Posts Tagged ‘Katherine Freund’

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 Katherine.Freund@ITNAmerica.org or call 207-591-6926.

Stakeholder Health: ITN volunteers drive seniors, visually impaired

August 17, 2015

In 1988, Katherine Freund was set on a new path. That’s when an 84-year-old driver, who should not have been behind the wheel, hit her 3-year old son. The son survived the life-threatening brain injury, is healthy and now in his thirties. But the event led Freund, then working on graduate studies in public policy, to explore this question: what options are to seniors as they lose their ability to drive?

It’s been said that when “I” is replaced with “we,” illness becomes wellness. This is certainly true for elderly people as they seek help getting to vital medical appointments. In the United States seniors typically outlive their ability drive—seven years for men and a decade for women. And this has a big impact on their health.

Read the full article online here

SFGate: ITNAmerica celebrating its 20th anniversary

June 19, 2015

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A program founded in Maine that allows seniors to trade in their vehicles in exchange for rides is celebrating its 20th anniversary this week.

The concept of trading in cars for rides is aimed at getting elderly motorists off the road when they can no longer drive safely. The program was the brainchild of a mother, Katherine Freund, whose 3-year-old son was run over by an 84-year-old old man.

Freund created the Independent Transportation Network to provide a solution.

Read the full article online here

WMTW 8: Transportation organization celebrates 20 years

June 17, 2015

Katherine Freund Storybook Tour WMTW 8ITN provides rides for people who cannot drive

PORTLAND, Maine – A group celebrated two decades of providing transportation to the visually impaired and aging drivers.

The organization ITNAmerica launched a 60-day national road trip to commemorate the anniversary of the nonprofit organization.

Each year, thousands of Americans take advantage of the Independent Transportation Network, which allows people who cannot drive or choose to give up their keys a transportation alternative.

Watch the story online here

the Forecaster: Maine ride-service founder hits the road in search of stories

June 16, 2015

Katherine Freund Storybook TourPORTLAND — Millions of Americans drive every day, whether it’s commuting to work, making a trip to the store or just for fun.

But what happens when older drivers start to lose their ability to drive safely?

The most obvious solution is for that person to get a ride from someone else. And that’s where the nonprofit organization Independent Transportation Network comes in.

The organization, now entering its 20th year, was founded as a way for senior citizens to have access to volunteers willing to drive them where they need to go.

And to celebrate the anniversary of the first ride, ITN founder and President Katherine Freund is kicking off a rather unusual drive of her own.

Read the full article online here

Sun Journal: Elderly driving – tour calling attention to turning over keys

June 16, 2015

Katherine Freund Storybook TourWESTBROOK — Katherine Freund, an advocate who has called attention to the problem of seniors driving when it’s not safe, is about to hit the road.

On Tuesday, she’s launching a nationwide, 60-day cross-country trip to spotlight the need for seniors to hang up their keys when it’s time and have alternative transportation available.

Freund is president of Independent Transportation Network of America, a nonprofit organization that provides rides to seniors. She founded ITNAmerica 20 years ago, after her son was run over by an 84-year-old driver. Her son suffered a brain injury but recovered.

ITN is in 20 communities across the country, including the Portland area, but not in most parts of Maine. Transportation is lacking in many communities, Freund said, adding that needs to change.

Read the full article online here

MPBN: Transportation Network Helps Elderly Mainers Get Around and Stay Connected

June 15, 2015

ITN Founder and President Katherine Freund

PORTLAND, Maine – Spurred on by a traumatic personal experience, Katherine Freund of Portland has spent the last two decades helping the elderly and visually impaired access what she calls “dignified transportation.”

Next week she’ll be celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Independent Transportation Network that she created.

ITN provides rides to seniors who no longer feel safe behind the wheel. Over the years, the network has grown from a local operation to one that helps thousands of people in 21 states. But it’s not growing fast enough to meet the needs of a rapidly aging population.

It’s 1:30 on a weekday afternoon in Westbrook and 86-year-old Rose Novick is getting a ride home from the furniture store where she works.

