Archive for October, 2012

Seniors deserve to live life to the fullest even after they give up their car keys.

October 29, 2012

One of the major goals of our organization is to keep fees manageable for the average member rider. We accomplish this by having the fee per ride cover approximately 30 percent of the cost and providing financial assistance to cover the remaining 70 percent. We also fund scholarships for low-income member riders.

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“We really believe in the concept of dignified transportation”

October 29, 2012

Executive Director Jean Patel Bushnell said the point of the network is to keep senior citizens invested and involved in their community.

“If they don’t have the means to go to a medical appointment, to go play bridge, to see their children, to see their grandchildren graduate…they’re not as happy,” said Bushnell.

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Katherine Freund awarded Ashoka Fellowship for social entrepreneurship []

October 26, 2012

…these 11 game changers are transforming the way we think about health, education, financial wellbeing, housing, the environment, transportation, government services, and Internet freedom.

Katherine has developed a consumer-oriented, economically sustainable approach that allows a dignified and viable transition for older Americans from driving to being driven.

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Ashoka Fellow Katherine Freund on dignified transportation for seniors

October 26, 2012

For many seniors, the thought of surrendering their driver’s license is right up there with the fear of running out of money.

October 23, 2012

To say I was surprised to receive the call at work would be an understatement.

My mother, then age 86, was calling me from the Sheriff’s Office. “Liza, you need to pick me up,” she stated. “Well, I don’t know, Mom,” I chided, “you always told me that if I ever called you from jail, that you would just leave me there.” Unfortunately she was very serious and, most likely, embarrassed. As it turned out, my mother was driving to the store, exceeding the speed limit (as usual), and was stopped by a sheriff. The officer, upon finding that her license had expired three years prior, gave her a ride to the Sheriff’s Office and impounded her vehicle.

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Trooper’s actions spark discussion on elderly drivers

October 11, 2012

The lack of alternate transportation is cited as one the biggest reasons seniors are reluctant to give up driving. ITN is the only program of its kind in the state and it operates only within a 15-mile radius of Portland.

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ITNCoastalCT Holds Fundraiser

October 8, 2012

ITNCoastalCT Holds Fundraiser

ITNCoastalCT, the nonprofit that provides quality transportation service for Westport and area seniors and adults with visual impairment, held its first fundraiser tonight at the Westport home of Mary Ellen and Jim Marpe. About 100 guests enjoyed a relaxed evening of conversation, finger foods and fine wines to raise funds for the community-supported service to meet the ever-growing need for safe, reliable transportation for seniors. (See Board members include Judith Guthman, Maybeth Wirz, Anne Cole, Cathy Diamond, Lisa Friedland, Lynn Goldberg, Peggy Kamins, Mary Ellen Marpe, Susan Pfister, Stephanie Ross, Ruth Rubin and Leslie Wolf. Nancy McCormick is the executive director. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

How to know when it’s time to quit

October 3, 2012

If an older person feels increasingly uneasy about driving, or has a few close calls or small incidents, “that is a sign things are changing” and it’s time for the person to stop driving, said Katherine Freund, president of the nonprofit Portland-based Independent Transportation Network of America. She and other experts offered tips on when to know it’s time to hang up the keys.

– Scrapes on the sides of the vehicle, a sign older drivers aren’t parking their car as well as they used to.

– Confusing the gas pedal with the brake for any reason.

– Stopping at a green light.

– Getting lost driving in a familiar neighborhood.

Katherine Freund gives retired priest John Feeney a ride to church at Holy Cross in South Portland. Freund created the Independent Transportation Network of America, a nonprofit that provides rides for seniors. Feeney lives in an independent living facility, Seventy Five State Street, in Portland and gets a ride to church from Freund’s agency every Sunday.

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In Maine, a growing challenge

October 2, 2012

With an aging generation of baby boomers reaching retirement age and a growing population of people 65 and older nationally, safety among older drivers is becoming a greater concern among health and safety officials.

Maine is now the oldest state in the nation, with a median age of 42.7, topping Florida, with a median age of 40.7, according to the U.S. Census.

“We’re living longer than ever before,” said Katherine Freund, president of the Independent Transportation Network of America, a nonprofit group started in Portland. ITN provides rides to seniors. Freund started the group after her little boy was struck and injured by an elderly driver.

Nationally, 10,000 baby boomers are turning 65 every day. That will continue for 18 years, she said. “That’s the wave everyone is talking about. People are outliving lots of systems,” including transportation.

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A high accident rate among older drivers in Maine has safety experts concerned

October 1, 2012

AUBURN — It was June 29, and James and Edie Chouinard of Auburn were in Portland, driving south on I-95 on their way to celebrate their 26th anniversary.

James and Edie Chouinard of Auburn escaped serious injury June 29 when a wrong-way driver on I-95 in Portland was stopped by Maine State Police Trooper Douglas Cropper parking his cruiser across the highway. The elderly driver crashed into the trooper’s vehicle instead of crashing head-on into the Chouinards’ car.

Suddenly they saw the flashing blue lights on Maine State Police Trooper Douglas Crooper’s vehicle. The police cruiser was stopped across the lanes on the interstate.

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