By John Cichowski
Road Warrior Columnist
Find rides for seniors
If you’ve tried to get an elderly parent to give up a driver’s license, you know this complaint: “How will I get around?”
Published: Wednesday, November 23, 2011 12:47 PM EST
EAST WINDSOR- ITN North Central Connecticut Senior Transportation Services is looking for drivers to volunteer their time.
ITN is an independent nonprofit senior transportation service network that has been providing service to area older residents since 2006. Its main goal is to provide older residents and the visually impaired with transportation and to give them some independence without feeling like they’re a burden to others.
The senior population in the state is growing, and by 2030 the population is expected to grow 64 percent, ITN Executive Director Margaret Smith-Hale said.
“We need drivers to keep pace. We’re the only alternative to seniors,” Smith-Hale said.
ITN separates itself from other senior services such as Dial-A-Ride and mini buses, because it provides nonstop service, and rides are offered 24 hours a day, seven days a week, year round. Service is provided to individuals who live in Bloomfield, East Granby, East Windsor, Enfield, Granby, Somers, South Windsor, Suffield, Windsor, and Windsor Locks.
This transportation program uses volunteer drivers who provide rides in private vehicles. There are no restrictions on the purpose of rides. Drivers will take members to doctor appointments, lunch dates, and shopping. Drivers take care of members’ every need, such as carrying groceries, packages, folding walkers, and opening doors.
“ITN has given me life again,” member Billie Alban said. “I can do the shopping I need, keep medical appointments, go to lunch with friends.”
“The drivers are wonderful. When necessary they will accompany me into a store to find something I need.” Alban said. “There are no words that describe how important this program has been to help me live my life.”
Volunteers submit to background checks and must provide three references. Volunteers also must be over 18 years old, have a clean driving record, and no criminal record
“Volunteers are critical to the sustainability of the program,” Smith-Hale said.
For more information or to become a member or a volunteer driver, applications are available at www.itnnorthcentralct.org