AARP Driver Safety Class
Well I took the AARP Driver Safety Class yesterday at the Johns Creek Active Adult Center. It was a six hour class attended by a small group of six and professionally taught by a retired school teacher volunteer. I would say three boomers and three seniors.
I had heard different things about this class, but I enjoyed it and would recommend it. The obvious reasons for taking the class are to get a 10% premium discount on your auto insurance (if you don’t have any tickets in the last three years), to get up to date on your driving skills and safety, and just because it is an enjoyable thing to do, which is reason enough in retirement.
Robin on Facebook asked me what I learned and I replied: 1. Keep three seconds between you and the car in front 2. adjust your side mirrors so that you can’t see the side of your car 3. Position your grip on the stirring wheel at the 4 and 8 position. I had always had my hands on near the top of the wheel.
Those are just the highlights; there was so much material they give you a nice AARM Driver Safety Program participant workbook with the information spelled out very nicely.
They pointed out that much has changed since we started driving. Back then we didn’t have seat belts and cars didn’t even have a side mirror. Do you remember that? The headlights were very poor and beamed only straight ahead with a narrow focus. Cars were loud, smelly and overheated radiators and flat tires were a part of many road trips. Oh, the good ole days! But people did take their time and we courteous.
A few items I noted during the class to check out are:
1. Amber tinted sun glasses, as they are good in sunlight.
2. Full rear view mirrors and those small rounds mirrors for the side mirrors
3. Try the Driver’s Test for Reaction Time and other Senior Driving Games Try the sheep games, it’s fun and interesting and see how you did.
4. Failure to yield the right of way is the number one problem of senior drivers.
In summary, I enjoyed the class and I think everyone should take it. The course is for anyone over age 50, which includes just about all of us baby boomers. When you quit being a road warriors doing to work everyday, things change in you outlook about driving. You are not as aggressive and in such a hurry to get someplace. Your driving skills may be refreshing.
I could see from my upstairs home office the UPS delivery truck was in the driveway when I heard our door bell ring. I jumped up to get the door but my wife Mary Ann was already in the foyer. I will get it, it is for me said Mary Ann enthusiastically. This is not our normal deal, the one where Mary Ann answers the phone and I answer the door.
Later I come downstairs to have a cup of tea and see Mary Ann has unpacked the contents of the mystery package which was delivered. It is dance shoes. She has tried them on and walking around to break them in. She even does a little dance step routine on our new hardwood floor in the family room. She is excited. They fit good and look good (see photo). I didn’t even know there was such a thing as dance shoes.
The week before we visited our new Johns Creek Active Adult Center and Mary Ann signed up for the Zumba Gold class, a six week session meeting every Tuesday. Zumba, the brochure says, “is a fun workout for anyone, any age, any ability and Zumba Gold was created for the older active adult . It combines Latin and international music with a safe and effective workout system creating a dance workout with a party like atmosphere! Come check out the hottest fitness party in town!”
She attended the first class and came home pretty much exhausted and excited about the class. She said she couldn’t believe how stiff she was. (I think this class will remedy that!). But this is going to be fun exercise that you look forward to doing.
There was about 10 other dance members. The age is 62 plus. She talked with another lady in the class who said she plans to come back next week also. The instructor told the attendees about how “dance shoes” would make it so much better for them than using gym shoes, thus the package.
Mary Ann’s dance class is a good example of the purpose of Active Adult Centers and that is to get you up and active and doing something fun with potentially new friends. Meanwhile I am looking over the schedule of active adult programs and activities to see what interests me. So far the walking club and the book club look good.
If you haven’t been to an Active Adult Center you need to find one in your neighborhood and check it out. You may be glad you did, just like Mary Ann did.
Some of you may know that I am a single working boomer. Lately, I have been giving a lot of thought about getting involved with my community senior center. Since I work the night shift and all week ends it is difficult to have a social life. Also my family has been suggesting that I check out the senior center in my community.
So I did a little research on senior centers and discovered a good deal more about them, their programs and activities. There seems to be many good reasons to visit and participate in the community senior center. Maybe you can relate with me as I list some of the benefits that I might expect in my own life as I use my senior center.
- At a senior center I can make new friends.
- Since I am single, who knows, I might just meet that special someone
- It is more fun to laugh with a group of people than sitting at home laughing by myself
- There will be a lot of friendly folks there to love and love is a good thing.
- By socializing with like minded folks it will give me a new way to learn
- It is a place to relax
- The center has healthy tasty meals and I love to eat.
- It is a drag to eat alone so at the center I can enjoy dining with others
- There are games to play which will strengthen my mind
- Some of the folks will be a lot wiser than me and I can learn from their stories
- There is a place to exercise and workout. I really need to loose weight.
- They have a billiards room therefore I can really get into that.
- Dancing use to be one of my favorite things to do and they offer dance classes plus have social events
- The folks there go on senior trips by bus. Since I drive for a living, it will be nice to allow the bus driver to do the driving for me.
- Sometimes they go to the gambling boat. I love to play those slots.
- They do taxes. I have never done mine so not only can I get someone to do my taxes just maybe they will teach me how to do them.
- It will be a great opportunity to give away a smile. My dog doesn’t really care if I smile or not. I work night and don’t see many folks therefore I am not involved in much smiling.
- It is very inexpensive and I live on a limited income. Most of the activities are free.
- The center is within blocks of my apartment and it will not take much gasoline to drive there. They even have a bus that will pick some folks up.
- Since it is in my plan to move from here to a over 55 apartment or senior community, I am sure that I can get information about the best places in the area. Who knows, I might even find a good roommate.
- Instead of sitting around alone on holidays, I can meet folks to be with and enjoy holidays
- My daughters are very busy and would really be happy to hear that I am going to the senior center
- Since I am off 2 days during the week, it will give me something to do. I might even want to volunteer.
- There is a huge crowd there on bingo day. I might even get good enough to play more than one card plus I like to play games.
- Sometimes they do crafts. It is finally time that I learn to do some and get into the arts.
- It would be an excellent way to learn more about my community.
- There are times they go out of town on mini trips. I have a lot of vacation time therefore I could enjoy vacationing with others.
- As I get older and even now, it is important to have a support system. At a senior center I can develop that.
- The center has meals on wheels. The last time I had a hospital stay, it was difficult to fix meals for myself. This would be real nice.
- Also, I might be able to get assistance for transportation if I am unable to drive to the store.
This blog is getting very lengthy. That is a good, thing because I am now excited about getting involved at the senior center. There is much more that I could write but I will wait and write more after I have attended. It is amazing when one writes out a positive list how much more exciting a new adventure can be!