Archive for March, 2015

Saint Therese Foundation: Driving Independence

March 31, 2015

Saint Therese recently became a member of the Independent Transportation Network or iTN Twin Cities. iTN is a transportation alternative for older adults who can no longer drive. iTN provides rides in
personal vehicles 24-hours a day, 365 days a year, with drivers who are trained to ensure safety and comfort. All rides are coordinated through iTN with the support of volunteer drivers.

“Available and reliable transportation is a key factor in maintaining independence for older adults,” said Barb Rode, President & CEO of Saint Therese. “Support from iTN provides our residents and tenants, as well as their family members, another reliable option to get to appointments, to visit with friends or to simply run some errands.”

Saint Therese and Catholic Senior Services from the Archdiocese of Minneapolis and St. Paul have been working to find a transportation system that will bring support to older adults who need help getting to appointments or out to social gatherings. Several Catholic parishes are also beginning to consider this service for their parishioners.

Read the full article online here

AARP Livable Communities: 5 Questions for Katherine Freund

March 18, 2015

AARP Livable CommunitiesOn average, men in the United States outlive their ability to drive by seven years. Women, who generally live longer than men, survive an additional decade beyond their driving years. Since the majority of communities nationwide are not walkable and do not have comprehensive public transit options, being a nondriver can be a limiting, isolating and even health-endangering experience.

Case in point: More than 3 million Americans miss or delay medical appointments every year because they lack a ride to the doctor.

As a young mother in 1988, Katherine Freund learned firsthand that the transportation problems faced by older adults can have a direct impact on people of any age, including her then-toddler son, who was run over and seriously injured by an 84-year-old driver who didn’t even realize he had nearly killed a child. (After years of extensive care the little boy did recover and is now a successful 30-year-old man.)

Read the full article online here

April is national volunteer month – won’t you #sharearide?

March 17, 2015

Consider taking the #sharearide challenge or just share your story this Spring about how senior mobility has changed your life or the life of a loved one.

March 17, 2015 – PORTLAND, Maine – Spring is in the air – a time to break out of the house, visit garden centers, and reconnect with community. Thousands of older Americans who can no longer drive won’t have the chance to get out and enjoy Spring this season, however. That’s why ITN is inviting Americans to make 2015 the year to #sharearide with an older person and share your story.

Share a ride hashtag

There is no better time to give it a try than national volunteer month in April. The challenge is simple and very important to the lives of millions of older Americans who are transitioning from the driver seat every day.

*Proceeds of the #sharearide challenge and fundraiser will be shared between ITNAmerica and your local ITN affiliate in communities with ITN affiliates (, unless otherwise specified by donors.

Don’t know an older or visually impaired person?

We recognize that not everyone knows an older person in their family, at church, or in their neighborhood who needs a ride. Start planning your #sharearide volunteer effort by contacting any of the following organizations to locate a person or organization in need of volunteer drivers:

Why #sharearide?

Aging and losing the ability to drive safely doesn’t need to mean losing the ability to live a full and active life if there are adequate transportation options. But when it comes to transportation, older and visually impaired people are severely underserved, and the unmet need is growing daily. By 2030, 20% of U.S. residents will be aged 65 or older. That’s 1 out of every 5, or nearly 75 million Americans.

“Older people who decide to stop driving outlive their decision by about 10 years. The answer to their unmet transportation needs is parked in driveways from coast to coast,” said ITN Founder and President Katherine Freund. Freund was named an AARP Inspire Award Honoree in 2009, and one of “12 People Who Are Changing Your Retirement” by the Wall Street Journal in 2008.

If you don’t use social media, you can also submit your story about how mobility has changed your life or the life of someone in your community, you can submit it online here. All participants in the #sharearide challenge are eligible to be part of a “story stop” on Katherine Freund’s 60-day ITNAmerica Storybook Tour this summer and, with permission, may also be featured in the book that she is writing about the Tour.

