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55-Alive course being offered in St. Charles Parish

STACEY PLAISANCE / L’Observateur / November 30, 1998

HAHNVILLE – Senior citizens in the tri-parish area are being encouraged to participate in a “55 Alive” defensive driving course scheduled for early December.

“This course will help senior drivers be more aware of their surroundings and changes in transportation and highway laws,” said Janice Brou, a representative with the St. Charles Council on Aging. “It updates their knowledge and increases their mobility and independence,” Brou said. Most area insurance companies are offering a 5percent discount in insurance rates for senior drivers who take part in the course, she said.

The “55 Alive” course is being sponsored by the American Association of Retired Persons, St. Charles Council on Aging, Inc, St. Charles ParishSheriff’s Office and Triad Program SALT Council.

“55 Alive” will be held Mon., Dec. 7 and Tues., Dec. 8 from 8:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m. each day in the conference Room of the St. Charles Council onAging, Inc. The council is located at 626 Pine Street, Suite A, Hahnville.Attendance on both days is necessary to complete the course, and lunch will be provided each day following the class.

Developed in 1979, “55 Alive” was the first, and is now the largest comprehensive classroom refreshener course available nationwide to drivers age 50 and older.

It is stated in an information brochure about “55 Alive” by AARP that the mission of the defensive driving program is to establish partnerships with local community service organizations to help older drivers update their knowledge and skills, prevent traffic accidents and violations.

Other noted benefits of “55 Alive” are that the course: Helps older adults maintain better health, independence and mobility, thereby controlling health care costs.

Promotes health and welfare within the community through safe drivers and fewer accidents.

Provides community service outreach through a well-designed, educational opportunity.

Encourages older citizens to look to the community organizations for information, services and programs that enhance their well-being.

Cost of the course per person is $8, and this fee will be collected on the first day of the course. Registration begins at 8 a.m. each day.Registration will be accepted for both days only.

It is also stated in the brochure that the senior citizen community is growing and will continue to do so with the aging of the baby boomers.

Currently more than 60 million Americans are 50 years of age or older, and this “graying of America” is expected to carry into the next century.

While all seniors are being encouraged to participate in the defensive driving course, space is limited. To reserve a space in the course, or formore information, contact Janice at 783-6683.

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