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#418 Keeping Us Safe: How this State Trooper Is Helping Families Dealing With the "Driving" Conversation.

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger
The Truth Network Radio
June 15, 2020 6:30 am

#418 Keeping Us Safe: How this State Trooper Is Helping Families Dealing With the "Driving" Conversation.

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger

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June 15, 2020 6:30 am

Ask any caregiver of aging loved ones about one of the toughest issues, and "getting them to stop driving" hovers at the top of the list. 

Matt Gurwell spent decades as an Ohio State Trooper and made the "...long walk to the patrol car" following too many heartbreaking notifications to family members.  Once he retired, he determined to do something different and help provide a different path for families struggling with aging loved ones with impairments ...who hang on to the car keys too long. 

KeepingUsSafe.org is Matt's company, and listen to his story and learn more about his company ...and how they can help YOU and your loved ones tackle the "driving" issue. 

As a caregiver, do you respect the trauma that YOU'VE endured?  In this episode, we delve into this often overlooked issue that caregivers face. 

 

Peter Rosenberger hosts the nationally syndicated program, HOPE FOR THE CAREGIVER.

 

Hope for the Caregiver's podcast contains 400+ episodes in our library. We want to make it free to any who needs to connect...so, please consider being a patron today. For as little as $1 per month, you can help us continue to reach family caregivers!  Click here for more!

Hope for the Caregiver is the family caregiver outreach of Standing With Hope

 

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I am so glad you are here. This is you are you holding up another over 65 million cured right that are struggling there there caught between all kinds of things with raising the children to give aging parents of special needs child. Love some type of traumatic event that got somebody home, who was dealing with autism are dealing with addiction. Name it whatever's going on with the family caregiver you know there is that this the scenarios are endless, but the strength and the reserves of these caregivers is Nautilus and and they are struggling.

This is what we do show and if you want to be a part of the show 877-655-6755 877-655-6755 we do several shows a week, on Saturday we do a live radio broadcast that goes out to nearly 200 stations and then on Sundays we do live podcast that is out on social media and so forth. In the will put it out through our podcast page and you can find@hopeforthecaregiver.com hope for the care your.com and we'd love you forward as a free podcast, so please take advantage of and share it with as many people as you want. We put out all kinds of information that that can help strengthen you as a family caregiver and speaking of putting out all kinds of information. He is the fountain of knowledge.

He's with me from the beginning he's been there a steady hand on the till that, the way is supposed to be just about everyone which a widespread having your hand in itself data from your board well thank you very much are you doing all right. I am doing just fine.

It is a it's it's been a strange day. I the power went out earlier and while the power was out I did the rumba was was already running and then cleaning up messes around my house out there is just this little guy you run around the house, oblivious to the problems all around. And if that's not a metaphor on her.

Now John is in Nashville it is is engineering the show from Dallas I'm in Montana and we also have a very special guest on the show he was with this when we first started to show and I've never forgotten it was such a great show that back when we were doing from Nashville and just one station and he has his company has just exploded. I'd like to take credit for some of it but I won't because I can't, and that but he is a an amazing guy and I will let you hear his story from him because I think it is so relevant today and I wanted to bring them on here to talk to you about this. This pressing issue of people on the road that are driving and families are struggling with okay and we reach that point where we have to make a decision and this is Matt Burwell. Matt is in Ohio. Matt welcome again to the show. Thank you for taking time to call it a day.

Granted, I look, I don't want to. I don't want to take your thunder. I just want you to tell us the back story of who you are, how you got to this thing and then let's talk about what's going on with your organization and with the need and then how families are able to help transition this so so tell us little about how you got into this well Peter, I spent my professional career as an Ohio State trooper, which I must say I love nearly every minute of course it was a different day back in law enforcement was the little bit different, and perceived a little bit differently than what it is today. But anyhow, enjoy every minute of my career, but so much of what we did as Ohio State trooper and I think true across the country is reactive. In other words, you see someone run a stop sign and then you take action.

So it's you know it's there's nothing problem not minimal amount of proactivity and ball you see somebody rob a bank.

I like to stay you stop and asked them not to do that again for the next 18 to 24 years reactive, so when I retired I knew that there was a problem. Again, this wasn't rocket science.

I knew there was a problem with older drivers not only here in Ohio but across the country that shouldn't be driving it and I'm not talking about all older drivers. In general, many of them are our excellent drivers and I have the opportunity to meet with those good older drivers every day, but some of them I think we all agree maybe shouldn't be driving any longer in there is either no nobody family why in place that they can have that difficult discussion with mom or dad or grandpa grandma or they tried, and to no avail, but not getting anywhere with it with their loved one.

