By Betty Berry, Tuesday, April 13, 2010  Q: I recently heard about a program called CarFit. Could you tell me something about this program and if it is available in Ventura County?

A: CarFit is an educational program created by the American Society on Aging in collaboration with the American Automobile Association, AARP and American Occupational Therapy Association.

The program has a 12-point checklist designed to help drivers find out how well they “fit” their automobile and offers suggestions for improvement. For example, learning how to properly adjust the car’s mirrors can minimize blind spots, and good foot positioning on the gas and brake pedals can prevent fatigue and slower reaction times. Previous programs found that 37 percent of participants had at least one critical safety issue: One in 10 were seated too close to the steering wheel, and approximately 20 percent did not have a line of sight at least three inches over the steering wheel.

A CarFit program is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Goebel Senior Adult Center’s parking lot, 1385 E. Janss Road. Appointments are required; call 381-2744. A few openings are still available, so don’t miss this chance to determine what adjustments you might need to make.

Q: My husband always took care of our home repairs, but I’m alone now and have taken on that responsibility. I hear about scams in home repair. How can I avoid becoming a victim?

A: Now that spring is here, many homeowners are thinking of various tasks around the house and yard. Homeowners need to be on the alert when contracting for any type of home repair. In most day-to-day dealings the vast majority of contractors do an honest job.

Others, however, are rip-off artists. Many times these scammers will come to your front door unsolicited to offer their services. Since they have not been inside your home, the solicitors will likely offer to repair something they can see, such as your roof, driveway or yard. They might tell you they are working in the neighborhood and have either noticed a need for repair or have materials left over and can offer you a “bargain.”

Either of these statements should be a red flag. If the scam is roof repair and you let the work take place, they might find more serious problems as they progress. That bargain could become a financial nightmare. Plus, the materials are usually inferior. Door-to-door solicitation is not the way to select a contractor.


n Today: “Long-Term Care Insurance, Do I Need It?” seminar, 1:30 to 3 p.m. at Westlake Village Civic Center, 31200 E. Oak Crest Drive.

n April 21: “Do You Understand Your Medicare Coverage — Is It Working for You?” workshop, 12:30 to 2 p.m. at Goebel Senior Adult Center, 1385 E. Janss Road, Thousand Oaks.

For reservations, call 381-2744.

— Betty Berry is a senior advocate for Senior Concernsat the Goebel Senior Adult Center, 1385 E. Janss Road, Thousand Oaks. Call 495-6250 or e-mail

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