Archive for November, 2009

Liberty Mutual lets reporters see (and feel) the future

November 19, 2009

Do you ever wish you could get the chance to see what life in the future might be like, even if just for a few minutes? Liberty Mutual hosted an event at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego November 17, which was a tremendous success,  and gave reporters the chance to fast-forward their biological clocks–temporarily of course–to see what kinds of physical and cognitive restrictions many drivers over the age of 65 deal with every day.

Local news reporters tested out Liberty Mutual’s 25-pound ‘aging-driver’ suit in an attempt to promote senior transportation across the country.  Click below to see what local San Diego newscasters had to say.

Fox News 5 (KSWB)

ABC News 10 Live (KGTV)

KUSI News at 10 (KUSI)

CBS News 8 (KFMB)

Deaconess Associations Foundation helps launch ITNGreaterCincinnati

November 19, 2009

CINCINNATI– Deaconess Associations Foundation, in partnership with the Vision Coalition, has recently signed on as the 14th affiliate of the Independent Transportation Network®, known as ITNAmerica®. Trained volunteers help older adults remain independent by driving them to appointments, shopping or even out for lunch. A membership program with a pre-paid transportation account, ITN is a door-through-door service which includes help with steps and packages, heavy doors and walkers. Now in its fourteenth year, ITN recreates the comfort and convenience of private auto ownership and will supplement existing transportation system in Greater Cincinnati.

Read the full story.

Deaconess Associations Launches New Transportation Option for Seniors and Visually Impaired Adults

November 19, 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE.  CONTACT: Barbara Lohr 513.559.2333.

(November, 2009 – Cincinnati, Ohio) Each year, more than one million Americans age 70 and older stop driving. More than half of non-drivers 60 or older stay home on any given day partially because they lack transportation options. The Deaconess Vital Signs Forum, “Seniors Ride—Community Thrives,” will introduce a new transportation option to keep seniors and adults with visual impairments safe and active. Deaconess Associations Foundation, in partnership with the Vision Coalition, will introduce ITNGreaterCincinnati™, an Independent Transportation Network® affiliate, at a December 9 breakfast at the Kingsgate Marriott. The Cincinnati affiliate will be the 14th site to join the national organization, ITNAmerica®. And the woman from Portland, Maine, who devised this innovative system is coming to explain just how it works.

ITNAmerica was founded by Katherine Freund, who  was named “one of the twelve people who are changing your retirement” by the Wall Street Journal. In 1988, Freund’s three-year-old son was seriously injured when he was struck by a car. The driver was 84 years old. Freund became dedicated to identifying an attractive alternative to driving for older adults. The ITN model is membership-based, and the private cars are driven mostly by trained volunteers, 24/7. “I want it to look like your daughter has come to pick you up,” says Freund. Volunteers may bank their mileage credits to pay for their own rides in the future if  they   move into the passenger seat. The first ITN model began in Portland, Maine. A total of 14 affiliates now extend to San Diego.

A pre-paid membership program, ITN is a door-through-door service which includes help with steps and packages, doors and walkers. Now in its fourteenth year, ITN recreates the comfort and convenience of private auto ownership and will supplement existing transportation systems in Greater Cincinnati.

“Deaconess focus groups indicated that transportation ranks as the number one issue for older adults.” says Pat Ward, Executive Director of the Deaconess Associations Foundation. “They want to remain active without inconveniencing relatives and friends. Studies pointed to ITNAmerica as a solution. Coincidentally, members of the Vision Coalition were also studying ITN, and it made sense to work together to offer this service to Greater Cincinnati.”

As an introduction to ITNGreaterCincinnati, a Vital Signs Forum is being sponsored by Deaconess Associations Foundation on December 9 at the Kingsgate Marriott to discuss the impact transportation issues have on the community. Katherine Freund will speak, followed by a panel of Cincinnati experts on aging and transportation. For more information, go to

Deaconess Associations Foundation is a member of Deaconess Associations, a multifaceted healthcare corporation which owns and operates one acute care hospital, 23 long term care facilities and The Heimlich Institute.

Note: Katherine Freund will be available for phone interviews prior to the December 9 event and personal interviews the day of the forum. Please contact Barbara Lohr at (513) 559-2333 to make arrangements.

For more information, visit

ITNSanDiego Receives Honor Award

November 18, 2009

Freedoms Foundation Group

SAN DIEGO (November 10, 2009) – The San Diego County Chapter of The Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge recognized ITNSanDiego for “exemplary humanitarian community service” at their awards luncheon on November 10, 2009. Nominated by Freedoms Foundation members Gerri Lewis and Isabelle Skidmore, ITNSanDiego Executive Director Chuck Overbey was presented with an Honor Award and Certificate of Merit.

The nomination process includes a scrapbook of substantiating material compiled by the nominating member, which was also presented to Overbey.

The Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge was founded in 1949 and is dedicated to helping students, teachers and citizens gain a greater awareness and appreciation of the principles of a free and democratic society.

For more information about ITNSanDiego, please visit Information about the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge can be found at

Transportation Reporter Goes for Humbling, Uncomfortable Ride

November 18, 2009

Chris Nichols, North County Times

SAN DIEGO– Frustrated. Humbled. Helpless.

That’s how I felt Tuesday as I strained to find a bright-orange cone in my rearview mirror, strapped inside a 25-pound ‘aging-driver’ suit, with neck and knee braces fastened to my frame.

I was taking part in Liberty Mutual’s “Driver Seat Game,” held on a closed course at Qualcomm Stadium’s parking lot —- the place my dad taught me how to drive as a teenager about 15 years ago.