About the ITN Storybook Tour and #sharearide challenge

ITNAmerica Founder and President Katherine Freund is putting her mileage where her mouth is by buckling up for the ITN Storybook Tour this summer. The #sharearide challenge will surface the stories to serve as the basis for Katherine’s story stops. The 60-day cross-country road trip kicks off June 16, the 20th anniversary of ITN’s first ride. Freund wants to rally the nation to recognize the importance of mobility for people who can no longer drive, and help to secure solutions for the next 20 years. Learn more at

About Katherine Freund

Katherine Freund is an award-winning national expert on transportation solutions for America’s aging baby boomers who are planning for their retirement or can no longer drive. She has been featured on C-Span and in the New York Times, Forbes, Huffington Post and Consumer Reports. Her passion for transportation safety began 27 years ago, when her three-year-old son was run over by an 84-year-old driver. Learn more at

About ITNAmerica

ITNAmerica® is America’s only national, non-profit, community-based transportation network for older people and people with visual impairments, providing door-through-door and arm-through-arm service. ITN began as a single transportation service in Portland, Maine nearly 20 years ago and has since grown into a network of 27 affiliated communities in 21 states from coast to coast. Learn more at


Lisa Wolff, Marketing and Communications Manager of ITNAmerica

Huffington Post: Here’s How To Get Dangerous Older Drivers Off The Road

March 12, 2015

More than 25 years ago, Katherine Freund’s life changed course in the blink of an eye. An 84-year-old driver struck and seriously injured her toddler son; the driver kept going and later said he mistook the little boy for a dog. The 1988 incident remains painful for Freund to talk about even today, but two remarkable things came from it: Her son fully recovered from his broken bones and traumatic brain injury and grew into a kind and aware man, and instead of being devoured by anger at the driver who struck her child, Freund focused her attention on what she calls the “real problem” behind the accident.

And that problem is this: Older unsafe drivers stay on the road because they have no choice. Cars are seen as the key to independence and without them, our worlds shrivel. The average American outlives his/her ability to drive by about 10 years and the quality of their lives diminishes when they relinquish their private transportation, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Read the full article online here

Huffington Post: 8 Smart Ideas People Have Had About Aging In Place

March 12, 2015

Happy Senior CitizensBaby boomers have long proclaimed their desire to stay in their homes post-retirement, a practice known as aging in place. They want to stay in the communities where they have friends, know their way around and have a support network. Cities and communities have “heard” them and many places are preparing for the groundswell of what happens when their residents creep up in years. Building a senior citizen center is nice, but clearly there’s more to it than having a place to play Bingo. Here are a few of the programs and trends that are making a difference in the lives of the nation’s aging population.

1. Solve the “driving is my independence” problem once and for all.
Older drivers have slower reaction times and more vision issues. Per mile traveled, fatal crash rates increase starting at age 75 and increase notably after age 80, according to the Centers for Disease Control. But the ability to drive is synonymous with independence and independent living, so many older people are reluctant to give up their automobiles.

Read the full article online here Transportation non-profit for Hall seniors well on its way for first year funds

March 9, 2015

GAINESVILLE – The co-chairman of a non-profit designed to help Hall County seniors get rides to various locations they need to go said the organization has raised about a third to half of its first year operations budget.

Gary Lawrence said iTNLanier recently got what he called a substantial financial committment from Northeast Georgia Health System (NGHS) for the startup of the organization.

“A lack of transportation resources was one of the barriers to health care access identified in our most recent community health needs assessment, so we are very supportive of this community transportation initiative,” president and CEO of NGHS Carol Burrell said.

Read the full article online here

AARP-Utah: Participate in the #Sharearide Challenge and National Storybook Tour

March 4, 2015

Katherine Freund, founder of ITNAmerica

ITNAmerica declares 2015 the year to give an older person a ride

ITNAmerica‘s mission is to support sustainable, community-based transportation services for seniors throughout the world by building a senior transportation network through research, policy analysis and education, and by promoting lifelong safety and mobility.

Across America, communities large and small are struggling to meet the transportation needs of seniors. Everywhere, the issues are the same:

  • How to provide the kind of door-through-door service older people want and need
  • How to recruit enough volunteer drivers, and how to manage insurance
  • How to arrange rides, especially in rural and suburban communities
  • How to pay for it all

Read the full article online here