So when I retired Peter I had done dozens of death notifications from email tragic automobile crashes were myself and maybe another trooper may be nonart banging on someone's door at 2 o'clock in the afternoon, or 2 o'clock in the morning and explaining to whoever answers the door basically that you left one was just killed the car accident and won't be home today and always.

I call it the long journey back to my patrol car because it is a long and may not be long. That's why it's a long walk back to your patrol vehicle and I always thought that someday I'd like to be in a position where I can do something that's more proactive to keep these crashes from occurring in the first place. So when I retired I took advantage of that and started keeping us safe and were now hit like you mentioned a moment ago had grown into a national organization that provides families with a program that where we come in and serve as the intermediary and, in some ways, and habits difficult conversation with mom or dad about possibly retiring from driving and therefore the older drivers that again. That should retire from driving if not for all older drivers. Many of the older drivers we meet with our great to continue driving either as is. Or maybe we make some recommendations that to curb their driving a little bit there still flying as drivers and and we recognize that and aren't afraid to tell them that either. When you go back it's something you said when you made that long walk back did you have to go to these visits with with another trooper.

Did you have a chaplain or have that work just attended Peter you know that they are certainly all different. As you can imagine, I I could tell stories. Unfortunately, for hours about how different family members have reacted email from the close of the one of the worst extreme in I've had people pounding on me physically attacking me that now. This can't be true. And you know trying to beat me out there front door. Basically night.

I had one gentleman, we don't need to get into the details, but he was delighted to learn that his wife Elise get divorced from was just killed my car crash, and everywhere in between. But you know, a lot of times it would be just myself or just another trooper somewhere across the country going to deliver this new source we had time to prepare for it.

We might take a neighbor with this maybe a chaplain in our house somebody from a religious background that knew something of the family, but those connections are hard to make. In such a short period of time so as often as not, it was just a single trooper going to someone's house and delivering that man's my dad when he was a Navy chaplain and the reason this resume asking this is that there was a Navy chaplain in reserves is a pastor for the still still is ordained ministry 60 years been doing this but during the late 60s early 70s.

He was the guy that you honestly was reserve chaplain and he would have to go notify family members of their loved ones sundered the loss of their son's death in Vietnam and on the metro Atlanta area and so it was, you know, and enough of talk with him a little bit about that because it was such a you know it was a difficult assignment. And so, as you say in this matter. I can I can just picture how painful that must've been. And that's the kind of thing that inspires the extraordinary work that you've done with keeping us safe. It's because it it didn't just come out of hey this is a nifty idea. You know this came at all the pain that you you probably headed out.

I imagine that you you would get back to your your patrol car. You would gripped that steering a little harder and you probably coming that those are painful things and I'm just a bit. I just marvel at what you've done with that pain how you'll handle that into something that is saved who knows how many lives you saved, thank you for that and you know the conversation with an older adult. Here's what I found out done well over 400 of the sessions, and here's what I found typically the person setting across the table from you. Going through this session with you is in their 70s 80s 90s sometimes even older.

Here's what here's what you get the absolute best people in this world there are no different.

Absolutely no different than any of us on this call today or any of your audience members. They may have been pillars in their community. There somebody that's always been respected and looked up to very, very hard to tell them to be the person to tell them that I think you should retire from driving but I keep reminding myself that the alternative conversation is to explain to somebody that your father was just killed the tragic automobile crash so is as unfounded or unpleasant as that conversation is to tell somebody, they should give up driving it still by far the lesser of the two evils. Yeah, I is one the friend said I rather weep with them than over the you know exactly right and and so you didn't but do you feel like that as a state trooper that it and it also is an objective person you're not a family member telling this your your somebody with with whose eyes have seen a lot of tragedy. Do you feel like to give you a better than average fair shake at listening to know I don't because it's rare I believe this or not but I share with my background I just yes I just tell them I'm from this company and this is what we do. We help for an independent third-party that comes in and renders in an honest opinion about your driving abilities and we leave so I more often than not, I'll bet you 90+ percent of the time. I never bring up the fact that I was a state trooper because I don't want that to I don't want them to. First, sometimes with dementia and Alzheimer's than that meant that Hannah gets twisted and rearranged and now they think that there is a state trooper sit across from the table from them and that's not the nine don't want to be. I don't want to do that. Yeah yeah I didn't think about that. That's what that makes a lot of what I've got going for me.

I have a lot of gray hair. I think that I think they respect the years on the experience. I'm sure now that my mind turned Arctic blonde a long time ago that my eighth in the hole. When I work 12 and will let go and let people know what those are just a drover talking to Matt Burwell and his organizations keeping us safe keeping a safe.com and it's a unique approach to helping families with this very very painful subject of is it time to relinquish the steering wheel and accept the passenger seat. That's a hard decision.