Read the full story.

Gerontological Society of America 62nd Annual Scientific Meeting, Atlanta, Georgia

November 18, 2009

November 18-22, 2009

Gerontological Society of America 62nd Annual Scientific Meeting, Atlanta, Georgia

GSA’s Annual Scientific Meeting brings together more than 3,500 of the brightest minds in the field of aging. This meeting is the premier gathering of gerontologists from both the United States and around the world. They participate in over 400 scientific sessions including symposia, paper, and poster presentations.

“Stirring Up Memories,” ITNBluegrass, December 8, 2009

November 16, 2009

Sharon Thompson

“Stirring Up Memories” — Learn simple holiday gift ideas from the kitchen with Sharon Thompson, Herald-Leader food columnist and author of Flavors of Kentucky! Come alone or invite a friend and have a wonderful afternoon! Everyone is welcome. Your friends from ITNBluegrass will be there to tell attendees about the ride service, and there will be a silent auction.

Also, you will find two index cards in this month’s statement. Send us a recipe that is/was a “must-make” for your holidays and tell us why it was special to you and your family. Return the recipe and memory to ITNBluegrass by Dec. 1 so we can compile them to share at the event. Some of the recipes might appear in the Herald-Leader! (Please send a recipe even if you can’t attend the event.)

Place: Mayfair Village (in a beautifully redone room)
Date: Tuesday, December 8
Time: 1:30 to 3:00 p.m.
Cost: $10.00 (payable in advance to ITNBluegrass)

“Seniors Ride-Community Thrives: The Impact of Senior Mobility” on December 9

November 13, 2009

Vital Signs Forum, December 9, “Seniors Ride-Community Thrives: The Impact of Senior Mobility,” presented by Katherine Freund, CEO and founder, ITNAmerica, and a panel of transportation experts. Vital Signs is a series sponsored by the Deaconess Associations Foundation, Cincinnati, Ohio. Details to follow.

Drivers Simulate Being Elderly

November 13, 2009


LEXINGTON– As the first wave of baby boomers gets older, more and more elderly people are driving.

With elderly drivers on the increase, a workshop was held today in Lexington where reporters suited up in a weighted suit that simulated fatigue and the effects of aging on the body.

Driving on a closed course became very difficult, as reaction times were slower, and mobility was impeded.

Liberty Mutual Insurance hosted the event, and their goal was to increase awareness about these safety concerns. Dave Melton, the Industry Director of Transportation for Liberty, had a few great suggestions.

“Instead of driving a parent around or an older friend, let them drive and observe how they drive. Are they driving too far apart or behind the vehicle in front of them? Are they driving too slowly? Are they taking turns very wide?”

There are alternative ways to get around for those who shouldn’t drive, such as services provided by non profit groups like ITNBluegrass.

You can learn more about ITNBluegrass by following this link:

To play an online game that simulates the driving experience for an elderly person, you can follow this link:

Please click here to read the original post.

ITNCharlestonTrident Donor Recognition Breakfast

November 6, 2009

Donor Recognition Breakfast.

ITNCharlestonTrident invited twenty-five organizations and individuals to their donor recognition breakfast, held Wednesday, Oct. 28, as an opportunity to commend them on their hard work since beginning its dignified transportation service in 2006. The Gold Level Presidential Volunteer Service Award, consisting of a golden eagle pin as well as a letter of commendation from President Obama, was presented to volunteer driver Wood Struthers for his more than 1700 hours of volunteer service, and over 600 rides since 2008.

The special morning also recorded ITNCharlestonTrident’s 17,000th ride since beginning its service, and Board Chair Terry Brown spoke to the donors and volunteers about his appreciation for their support, emphasizing their key role in maintaining ITN’s ability to provide an efficient and cost effective service for member riders. With the combined efforts of volunteer drivers and financial donations from the community, Brown explained that ITNCharelstonTrident is able to provide their dignified service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for less than half of the actual cost of delivering the ride itself.

The group also heard from John Panagiotou, whose mother regularly used ITN’s services for medical appointments before she passed away in October. Panagiotou explained how important ITN is to the members riders and their families. Volunteer drivers were able to share fond memories of Panagiotou’s mother with whom they had built a strong bond traveling together to and from her destinations.

The recognition event was completely underwritten by members of the ITN Board of Directors. Credit is given to the following Board members and volunteers for their exceptional support of the recognition breakfast; Terry Brown (Board Chair), Paul Franklin (Board member and Financial Development Committee Chair), Barbara Franklin (Volunteer Committee Chair), Elizabeth Brown (Marketing and Public Relations Chair) and JoAnne Penington (Volunteer support staff).

The following is a complete list of the organizations and individuals recognized during the event:

ITN Major Donors

  • Association for the Blind
  • Bakker Family Fund
  • Barbara Camera
  • Charleston County Council
  • Charleston County Medical Society Alliance
  • Christ Our King Catholic Church
  • City of Charleston
  • City of North Charleston
  • Coastal Community Foundation
  • Dave Neff
  • East Cooper Regional Medical Center
  • InterTech Group Foundation
  • J. Henry Stuhr Incorporated
  • Jerry and Anita Zucker Family Endowment Fund
  • JoAnne Penington
  • Lowcountry Senior Network
  • Medical University of South Carolina
  • Paul and Barbara Franklin
  • Roper Saint Francis Healthcare
  • Terrance and Elizabeth Brown
  • Town of Mount Pleasant
  • Trident Area Agency on Aging
  • Trident United Way

ITN In-Kind Contributors

  • Harold Arnold’s Sentry Buick
  • South Carolina Aging In Place Coalition