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Why is a community mobility evaluation needed?
The privilege of driving is very important to most individuals to maintain independence. However, one's driving skills may become compromised due to illness, disability, or aging. A community mobility evaluation can help an individual, their family, and physician make an informed decision regarding the level of their driving skills and their ability to continue operating a motor vehicle safely.
Who is an appropriate referral for a community mobility evaluation?
Persons who are 18 years of age or older, who have been driving previously, and may have had an illness or disability which could affect their driving skills are appropriate. All individuals must have a valid driver’s license or learner’s permit.
Individuals who have experienced the following conditions are often referred for a community mobility evaluation:
- Head injury
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Orthopedic/Musculoskeletal Problems
- Dementia/Alzheimer’s Disease
What does the community mobility evaluation include?
Upon a physician’s referral, an occupational therapist will evaluate the following:
- Vision Screening: acuity, depth perception, visual fields and other visual skills
- Physical Skills
- Range of motion
- Head and neck motion
- Cognitive Skills: problem solving, safety and judgment, divided attention and memory
- Road sign recognition/interpretation and basic rules of the road
An on-the-road practice assessment may be completed with an occupational therapist/driving rehab specialist. The clinic provides a dual control car (additional brake and gas) for the assessment. The road test gives an opportunity for actual practice and evaluation of skills in a realistic setting.
If deficit(s) in driving skills do exist, the occupational therapist can offer the client one of the following options:
- Assess rehabilitation potential for skill deficits.
- Provide adaptive equipment and/or compensatory training to allow return to drive.
- Provide client with education/training on alternate community mobility options.
This service is available at our Central location only. For more information, please call 812.353.9484.