A lot of families who really struggle with that in an and Matt has come up with that. What I think is is a not only a brilliant way, but a very very heart moving way of introducing the conversation and then delve into that little bit Matt up what what is the opening of direction. The timetable is not heavy-handed it's it's different. It's it's a much different way of looking at it and it's not heavy-handed at all, let me say first or offer get the website address is keeping us safe.org if not less ionic All right Lord, but don't spell blame John for that doing so don't count on our junkie lyrically will sadly actually he to get Ashley IT had a majority had my wife is a consent that you cannot ever let John go. We could do the show without you Peter, but John has the state so that is comparable would fall apart. But anyhow we call this a self assessment program.

So in a fault in perfect alignment with how you describe it, we arrive at the older drivers house that's one of the nice things about this program. We do it at their kitchen table. I like to say the one place in the world are most comfortable and we actually set them up for success but you know we want them to do well during the session and we give them every possible benefit of the doubt along the way we empower them Peter to be the decision-makers in this process and I tell him that that look no matter what I think or deal.

You're still the makers your drivers like your keys and then we go from there we go to quick break right now you back there will keeping a safe.org and I want him to finish talk about how they do this because it helps the owner. This is hope for the caregiver. This will be right back Larry the cable or hearing you ever struggled to trust God when things happen to you.

I'm Gracie Rosenberger, 1983 I experienced a horrific car accident leading 80 surgeries in both legs and became I questioned why God allowed something so brutal to happen to me. But over time the questions changed and I discovered courage to trust God that understanding along with an appreciation for quality prosthetic limbs led me to establish standing without more than a dozen years we been working with the government of Ghana and West Africa, equipping and training local workers to build and maintain quality prosthetic limbs for their own people on a regular basis.

We purchased ship equipment and supplies and with the help of inmates in a Tennessee prison. We also recycle parts from donated lambs. All of death is to point others to Christ. The source of my help and strength these visit standing without.com to learn more and participate in lifting others@standingwithout.com. I'm Gracie and I am staining with help as a caregiver.

Think about all the legal documents you need power of attorney will, living wills, and so many more than think about such things as disputes about medical bills. What if instead of shelling out hefty fees for a few days of legal help paid a monthly membership and got a law firm for life while we are taking legal representation and making some revisions in the form of accessible, affordable, full-service coverage.

Finally, you can live life know you have a lawyer in your back pocket who at the same time is an empty it's called legal shield and its practical, affordable and a must for the family caregiver visit caregiver legal.com that's caregiver legal.com. Isn't it about time someone started advocating for you www.dotcaregiverlegal.com on independent associate caregiver computer Rosenberger. This is 877-655-6755 if you would be part of the show that is Gracie singing from her new record, resilient and bubbly will speak of Gracie.

We could use some help with something and I am putting out a plea for this you know she started staining without you've heard her story. This is a prosthetic limb outreach to her fellow amputees we been working in in the west African country of Ghana for many many years of 15 years now and we are hoping to get back over there but with the virus.

Everything went in international travel, particularly with Gracie is not necessarily an advisable thing to do and but were still sitting supplies and part of the supplies include recycle prosthetic limbs. We can take them and they come from all of the country to a prison in Tennessee not far from where the Celt of muddy disco is himself the lives close to prison but is not terribly far. He's not good at distressed area where there's a prison I promise you I'm not. I'm not even in the same county, but not far correct yes but it's the goal is run by core civic. It's one of their of faith-based programs they do with the prisons they run all over the country and inmates volunteer to disassemble those devices were that we can recycle the foot did need the pile of the screws, adapters, connectors, and this is something we worked at was core civic many years ago for for the inmates to do in this extraordinary program only like it in the in the world where inmates are doing this we could use your help to get those prosthesis let somebody know that there's a placement will take.

Use prosthetic limbs. Whether the level expressed way the kid is outgrown them.

Whatever Gracie is used tons of processes over the years and she's given her own limbs to this thing so we would you really really welcome your help staining with hope.come and/recycle if you would go directly to that page or just stay without.com so were back talking with Matt Burwell of keeping us safe.org and Matt as a former state trooper what you think of that program with inmates in that in that extraordinary Unbelievable. You not only know what to say about the outstanding work by the involved and they love it.

Like you said, they volunteer to do it yeah think that since a part of that interesting to do. Will you want your organization.

I'm sorry to cut you off and went to the break but but you the way you approach this is you help the driver instead of, say, the driver, you can't do this, you help the driver come to that decision themselves and say here's here's where we are.

