Driving Angels - Volunteer Drivers Earn their Wings
AMA covers the cost of Driver Abstracts to keep Seniors mobile
With age comes wisdom. Unfortunately age also brings changes to our eyesight, strength and coordination. We all age differently, but for most drivers the day will come when we need to make the transition to the passenger seat.
Local agencies around Alberta recruit volunteers to keep the wheels moving. But for some volunteers, the extra costs to get set up and lingering concerns about insurance coverage may keep them from stepping up to help seniors who've retired from driving.
To help celebrate the launch of LIFT - a collective of Edmonton's volunteer driving services for older passengers - AMA announced we will now cover the cost of a Standard Driver Abstract, something volunteer driving agencies require all volunteer drivers to obtain.
Our members are like family, and if mom and dad aren’t feeling safe at the wheel anymore, we want to ease that transition to the passenger seat. Our Driving Angels step up to provide a ‘door-through-door’ service that allows seniors to attend medical appointments, visit the grocery store, or attend social events. By covering the cost of the driver’s abstract we hope to remove any barriers to volunteering.
For many seniors, just the feel of being out on the open road is what they miss the most. Volunteer drivers don’t just provide transportation – for seniors who may not have family close by, Driving Angels can provide a sense of social connection.
AMA will be distributing vouchers covering the $25 cost of an Alberta Standard Driver Abstract to volunteer driving agencies in Edmonton, Calgary, Red Deer, Lethbridge and many smaller communities that connect with rural passengers. Vouchers are redeemable at any AMA Registries location. Volunteers with a few extra hours each week who want to earn their Driving Angel wings can visit ama.ab.ca/DrivingAngels to connect with a volunteer driving program in their community.
Transporation options and access to services can make all the difference for a senior struggling to stay independent in their own home. AMA partners with local seniors organizations to create free, practical guides that outline community services and local businesses who provide 'in-house' services for those with limited mobility.
Are you concerned about a spouse, parent or older neighbour's driving? Read our 4-part series on the AMA Blog: Assess Your Driving Skills as You Age, How Age Affects Your Driving Skills, Licencing Information for Older Drivers and Planning Your Retirement from Driving.