The importance of our Transportation program cannot be overstated. It provides door-to-door, demand response transportation services for Hamilton County residents age 50 and older. PrimeLife Enrichment is the only agency in Hamilton County that offers such service, as well as the only County agency to transport local veterans to the Roudebush VA Medical Center and other out-of-county medical facilities. Unlike public transit, we can also accommodate frail individuals requiring hands-on assistance and/or those with behavioral and other related issues.
We help seniors by providing transportation to and from the PrimeLife Enrichment Center as well as doctor and medical-related appointments. If necessary, our drivers will accompany clients to a specific office or destination within a building or medical facility. With the client's permission, drivers will also enter dwellings to carry parcels or provide additional assistance such as helping to transfer the client to a travel wheelchair. Drivers typically do not stay with clients at their destinations, however, exceptions may be made based on scheduling needs.
In compliance with the Older Americans Act, PLE charges no transportation fees for individuals aged 60 and older traveling within eight miles of their home. (No fee is charged for medical trips more than eight miles.) For those aged 50-59, we charge a fee of five dollars each way assuming they have the ability to pay. Modest additional fees are charged for trips beyond eight miles. However, given that 80% of our transportation clients have incomes below 200% poverty, PLE will reduce or waive fees for clients who cannot afford to pay.
PLE has a total of four low floor mini-vans, all of which are wheel chair accessible. Transportation runs typically begin at 8:00 a.m. and end at 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. In calendar year 2018, PrimeLife Enrichment's Transportation program provided 8,455 one-way trips for 213 elderly and/or disabled clients.
Our Senior Meal Program helps provide supplemental, nutritious food to seniors in our service area that helps offset their food budget and reduce the difficult financial decisions that seniors face when deciding between purchasing food and necessary items such as healthcare, medicine, or other monthly expenses.
THE HEALING SOUNDS OF MUSIC provides healing music experiences to residents in Assisted Living Facilities, Hospices, Nursing Homes and the like. We hire local professional musicians (primarily from BOCA Symphonia) to go into these facilities and perform a variety of musical selections to large groups of residents followed by a smaller, more intimate session with those too infirm to attend the concert. Many empirical studies have demonstrated that music is beneficial to all age groups, but particularly efficacious to the elderly, who may suffer from loneliness, mental impairment and a wide variety of chronic and end-of-life situations. This service is provided at no cost to the residents.
A questionnaire answered by a substantial number of residents indicated 98% of them rated our service "Excellent" and the same number hoped we would continue our monthly appearances and said it would be " Very Likely" they would attend future concerts.
Each of our concerts has been "sold out" and the reaction of the residents has been heart warming, as they express their appreciation with big smiles. We are very pleased to report that many post-concerts interviews clearly showed that the resident's outlook on life was greatly improved by their musical experience.
Homebound Meals, Inc. was able to receive certification to supply medically tailored meals to our clients. We became aware of a "Food as Medicine" initiative by attending the National Meals on Wheels conference in 2017. There are more people that are staying home to age in place, but a great number of them are on various medications. This is taken under consideration by doctors and dieticians in designing and preparing meals suited for these individuals. There are numerous studies that show the importance of proper diet and the role it plays in maintenance and recovery of health.
In January of 2018, due to a growing demand for services in the far north part of town, we started a route out of Parkview Regional Medical Center. Shortly after forming this new relationship with Parkview North, we were approached by the Outpatient Department to form a collaboration to help newly released patients. The case workers in this department are able to determine which patients are the neediest and the most likely to be re-admitted if they do not take care to get the proper nutrition needed to recover. Because of our certification and our solid reputation, we were asked to help and we agreed to.
Caseworkers and patients complete the Homebound Meals, Inc. application and choose which diet is most appropriate. A determination is also made as to how many free meals will be provided as part of their recovery program. Once all the details are worked out, the application is emailed to our director and we add these individuals to one of our route. These new clients, who have been identified as HCOP clients receive a number of free meals that are subsidized by Homebound Meals, Inc. and Parkview Regional Medical Center.
Now that we have over a year of experience in implementing this new initiative, we would like to expand this program. We have 3 other medical facilities that provide Homebound with meals, so we would plan to approach another provider next to further develop this program. In order to make this happen, we will need contributions of both money and volunteer hours. We do hope that you will choose Homebound Meals, Inc. as a recipient for 2019. Thank you for all you do for the community.