Elisabeth-Bruyère Hospital, will provide medical expertise. Together future car models will apply the results of the program.
The Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT) is a national association of licensed occupational therapists. The CAOT represents the health professionals directly involved in mature driver assessment (both in-office and in-car). The CAOT has extensive networks that will reach mature drivers for the SENSE-MD consultation and experimental research activities. Importantly, the CAOT connection will allow us to consult and engage mature drivers from across Canada and across socioeconomic levels throughout the phases of the SENSE-MD initiative. The expertise provided by occupational therapists about driving with assistive features will add significantly to the work in Activities 1 and 4. Their expertise will also improve the quality of the research methods proposed in this project.
The expertise of the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) during the database data field Activity 1 phase of this project will be invaluable. The CAA is a key stakeholder of driver safety since it is a representative insurer of many older drivers in Canada and host of local older driver refresher courses.
Regional Councils on Aging
Regional Councils on Aging also have subcommittees that deal with seniors and driving. These councils represent individual and civic activities associated with keeping older adults engaged in their communities and safe on the roads. At present, the SENSE-MD project appreciates collaborating with the Ottawa Council on Aging via their Older Drivers (Transportation) subcommittee.