Raleigh Geriatric Care Management
Dated: Sep. 25, 2013
Beyond Driving With Dignity National Program Continues to Grow RALEIGH, N.C. — (Raleigh, NC) – On January 13, 2011, the headline of The Washington Post read “Elderly couple found frozen to death after getting lost during drive”. That couple was Mr. William Fresch (85) and his wife Betty (79) of Shippensburg, PA. After starting for home following a visit with family, Mr. and Mrs. Fresch became lost. Despite the family’s heroic search efforts, the couple was not found until days later, frozen to death in a farm field just yards apart from each other, and only miles from where they had first dated some 55 years earlier. As a way of honoring the exemplary lives that Mr. and Mrs. Fresch lived, Keeping Us Safe has developed the “William and Betty Fresch Award for Excellence”.
Keeping Us Safe is a national organization that provides practical, real-life solutions to older drivers and their families. “Our programs are designed to save lives while simultaneously helping to ease the burden of the family as they find themselves faced with the very challenging issue of a loved one’s diminishing driving skills.” says Matt Gurwell, founder of Keeping Us Safe. “Our self-assessment program for older drivers provides families with the missing link between their desire to bring this issue to a peaceful resolution, and their ability to actually do so.” Gurwell explains. The ‘William and Betty Fresch Award for Excellence’ will be presented annually to the “Beyond Driving with Dignity” Professional that best exemplifies the expectations and the spirit of that position. The first such award will be presented in January, 2014, to coincide with the drive that so tragically ended with the passing of Mr. and Mrs. Fresch. Gurwell states “The adult children of Mr. and Mrs. Fresch went to great efforts to help keep their parents safe. Their story mirrors the concerns facing so many families.” Gurwell adds that “Although nothing can be done to bring back the lives of William and Betty Fresch, Keeping Us Safe commends the entire Fresch family for being so willing to share their story with others, in hopes of saving at least one life.” Gurwell explains that as the couple began to age, they each developed mild memory issues, and that their adult children took many steps to help keep their parents safe, while still trying to allow them to maintain a degree of dignity and personal independence. Paul Fresch, son of William and Betty explains “There are now three of our original seven-member family left; Jeanne, Jo and myself. We agonize every day over the decisions we made or didn’t make.” “William and Betty Fresch were wonderful people, and lived exemplary lives” says Gurwell. “Keeping Us Safe is honored that the Fresch family has agreed to name the award after their parents.
Lauren Watral, owner of Raleigh Geriatric Care Management and Certified “Beyond Driving with Dignity” Professional, states “Honoring a BDD Professional for their service to the community is an outstanding recognition program. Having the ‘Award for Excellence’ named after Mr. and Mrs. Fresch makes the recognition even more special”.
To schedule a self-assessment for the older driver in your family, contact Lauren Watral at 919-803-8025 or visit the Raleigh Geriatric Care Management website at http://www.rgcmgmt.com/.
To learn more about Keeping Us Safe’s programs, call toll-free 877-907-8841 or visit the Keeping Us Safe website at http://www.keepingussafe.org.