Driving Safety Tips for Seniors

Despite older drivers having a higher accident rate, many senior are keen to keep hold of their license for as long as possible. And understandably so.  Driving can be a wonderful experience and is often the key to staying independent. But the stark reality is that as we age our driving changes and unfortunately, not always for the better. But there are some simple ways you can stay safe and enjoy worry-free driving for as long as possible.

Keep up to date with hearing and sight tests

Being a driver is all about reacting to what happens around you. To be able to do this, you need to make sure that you are in the best physical health possible, and this includes attending all appointments for hearing and sight tests when required. This gives you the chance to ensure that you are in optimum control of your vehicle, and you will notice if there is ever a problem.

Be aware of your limitations

Although you will, of course, want to drive as much as possible, you should be aware and accepting of what you can and can’t do. For example, if you know that you feel uncomfortable due to stiffening joints after half an hour behind the wheel, you should limit journeys to this length, or at least schedule regular breaks. Driving when you know there is something causing a problem for you can cause accidents, as it may take some of your attention away from the road.

Keep your employer informed 

There are many jobs that might require you to drive for a living, and if you want to remain at work rather than taking retirement it is vital that you make sure you are safe behind the wheel.  Having an open conversation with your employer is a great way to start this, as it means that they can understand any issues you might have with driving, and help you to solve them. There may be a way to adjust your workload to make it more suited to your driving abilities, and this means you can stay in work safely.

Take a refresher course

The roads are changing all the time, and because of this, it is always a good idea to take a refresher course. This can give you the confidence to drive as you wish without worrying, and the reassurance of a professional can help you to be as comfortable as possible while behind the wheel in the future.

For many seniors, driving is a crucial part of staying active and independent as they get older. It is important however that you recognize how your driving ability can change significantly as you age. But by looking after your health, keeping up-to-date with all your appointments and always being honest with yourself, you can ensure you stay safe on the road.

Posted in Of Special Interest

Oktoberfest, Saturday, September 22nd

Screen Shot 2018-08-21 at 6.24.18 PM.pngSCAS Oktoberfest
Saturday, September 22n
Noon to 2:30 pm
American Legion Post #1976
4206 Daniels Ave
Annandale, VA 22003

Join us to hear the Mount Vernon German Band and enjoy some homemade German food. We will have a 50/50 drawing. You may be the winner!
Open to the public—all are welcome!
Cost is $20 for lunch and music. Tickets sold in advance.
Support ACCA Food Bank and ECHO by bringing a non-perishable food. In a 2015 survey it was revealed that 67,190 Fairfax County residents were “food insecure”. Let’s help fill the food bank.
Please call the SCAS office at 703-941-1419 or send an email to shepherdscas@vacoxmail.com to reserve your seat by Monday, September 17th.

Send your check to the SCAS office.  Our meals are catered so pre-payment is required.

Posted in Special Events

Day Trip to the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, Winchester, VA

Screen Shot 2018-08-21 at 5.55.19 PM.pngWednesday, October 17th
Board the bus at AUMC at 9:30 am.
Start the day with a tour through the beautiful Glen Burnie House built in 1794. See four galleries of exhibits including miniature houses.
Lunch will be on your own at a local restaurant. Return around 3:30 pm.

Cost is $35 for transportation and tour. Call to reserve your seat now!

Posted in Day Trips

Lunch N’ Life, Thursday, October 18th

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11:30 am -1:00 pm
United Baptist Church
7100 Columbia Pike, Annandale, VA 22303

Join us to hear John DePerro speak about the Civil War Balloon Corps.  Balloons were used for surveillance and reconnaissance during the Civil War.

Cost is only $10 for lunch and lecture.

Posted in Lunch N' Life

AARP Smart Driving Class

Wednesday, August 1st & Thursday, August 2nd
9:00 am -1:00 pm each day

AARP Smart Driving Class SCAS is sponsoring the AARP Smart Driving Class for seniors at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church on Wednesday, August 1st and Thursday 2nd. Classes are from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm each day.   You must attend both days to earn a certificate which may save you some money on your car insurance.

– $15 for AARP members (bring your AARP card);
– $20 for nonmembers.

Pre-registration is required. (Maximum of 35 participants).  Bring a check payable to AARP or cash at the door.

To Register:   Call the Shepherd’s Center of Annandale
Springfield at 703-941-1419.

