Posts Tagged ‘AARP’

Age-Friendly Maine News: ITNCountry and Age Friendly Communities in Maine

June 15, 2016

ITNCountry and Age Friendly Communities in MaineFor more than 20 years, the Independent Transportation Network has provided door-through-door and arm-through-arm transportation for older people and people with visual impairments in the Greater Portland area. Using both paid and volunteer drivers, ITN provides rides 24/7 in private automobiles, and it is does not rely on taxpayer dollars. Some ITN members have used the service from more than 18 years. Although 40 percent of rides are for healthcare, ITN takes people to work, to shopping and to the hairdresser. Members even use the service to take pets to the veterinarian or to go on dates.

Maine has almost 500 municipalities, so over the years, many communities have reached out to ITN to expand service to their older or visually impaired residents. Until now, ITN always had to say “sorry.” Now there may be a way to offer ITN’s innovative programs to communities of every size, in Maine and other states.

The new approach is called ITNCountry and ITN’s founder, Katherine Freund, is already working with several small and rural communities in Maine, as well as one each in Pennsylvania, Vermont and Arizona, to develop the new rural model.

There are several proposed differences between the original ITN and the rural model. The original is an entirely separate non-profit organization, but ITNCountry can be a program within another organization. The original ITN guarantees a ride 24/7 for any purpose, while ITNCountry service parameters will be established by the local communities. Because it is practically impossible to guarantee a ride 24/7 with no paid staff, the original ITN has both paid and volunteer drivers and staff. But small, rural communities often run on little or no paid staff, so ITNCountry will be designed to run with only volunteers, if that is what the community chooses to do. Another proposed difference will be how ITNCountry communities learn how to run the service. ITN will build a large on-line learning community where all of ITN’s innovative programs are taught and supported.

With all of these differences, what is proposed to stay the same? The important stuff—all of ITN’s award winning programs, like CarTrade, Transportation Social Security, Ride & Shop, Healthy Miles, Ride Services, and Personal Transportation Accounts. In these programs, older people may trade the cars they can no longer drive to cover the cost of their rides, or volunteers may earn credits for their volunteer effort and bank them to plan for their own future needs. An adult child may volunteer in Bowdoinham and send her volunteer credits to a parent who lives in Bethel, where an ITNCountry volunteer will drive her mother, father or grandparent. Merchants and healthcare providers can help pay for rides through Ride & Shop or Healthy Miles and everything, all of these programs, are built into the software. Best of all, the software will connect every participating community through one information system, across the State of Maine.

If you or your community would like to learn more or participate in ITNCountry, please contact Katherine at or call 207-591-6926.

Katherine Freund, ITNAmerica Founder and President Assembles An Expert Panel for Game Changing Dialogue- Senior Mobility in Transit: Nothing Will Ever Be the Same Again.

January 7, 2016

Monday, January 11th from 10:15AM-12:00PM Katherine Freud will lead a discussion panel during the 95th annual Transportation Research Board Meeting in Washington, DC. The panel of experts will explore the impact of connectivity as a game changer for increasing mobility options for Seniors on a National and International basis. Experts from Uber, Lyft, AARP Life Reimagined and Princeton University will discuss new collaborations, changing expectations, special needs, smart cars and a rapidly changing landscape in senior transportation.

To view the full program scheduled, go to the interactive Transportation Research Board 95th Annual Program Guide

Harvard Health Publications: Stay behind the wheel longer

September 25, 2015

A driving assessment program can help identify your strengths and weaknesses and suggest ways to improve your driving skills. The sense of freedom and independence that comes with driving is as important at 65 as it is at 16. But driving skills may start to falter as we age, an issue many people choose to ignore. “We all seem to be in denial about driving in our older years. No one wants to give it up. The good news is that you may not have to,” says Lissa Kapust, a social worker at Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Read the entire article here

ITN featured on AARP’s Inside E Street

June 17, 2013

This episode focuses on the increase in older Americans deciding to ‘age-in-place’ which has left many communities adapting to their ever-changing needs.

More and more Americans are choosing to retire close to home, and with that choice comes the added concern of mobility. Limited funding from the federal government is forcing state and local governments, as well as many nonprofits, to come up with ways to help keep citizens on the move.

Watch the video online here

Improving Transportation Services for Seniors

May 14, 2013

More than 20 percent of Americans age 65 and older don’t drive, according to an analysis of the federal government’s National Household Travel Survey by AARP’s Public Policy Institute.

Soon, even more people will be clamoring for rides as the country’s 78 million boomers, now ages 49 to 67, shed their car keys. (And men typically outlive their driving days by seven years; women outlive theirs by 10.)

According to Transportation for America, an advocacy coalition, by 2015 more than 15.5 million Americans 65-plus will live in areas where public transportation service is poor or nonexistent.

Read the full article online here

The New York Times Opinion Pages: The Graying of Transit

October 21, 2010

Elinor Ginzler, senior vice president of AARP discusses safety and mobility of drivers over 70, a group whose numbers are expected to triple over the 20 years.

Read the discussion at The New York Times

AARP The Magazine

December 8, 2008

With its annual Inspire Awards, AARP The Magazine salutes outstanding individuals who are using their energy, creativity, and passion to make the world a better place. In December 2009, AARP The Magazine editor Nancy Perry Graham and CBS sports announcer and AARP Community Ambassador James Brown hosted a reception and dinner tribute for honorees.

Read the full article

ITNAmerica Founder Katherine Freund receives AARP Inspire Award

November 24, 2008

Washington, AARP The Magazine

“These leaders set a great example for all on how passion can support and spark change in creative, innovative ways. Their stories are truly inspiring,” said Nancy Graham, Vice President and Editor of AARP The Magazine.

Click here to read the full story.