Piedmont Senior Resources Area Agency on Aging (PSR) is set to receive a second van for non-emergency medical transportation serving older adults.
“Recently we were notified by the Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) that they were awarding us funding, part of which we have to match, for a second 5-passenger, handicap-accessible minivan,” said Director of Transportation and Nutrition Thomas Jordan Miles III. “With one van covering isolated seniors in all seven counties we serve, our program has been in high demand to say the least.”
DRPT also awarded PSR $9,000 in senior transportation vouchers to help offset the cost of transportation for seniors.
PSR had to fundraise and write grants to pay for 20 percent of the new van, totaling almost $8,000. The agency also had to match a portion of the vouchers, totaling $1,800.
“This is why we have to fundraise, partner with other agencies, and write so many grants,” Miles said.
“So far this year since we began the program, we have successfully completed nearly 400 appointments, logging more than 21,000 miles serving older adults in Amelia, Buckingham, Charlotte, Cumberland, Lunenburg, Nottoway and Prince Edward counties,” Miles said.
To qualify, clients must be age 60 and older, be unable to drive or have barriers to transportation, and call at least seven business days prior to their medical appointment. “Because of the high demand, we are generally booked solid for about three weeks, so the sooner you call, the better,” Miles said.
PSR’s volunteer and paid drivers are professionally trained and skilled to interact with older adults, Miles said. “We are seeking more volunteer drivers for this program as it grows. Volunteering can mean once a week or the frequency of your choice.”
PSR also successfully applied for a $10,000 grant from Impact 1980, a National Lutheran Program, established in 2014.
“Impact 1980 is a grant-making organization that funds programs for organizations assisting primarily underserved older adults who are aging with choice in their homes throughout Maryland, Virginia, Delaware and the District of Columbia,” Miles said.
Impact1890 is sponsored by National Lutheran Communities & Services, a faith-based, not-for-profit ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, serving people of all beliefs. To learn more about Impact1890 visit www.impact1890.org.
PSR also recently received a grant for $2,000 from Dominion Energy and the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation.
“Our client surveys are showing that this vital service is having a significant impact on the health of our seniors,” Miles said. “Our program is resulting in missing fewer appointments, better health outcomes, less stress for caregivers and families of our clients, and addressing one of the largest social determinants of health – isolationism.”