Care Connection for Aging Services is emphasizing options for seniors who need transportation to medical appointments and to its centers for meals and activities.
The agency offers transportation to senior centers, shopping and medical services through OATS transit buses, which operate according to routes. The agency also has a consumer-directed transportation option for medical appointments. In some communities, the volunteer-operated Provide-a-Ride program provides transportation to medical appointments in other cities.
“We have renewed our focus on transportation because it’s a major obstacle for many older individuals who need a ride for meals, shopping and medical needs,” Care Connection executive director Diana Hoemann said.
Nationally, more than 20 percent of Americans age 65 and older do not drive, according to a nationally-recognized study by policy analyst Linda Bailey. The reasons include declining health, concern over safety, a lack of access to a car and personal preference.
Many non-drivers stay home rather than seek alternative ways of getting around. The numbers may be even higher in Care Connection’s rural west central Missouri service area, because of the lack of public transportation.