Listen to the interview online here

Sixty-day storytelling road trip personifies transportation situation of aging and visually impaired Americans

June 10, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 9, 2015

CONTACT:
Lisa Wolff, Marketing and Communications Manager
207-591-6942 | lisa.wolff@itnamerica.org

Sixty-day storytelling road trip personifies transportation situation of aging and visually impaired Americans

National senior transportation expert Katherine Freund launches national tour from AARP Maine headquarters in Portland, Maine June 16.

Storybook Tour
PORTLAND, Maine – June 9, 2015 – ITNAmerica Founder and President Katherine Freund has not only led the nonprofit Independent Transportation Network (ITN) senior transportation movement for more than 20 years, she has courageously told the personal story that inspired this movement. But this year, she’s all about telling others’ stories.

ITNAmerica celebrates the 20th anniversary of the first ride ever given by ITN on June 16 by launching a 60-day national road trip. More than two dozen “story stops” comprise the Storybook Tour, each chosen for the distinct way it personifies transportation needs that millions of aging or visually impaired Americans experience every day. AARP Maine will host the anniversary kick-off event with national speakers including National Transportation Safety Board Vice Chairman Bella Dinh-Zarr and AARP Interim Head of State and Community Engagement Lori Parham. Speakers will share their personal stories about how met or unmet transportation needs, for themselves or a loved one, have changed their life.

More than 70 million Americans – that’s 1 in 5 – will be over the age of 65 in 15 years, and may start to experience diminished capacity to drive safely. Freund will drive to the people who are living with the decision to give up their keys, record their experiences, and share them with America through her blog, social media, traditional media and, later, a book.

“Transportation needs are too often an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ experience. We need to take notice before the accidents occur, and engage the people who can become part of the solution. Viable, personal transportation is essential if we are to age in our own homes and communities,” said Freund. “The solution is parked in millions of driveways across America. But first we need to surface the needs of so many people, their families and their communities by sharing their stories.”

Freund herself was inspired to start the Independent Transportation Network when she realized why her son was run over by an 84-year-old driver in 1988. That driver, like so many other older Americans, did not have equivalent independent transportation options available to give him the confidence to hang up the keys when it was time.

About ITNAmerica

ITNAmerica, composed of 20 ITN affiliates from coast to coast, is the only national nonprofit offering transitional and permanent transportation in personal automobiles for hundreds of thousands of older and vision-impaired people. The 24/7 arm-through-arm, door-through-door service uses innovative payment methods such as CarTrade or volunteer driver credits to bank rides, in addition to using Personal Transportation Accounts so no cash changes hand at the time of the ride. ITNAmerica also operates the only national toll-free hotline and searchable database of nearly 15,000 transportation options called Rides In Sight (855-60-RIDES).

About the Storybook Tour

From retired musicians in Nashville to the residents in the Navajo Nation in rural Arizona and members of the Motion Picture and Television Fund’s retirement community in Los Angeles, the stories on the Storybook Tour are sure to bring colorful and diverse insights into what transportation access means for the tens of millions striving to thrive in their homes and communities in spite of hanging up their car keys.

About Katherine Freund

Katherine Freund is an award-winning national expert on transportation solutions for America’s aging baby boomers. Read her full bio here.

CALLS TO ACTION:

NewsOK: Nonprofit helps seniors give up their keys, not their mobility

May 19, 2015

A national nonprofit aims to provide safe and affordable transportation for older adults in the Oklahoma City area come fall.

Independent Transportation Network (ITN) of Central Oklahoma, an affiliate of Maine-based ITN-America, is recruiting community volunteers to transport older men and women who can no longer safely drive.

Katherine Freund, ITN America’s founder, said the organization wants to put friendly, compassionate volunteer drivers in the driver’s seat so that older adults may transition to the passenger’s seat.

“I don’t call it giving up driving, because that feels like a negative thing. When in reality, if you make a transition to the passenger seat when it’s no longer safe to drive, that’s not a negative thing, that’s positive thing,” Freund said.

Read the full article online here

NewsOK: New car service coming for seniors and visually impaired

May 1, 2015

New Car Service Coming to Oklahoma City

A new service is coming to Oklahoma City, it’s a rider sharing model for seniors and the visually impaired called Independent Transportation Network of Central Oklahoma. Katherine Freund, founder and CEO of ITNAmerica, and Dr. Mark Mellow discuss.
Watch the video online here