Here's assessment and then they own it. Talk a little bit more about that they do on it. We again we stress to them. Peter wanted to keys is that you're still the decision-maker now for a lot of people. I have about families that will call you to schedule a session when they say you know Matt, that sounds great but it's not gonna work with my dad uniting to get my dad to voluntarily give up driving. But here's what I found after doing 400+ of the sessions. This actually works now with the most cantankerous of older drivers because they see this as an opportunity to escape from this driving issue and still maintain their pride in their dignity and the very name of our program is beyond driving with dignity because we play such a huge emphasis on the position in this so that they can maintain their dignity and this can be there there decision as opposed to me telling them or the court telling them of the Bureau motor vehicles or the police or the family of the doctor telling them they think they know they're in trouble with the driving and they know they need to get out of it, but when this opportunity comes along to actually be the decision-makers. Interestingly, they take advantage of it. We asked them all sorts of questions. Peter, like you would expect.

You know how many action to be had home on the counter medications do you take, how many fall to be had in the past year. Etc. etc. etc. probably two hours worth of about whom we call, call it a learning conversation but also along with that, we asked them questions like what was your first car and what did you like or not like about it every time you ask an 85-year-old person what their first car was and whether they like you're not like about it.

They get this giant grin on her face and we got a lot of questions like that embedded in the end of this learning conversation that helped take our level of conversation to a deeper level of trust with the person so we asked them about their favorite vacation as a child and same thing they they they can't wait to tell you about that you know it, and it makes them feel good and I mentioned earlier that this whole session is set up to error in their favor in every way we want them to succeed. And by the time you start asking questions like that you're you're giving down almost a year getting them lakes on things that you're helping them your coaching them along the way on on how to answer certain questions and how to perform on certain exercises that we do. They really by the end of the session they know that they've gotten a fair shake and again when the go-ahead Peter assesses greatly that that's that's such a beautiful way of doing this in and I would imagine that it's gotta be deeply rewarding to you that your building bridges and and not know laying down heavy directives and that that's gonna be deeply rewarding to you personally. We've got a letter here from any gal that what is a nurse in Cincinnati Ohio and her father lived in Wheeling, West Virginia, and we went in one of our folks. One of our representatives.

When did a self-assessment with this gentleman at her request and everything went fine just as scripted, so to speak, and he decided on his own that yes, indeed. Maybe I should step away from driving but in her letter she she wrote that the self-assessment program did exactly what we could hope for. You know I could've turned out any better. Dad made the decision on his own to give up driving and is not bitter. He's not mad about. But what she wrote was it allowed us children to be children and not to be the bad guy in this conversation and her exact sentence was similar to it. Help preserve the integrity of our family unit. You know the Dragon was not allowed to divide the family so that's what to me is priceless that you know we were able to come and perform the service and it actually accomplish two things and held the family together. There are no ill hero ill feelings about the driving issue and dad no longer tries, but he's not going to go out and get hurt or just as bad hurt someone else.

Beautiful present that is that is such a beautiful thing keeping us safe.org.

If you are struggling with this with your family and you don't know exactly how to best handle this.

Matt does Matt Burwell keeping a safe.org this is a man who truly gets this and they come up with a beautiful way to help. Like you said keep families intact families about the fraction of this issue. Matt, thank you so much for being a part of the show today and you got a come back okay what have you on every ring. I thank you. Thank you greatly for all the great work. But thank T. Gotta think about the content that Rosenberg is never helped somebody walk for the first time I've had that privilege many times through our organization. Standing with when my wife Gracie gave up both of her legs follow this horrible Rick that she had as a teenager and she try to save them for years and if it just wouldn't work out. And finally she relinquished him and thought wow this is that I'm not happy legs anymore. What can God do with that and then she had this vision for use in prosthetic limbs as a means of sharing the gospel to put legs on her fellow amputees and that's what we been doing now since 2005 was standing with work in the West African country of Ghana and you can be a part of that through supplies through supporting team members through supporting the work that we're doing over there. You could designate a limb. There's all kinds of ways that you could be a part of giving the gift that keeps on walking and standing with.com would you take a moment ago understanding without.com and see how you can give they go walking and leaping and praising God. You could be a part of that@standingwith.com as a caregiver. Think about all the legal documents you need power of attorney will, living wills, and so many more than about such things as disputes about medical bills. What if instead of shelling out hefty fees for a few days of legal help paid a monthly membership and got a law firm for life while we are taking legal representation and making some revisions in the form of accessible, affordable, full-service coverage. Finally, you can live life know you have a lawyer in your back pocket who at the same time is an empty it's called legal shield and its practical, affordable and a must for the family caregiver visit caregiver legal.com that's caregiver legal.com. Isn't it about time someone started advocating for you www.dotcaregiver.com on independent associate


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