Driving and Community Mobility
Occupational therapists can optimize and prolong an older driver's ability to drive safely and ease the transition to other forms of transportation if driving cessation becomes necessary. By identifying strengths as well as physical or cognitive challenges, occupational therapists can evaluate an individual's overall ability to operate a vehicle safely and recommend assistive devices or behavioral changes to limit risks. Occupational therapy practitioners offer a continuum of services related to community mobility, from evaluation of driving performance, through counseling and support for lifestyle changes, to maintaining independence and quality of life. Source: The Guide to Occupational Therapy Practice, 2nd edition. Bethesda: American Occupational Therapy Association, 2007. [7/1/2008: title changed, definition added, source added]
Additional Resources: The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) does offer voluntary specialty certification for a Driving & Community Mobility Occupational Therapist if the applicant meets the following requirements:
- Professional or technical degree or equivalent in occupational therapy.
- Certified or licensed by and in good standing with an AOTA recognized credentialing or regulatory body.
- Minimum of 2,000 hours of experience as an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant.
- 600 hours of experience delivering occupational therapy services in the certification area to clients (individuals, groups, or populations) in the last 3 calendar years. Service delivery may be paid or voluntary.
- Verification of employment.
AOTA Fact Sheets: Older Driver