Piedmont Senior Resources Area Agency on Aging (PSRAAA) has expanded its services to provide safe and reliable non-emergency transportation to senior citizens in its seven-county service region.
“Through a grant from the Department and Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) --- which included a local match --- we were able to secure funding for a five-passenger, handicap-accessible minivan,” said PSRAAA CEO Justine A. Young, RN, BSN. “We’ve worked for many months with staff and DRPT and the Department of Motor Vehicles to make this dream a reality for the seniors of our community, who need and deserve a safe, affordable way to get to their doctor’s appointments.” Young gave special credit to the Centra Foundation, the Impact 1890 Foundation and Davita Dialysis, for their contributions and support.
PSRAAA provides companion services, Medicare insurance counseling, care coordination, home-delivered meals, friendship cafes, money management, and many other services to seniors who live in Amelia, Buckingham, Charlotte, Cumberland, Lunenburg, Nottoway and Prince Edward counties.
According to Young, in past Health Needs Assessments and surveys done by Centra Southside and STEPS Inc. among others, transportation has been ranked in the top three needs locally.
“We’ve had more than 10 successful appointments to date --- appointments for seniors who are living on fixed incomes with barriers to transportation who may not have otherwise been able to get to their doctor or health care professional to address their needs. These are seniors living in isolated areas with very isolated social interaction,” said Thomas Jordan Miles III, PSRAAA Director of Nutrition and Transportation. “We want to increase that, and we’re looking for clients and appointments.”
The program is currently accepting appointments from seniors living in all seven counties in the PSRAAA region, though active service is only being offered currently to seniors living in Prince Edward and Farmville and surrounding neighborhoods traveling to doctors’ offices in Prince Edward and surrounding neighborhoods. In the coming months, PSRAAA will offer active service to seniors living in all seven counties.
“This should not discourage our seniors from calling and getting their appointments on our schedule,” Miles said. “All you have to do is call us, no matter where you live. You can go ahead and get your appointment on our schedule, even if it’s several months out.”
Miles said the agency is also looking for volunteer drivers to safely transport seniors to and from their medical appointments.
“For anyone who wants to give back to this community, this is a very easy, satisfying way to serve our senior population,” Miles said. “Having driven appointments, I can tell you the social interaction is very, very rewarding for both the client and the driver.”
PSR plans on transporting veterans to the Veterans Affairs Hospital once a month in the coming months.
Through 2020, PSRAAA has DRPT vouchers to offset the costs of service for seniors who qualify, using the Federal Poverty Guideline Sidling Scale.