Posted in Special Events

Day Trip to The George Washington Masonic National Memorial

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Board the bus at 11:00 to go to Alexandria, VA to
see the Masonic Temple and learn about the
Masons and their history.

A narrated guided tour of the museum will show
you the many floors of the Temple.  Save some
time to visit the gift shop.

Lunch will be on your own at a local restaurant.
Return around 3:00 pm. Cost is $30 for transportation
and tour. Call to reserve your seat now!

Posted in Day Trips

Lunch N’ Life, Thursday, July 19th

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Thursday, July 19th  11:30 am – 1:00 pm
St. Mark’s Lutheran Church,  5800 Backlick Rd., Springfield, VA 22150

Join us to hear Mr. Robert Booth, Retired State Department Counterintelligence, talk about his experience and his book “Leaks, Spies and Lies”.

Open to the Public – all are welcome!

Cost is $10 for lunch and lecture

Support ACCA Food Bank and ECHO by bringing a non-perishable food. In a 2015 survey, it was revealed that 67,190 Fairfax County residents were “food insecure”. Let’s help fill the food bank.

Please call the SCAS office at 703-941-1419 or send an email to shepherdscas@vacoxmail.com to reserve your seat by Monday, July 16th.

Send your check to the SCAS office. Our meals are catered so pre-payment is required.

Posted in Lunch N' Life

My Home Companion Gives The Elderly An Option To Access Spiritual Care

Screen Shot 2018-06-06 at 6.10.26 PM.pngWhen Michael Rodia’s mother was not able to receive the sacraments and participate in church activities, she found solace in My Home Companion’s faith-based initiative. The company arranged for a home visit from an extraordinary minister of holy Communion, someone to recite the rosary with her and transportation to and from church services.

“In addition to the wonderful caregiving services My Home Companion provided, the spiritual component was a much-appreciated bonus,” said Rodia.

The Springfield-based company offers personal and companion care, care management for adults with disabilities, and help with relocation, but one thing that sets it apart from other home-care providers is the focus on spiritual care.

“We noticed a void and a gap on the spiritual side,” said Bob Carlin, managing director. When his father-in-law was sick he had caregivers to help him. “One of the things that was interesting to me was the things that bothered him were getting (communion) or getting a ride to church. You don’t realize those kinds of things are taking place until you experience it,” he said.

Carlin said many caregivers focus on physical, mental, emotional and psychological needs.

“Those types of things are treated well because there is a playbook everyone is following,” he said.

The spiritual care is built into the client’s care plan. Calling, making arrangements for Mass, or reciting the rosary is documented as they go. There is a family portal, a web-based tool that allows families to check in on their relative, including their spiritual care. Church leadership also has access to the portal with the permission of the family.

There are 56 parishes in their service area. Carlin said he and Nasto are reaching out to St. Ambrose in Annandale, and Queen of Apostles Church and St. Rita Church in Alexandria. Interest has grown among other Protestant denominations and a Jewish Community Center.

My Home Companion is teaming up with diocesan Catholic Charities to find volunteers and participants for the June 2018 Retreat for People Facing Serious Illness. They also are collaborating on a training program for potential caregiver certification through Hogar Immigration Services, collaborating with Jackie Chavez, education services manager, and Courtney Lord, curriculum and workforce development specialist. Young adults organized by Sally O’Dwyer, director of volunteers for Catholic Charities, visited Sunrise Braddock Glen Assisted Living in Fairfax and Arden Courts in Annandale. Carlin said they also have identified other communities who will host future visits.

Carlin, a parishioner of the Basilica of St. Mary in Alexandria, and General Manager Paul Nasto, a parishioner of St. Ambrose Church in Annandale, have worked together for the past 15 years.

They began the company last year with the goal of paying caregivers competitively, addressing transportation issues by working with rideshare companies Lyft and Uber, and including better access to spiritual care.

My Home Companion is working with development teams to allow for the use of personal voice assistance technology such as Google Minis and Amazon Echo Dots to bring independence to clients and help them avoid feeling isolated, according to Carlin. “It can serve to allow families peace of mind knowing there’s another tool available in the unfortunate event of an emergency or to serve as another set of ears.”

Carlin and Nasto say their business is a calling. “Everything we have done that has been spiritually based has worked out,” said Nasto. “It is like we are being led, step by step, in what we are doing.”

Find out more
Call 1-833-286-9466 or go to myhomecompanions.com/ourservices.

Posted in Of Special Interest