The Council for Older Adults provides transportation assistance to Delaware County residents age 60 and older through a volunteer program, providing rides to medical appointments, social service agencies, and adult day care facilities. The program is popular; and additional volunteers are needed to help cover the increasing demand.
The need for affordable transportation for the senior population has grown more urgent in recent months. The Delaware Area Transit Agency (DATA) increased its fares in 2014, and while the Council’s Bus Bucks program has helped local seniors offset the cost of DATA’s demand response fees, it’s only the first step in addressing a growing problem in the community.
“Many seniors in the county have frequent medical appointments — some of which are in Columbus — and there just aren’t many affordable options that cover that kind of territory,” said Carissa Krauss, volunteer program specialist at the Council for Older Adults. “Our volunteer transportation program directly addresses that need. The demand is increasing and the program could easily double in size if we had more volunteer drivers.”
The program benefits the volunteers as well as seniors seeking transportation. David Martin, one of the Council’s newest volunteer drivers, responded positively to his first transportation assignment: “It was a great experience. The client is in his 90s and can’t see. He and his wife are still independent because of the Council’s transportation program.”
The Council’s transportation volunteers use their personal vehicles to drive older adults in Delaware County to and from medical appointments. Requests are received at least one week in advance, and volunteers choose assignments that fit within their own schedule. Volunteer drivers are also eligible for mileage reimbursement.
For more information about volunteer opportunities, please call the Council for Older Adults at 740-363-6677 or visit < www.growingolder.org > to fill out a volunteer application.
The Council for Older Adults is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that helps older people in Delaware County live safely in their own homes and stay healthy as they age. Programs and services provided by the Council are supported in part by the local senior services levy, corporate and private donations, and grants. The Council for Older Adults is a United Way agency.