Senior Services' Transportation Program provides an essential service to seniors in Seattle communities by arranging transportation to medical appointments.
Currently the program urgently needs more volunteer drivers.
Melissa Tribelhorn, of senior services, says every week the program turns away 10, 15, or 20 seniors who call us for help due to the shortage of drivers.
They provide a flexible program—volunteers use their own vehicles to give seniors rides and choose the days, times, and areas in which to drive.
"Our drivers provide rides to seniors for their medical appointments, but they are more than just a ride however," Tribelhorn says. "It's kind of a personal service, they sit and wait at the medical appointment for the senior to get done, and then take them home again."
Volunteers drive their own vehicle and choose the weekdays, times and areas in which they'd like to drive.
"We have ongoing need from clients, we constantly have new calls for the service so it's hard to keep up with recruitment," she says.
The program offers mileage reimbursement and supplemental liability insurance.
It's a weekday service, so the program is looking for volunteers with weekday business hours availability, which can be tough.
"I think right now with the primary concern of a lot of people being the economy, seniors just have fewer and fewer resources to be able to get any type of transportation, let alone to their medical appointments," Tribelhorn says. "Medical appointments certainly are of paramount concern for seniors cause you do have deteriorating health concerns and plus like that so I think that's probably primary concern for us like that."
The program requires its volunteers to pass a background check and have had no car accidents over the past three years.
"We are always looking for more volunteers in ethnic communities," Tribelhorn says. "It's a great service for people to have, and more sustainable to have people in the communities not only as clients but also as volunteers."
For more info, call 1-800-282-5815, email [email protected], or apply online at www.seniorservices.org.