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Volunteers Give Seniors Independence

The following was submitted by the North Andover Senior Center.

Independence. That’s the status most seniors would prefer to have—to be able to go where they want when they want.

But because of a lack of transportation, many older Americans can’t readily get to a medical appointment, go shopping, or visit their local senior center for a meal or social activity.

They can arrange for Meals on Wheels for daily food needs. Some have a relative or a generous neighbor to depend upon for a ride. But what if they don’t have anybody to help them? Or can’t afford to call a taxi? This is a dilemma facing many older adults.

How does the fit into the above scenario? Medical Transport is offered weekdays through our NEET Program. We have 12 volunteers that volunteer from 4 hours a week to 4 days they pick the hours that works best in their busy life. For transport we request 3 business days notice for local and 4 for Boston trips. In exchange the client is asked to contribute .43 cents per mile and pay for any parking or tolls that are required.

On Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday morning 8:00/9:15 our 12-passenger van picks up clients at their homes and brings them to the Senior Center and returns them home after lunch approximately 12:15 for $1.00 round trip.  We ask for two days notice reservations for pick up are made through our reception desk. On Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday we make a grocery shopping run to Market Basket. Tuesday and Wednesday the bus leaves the Senior Center at 1:00 on Friday 9:30, sign up is requested by the day before each trip, a $2.00 R/T is requested. The last Monday of the month the van does a run to the Rockingham Mall leaving the Senior Center at 1:00 returning by 4:00, $4.00 R/T is requested. During our down time the van is used for emergency medical transport as well as social events.

If you would like additional information please call the North Andover Senior Center at 978-688-9560.

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