Visiting OT Scholar Focuses On What “Drives” Senior Lifestyles

Getting older means losing our waistlines, our hair or maybe even our hearing. But what happens if you lose your wheels?

Dr. Sherrilene Classen examinines problems society faces on the road as our population ages.

That is why the upcoming lecture hosted by Brenau University’s School of Occupational Therapy will address the issue of older Americans’ maintaining independent life styles with their automobiles and the related problems of driving among older Americans.

Dr. Sherrilene Classen, a world-renown expert researcher on screening, evaluation and intervention for senior drivers and drivers with brain disorders, appears at a free forum open to the public on Friday, March 23, at Whalen Auditorium, Brenau’s East Campus, 1001 Chestnut St. SE, in Gainesville, Ga. Her presentation, titled “Driving: Integrating Science, Evidence and Practice,” will be from 3 to 4:30 p.m.

Classen’s lecture is the fifth in the annual Occupational Science Scholar presentation series, which brings national scholars to North Georgia to highlight the research done in the field of occupational science. In addition to her lecture, Classen will spend time with students in several informal scholarly discussions, and she will spend an afternoon with occupational therapy faculty members discussing research directions in the school.

Classen, an associate professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy and the director of the University of Florida’s Institute for Mobility, Activity and Participation, also holds the Extraordinary Professor position at the University of Stelienbosch in South Africa.

For her lecture, she will pull from her experience in rehabilitation and occupational science, discuss recent research on driving evaluation and rehabilitation and also look at the challenges our society faces on the road as our population ages.

“Since driving is so fundamental to participation in daily life, in much of the United States and other developed countries, this is a very important area of research,” said Dr. Barbara Schell, director of the School of Occupational Therapy and associate dean of the College of Health & Science.

Brenau offers its graduate-level occupational therapy program at both the North Atlanta/Norcross and Gainesville campuses. A Psychology-Pre OT major is offered at Brenau’s main campus in Gainesville, and the Health Science-Pre OT major is offered at the main campus and at North Atlanta/Norcross.

Students with prior degrees interested in joining this growing field may enroll in the Pre-OT certificate program to get the required prerequisites.

For more information, contact the Brenau University school of Occupational therapy at 678-707-5000 or consult the Brenau Web site at http://www.brenau.edu/?page_id=1652

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