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Innovative Driver Rehabilitation Program

sjwhThe Rehabilitation Department at St. Joseph’s Wayne Medical Center (SJWMC) proudly offers a Driver Rehabilitation Program designed to assist individuals with disabilities, medical conditions or changes related to aging remain safe and independent in driving and community mobility.

The program begins with a Clinical Evaluation that assesses the underlying skills needed for safe driving. This includes: a visual and physical assessment, a test of reaction time and a cognitive perceptual assessment. Clients who demonstrate adequate skills during the Clinical Evaluation progress to the Behind the Wheel/On-Road evaluation. Following the assessments, the therapist will provide recommendations, referrals, counseling and/or educational information. Recommendations may include vehicle modification, equipment and/or driving training.

The Rehabilitation Department at SJWMC recently added a great new tool to its program: a WT-960 TRAN-SIT Car Transfer Simulator. Purchased by Castrol, the state-of-the-art simulator is designed to help recovering patients reclaim their independence by providing a convenient and safe method to practice car transfer skills. True to life vehicle parts like functional doors, bucket seats, steering wheel and gas/brake make the Transfer Simulator look and feel like a real car. Additionally, the car transfer simulator can perform a brake reaction test, which can provide valuable information about a patient’s physical and mental processing status prior to getting in an actual vehicle and resuming driving.

“The Driver Rehabilitation Program at St. Joseph’s was initiated in 2008 and continues to grow each year. Our program has recently expanded to include newly permitted drivers with disabilities needing training with adaptive equipment such as a left foot accelerator and hand controls,” explains Linda H Cronk, Administrative Director, Rehabilitation Services, St. Joseph’s Health. “Serving Northern and Central New Jersey, the Driver Rehabilitation Program plays an integral part in keeping our clients independent,” she adds.

Individuals interested in participating in the Driver Rehabilitation Program must ask their healthcare provider for a prescription for an Occupational Therapy Driving Evaluation. The prescription should also include a diagnosis or other pertinent medical conditions affecting driving and community mobility.

For additional information or to make an appointment for the Driver Rehabilitation Program, please call 973.956.3360, press 4.

October 22, 2014