Keeping Us Safe materials and training have allowed me to make some STUNNING presentations for seniors. I have also presented the BDD seminar to children and other family members of those seniors whose driving skills may be suspect. Everyone is always very appreciative of the information we’ve conveyed, and feel better equipped to start the conversations they have been avoiding for too long. This service offering, coming from Comfort Keepers, helps to give another level of validation and integrity to our agency that we truly have the best interests of our aging population at heart.
We are senior move managers, and although the elder driving topic is not a service necessarily associated with the typical menu of senior moves, there is definitely a link….and certainly a value added service, especially for our adult children clients who need help with that conversation with their elder loved ones.
I had the pleasure of meeting Matt Gurwell earlier this year and participating in his inaugural Beyond Driving with Dignity Professional Certification class. I have found Matt to be extremely knowledgeable in this area and the Keeping Us Safe/Beyond Driving with Dignity program and workbook an extremely valuable tool.
I would highly recommend purchasing the Beyond Driving with Dignity workbook to any adult child or caregiver who has concerns about an aging parent's driving abilities.
I became a BDD Professional in 2011 in an effort to enhance the service offerings to my Comfort Keepers Client base. As an owner of a senior care agency, I feel it is important to be as resourceful as we can for our Clients and the community at large, to ensure they are informed of and avail themselves of as many services that meet their needs and allow them to continue the process of aging in place with the dignity they deserve.
Comfort Keepers, Franchise Owner
It was a pleasure to meet you. Add to the qualities you list in your program materials--your experience, expertise, authenticity, very genuine regard for the older population and their safety as well as safety on our roads makes you the right person to build and deliver this vital program.
House to Home Relocation, Owner
St. Petersburg, Florida
The Deaconess Associations Foundation, in Cincinnati is thrilled to partner with Matt and Keeping Us Safe in working towards keeping seniors independent in their homes for as long as quality of life permits. When they can no longer drive, we are also prepared to offer alternatives as the senior makes the decision to retire his or her car keys. Driving retirement does not have to be the end of senior independence or a huge burden for the family or caregiver.
ITN Greater Cincinnati, Executive Director
Where applicable, click on any of the images below to be taken directly to that company's website!
Gurwell quickly identifies the point: "what is the problem?" Driving represents self-respect, independence, competence, maturity...He presents practical solutions for driving cessation and most important the reality and information needed for alternative transportation options. A quality read for anyone helping their elderly parents.
Jennifer Lynch, Director
Amazon Book Review: "Beyond Driving with Dignity; The workbook for older drivers and their families" is a practical yet emotionally sensitive book/tool to help families and drivers with the issue of declining driving abilities often associated with aging.
Offering "new help" to older drivers and their families!
I remembered Matt’s program and suggested an independent third party come and evaluate his driving skills, figuring we could further the discussion based on those results. Dad agreed and Matt came the following week. As we had anticipated (and feared) at the end of a three hour visit and self-assessment, Matt suggested Dad wean himself from driving over the next six months.
To say the least Dad was not happy and didn’t agree right off, but after several weeks of thinking about the reality of it and possible alternatives, Dad announced that he was going to sell the car! What happened? I truly believe that due to the respect given at his self-assessment and the manner in which it was handled, Dad was able to make his own decision based on facts.
Dad was able to take ownership of his driving decision and the ball was in his court. It was his decision to make based on the facts presented.
Having an independent, objective evaluation helped maintain calm in a highly emotional situation, and more importantly helped preserve our relationship with our Dad. That’s the take away; Dad still had his dignity, and it took the pressure off us kids.
As a nurse and health professional having attended the ”Keeping Us Safe” continuing education program, I liked what I heard and dutifully filed away the information for referral for future patients. Little did I know a year later I would need this information for my own Dad.
My siblings and I noticed some concerns with Dad’s driving, and the time came when we could no longer avoid the issue. A couple of us sat down, and I recall the conversation started something like this…”Dad we are concerned about your driving and your safety”… it ended with “We don’t want to take your keys away“ whereby Dad interrupts and says “Darn right! Because I’m not giving them up! I’ve been driving for 65 years.” End of conversation; long pause.
Providing practical, real-life solutions
to older drivers and their families
Matt is a caring and approachable person who is sharing his expertise on the subject of senior driving in a manner that is compassionate, balanced and practical. The workbook is very well done and we are pleased to have a resource to which we can refer our Lifelines Academy students and Lifelines Network members, who are professionals serving seniors. We look forward to having Matt as a Guest Faculty member teaching people his wise approach to this challenging issue.
Sheryl Hunter, J.D.
CEO, Lifelines Academy & Network
We are glad to be able to offer the Keeping Us Safe option to drivers over 60. Whether a crash is caused by a moment of inattention or whether it is a sign of diminishing driving skills, the Keeping Us Safe program will give these drivers a look at the changes we all face as we age.
Honorable Dale H. Chase
Judge, Medina Municipal Court
On behalf of the Spring 2013 Aging and Gerontological Services class at Rutgers, School of Social Work, I would like to thank you for taking the time to talk with us about your efforts to keep older adult drivers safe.
Your information prompted the class to rethink many of the options available to older adult drivers, who may or may not be evaluating whether or not their driving is still safe. In a busy state like New Jersey, there are many transportation barriers.
We appreciate your time. As an instructor, I think it was a valuable experience to share with the class an example of how someone saw a problem and developed a plan to address it. This is a skill that is crucial to social work advocacy, and it is great to show them how people who serve the community can take their experience “in the field” and effectuate change.
Colleen M. Beach, MSW, LSW
Instructor, School of Social Work
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
New Brunswick, New Jersey
Wow - This book is the genuine article, with the step-by-step guidance and approach to a successful family process of reaching agreement on a program to evaluate and take steps toward safer senior driving and beyond!
My 91-year-old mom lives with us, and we have searched for ways to work with her, as a family, to begin to look for alternatives to her unlimited driving. It can be a real struggle.
Beyond Driving with Dignity has finally provided us with a roadmap to help her maintain her independence and self-esteem while taking steps to reach agreement on curtailing her driving.
Everyone wins this way, and we are so grateful to Matt Gurwell for sharing his experience with us and other families who face this potentially difficult situation.
...The good news is you do not have to go through the dilemma of taking away the car keys by yourself. The Beyond Driving With Dignity workbook is just that; a step-by-step process to help you determine if a loved one should be driving, how to make that decision and what to do when that decision has been made.
Some of the factors in determining if someone should be driving are vision, hearing, memory, reflex and reaction time, medications, and strength and flexibility. The workbook provides a step-by-step process to help you make those assessments.
What is especially helpful when using this workbook is that it eliminates—or at least minimizes—the emotional equation. By working through the process together with the older adult, he or she may actually realize on their own accord that driving may not be sensible any longer. And finally, Beyond Driving With Dignity makes suggestions for what to do after the decision has been made, specifically finding alternative transportation options.
Book Review - Barbara Petty
Raleigh, North Carolina
Thank you for your success in getting through to my father. For that I will be forever grateful. Cliff (my husband) explained to me how you approached my dad, in a very non-confrontational manner but one he could not deny. He saw for himself where he is in life, and driving is not to be a part of it. Cliff is in the medical field, and he made the comment that you approached this as a caregiver rather than a retired state trooper. We were so impressed.
Today my dad met with Dr. Robertson for the first time, who made it clear that what you said was the final answer. I had the opportunity to tell Dr. Robertson how professional and caring you are, as well as being able to demonstrate succinctly the reasons for not driving. He gets it. He is now looking into a driver...... Thank you so much! We are so appreciative of your caring, considerate, and matter of fact way that you handled this.
After my Dad began to have incidents with his car, my family and I wondered if he should be thinking about curtailing his driving or if he should give it up entirely. This is a very touchy subject with my Dad as he refuses to stop driving. My family and I had no experience with this issue. It was clear we needed an impartial third-party who could assess my Dad’s driving objectively and take the burden off of my family.
I was very fortunate to have found Matt Gurwell and his organization “Keeping Us Safe”. I called Matt and told him the situation. I felt that Matt listened to me and also listened to what had been going on with my Dad. He took all the time I needed to discuss the situation. Matt put me at ease and reassured me that he would be patient, kind and non-confrontational with my Dad.
Matt spent two and a half hours with my Dad assessing his mental capabilities and his driving abilities. I joined the meeting at the end to hear Matt’s recommendations. Matt went over what he observed from his very thorough mental assessment and the actual driving abilities of my Dad. Matt had solid facts to present to my father, backed up by his experience as a state trooper. This information, followed up with his written report, opened my father’s eyes to his diminishing abilities and helped with the decisions we had to make.
The manner in which Matt delivered the news to my Dad preserved my Dad’s dignity and left the final decision up to my Dad. This eliminated any confrontation between my Dad and any family manner. Matt was a real blessing to my family.
Matt brought his kind and gentle approach to the process of assessing my mother's driving capabilities. I knew this was going to be an emotional, not to mention challenging, event for her, and for me. I could not be the one to tell her it was "time". Following a three hour visit, including a drive with her, he was able to explain ALL the reasons that driving for her was no longer safe, for other drivers, but especially for herself. His calm demeanor and poignant examples truly hit home for her. She was clearly ready to let go, not without sadness, of the keys to her car. I took them with me, arranged to pick up the car with a friend a few days later, and the topic has not come up again. I could not have wished for a better scenario with my mom. As you know, this is always a difficult situation and you made it possible to achieve the right results. Thank you, Matt, for helping me keep my mother safe for as long as she will be with us.