RideConnect is a community-based, door-to-door, non-emergency transportation service for senior citizens living in Somerset County. When it was operating, RideConnect was providing close to 3,000 rides a year. Passengers used the program to get to medical appointments, educational/enrichment activities, jobs, adult daycare and day-to-day errands.
In 2016, the program was suspended when our ride partner could no longer provide transportation. RideWise is currently raising money to restart the program. 100% of every dollar donated will be used towards the re-start and operation of RideConnect.
RideConnect was providing more than just a ride. It allowed senior citizens to age in place and avoid isolation. It provided families and caregivers with peace of mind if they couldn't provide transportation to a loved one because of work responsibilities.
What distinguishes RideConnect from other similar transportation services is the availability of on-demand, door-to-door rides for any purpose. Rides are not restricted to medical appointments only. Many of the trip destinations the program was serving are not available from other providers.
Studies have shown how vitally important it is for seniors to remain connected to the community to maintain their independence and overall health. Imagine not being able to visit a friend, make a quick trip to the store, or run an errand. This is what many senior citizens contend with regularly. In some cases, family and friends provide transportation, but these caregivers often work during the day or balance other family responsibilities.
Between 2000 and 2010, the total number of Somerset County residents increased by 9 percent while the number of residents 65 and older increased by 20 percent. Having access to transportation alternatives will be the key to allowing many of these seniors to age in place.
The Arthritis and Wellness Institute (AWI) is a non-profit senior wellness center located in sunny Clearwater, Florida. The mission of AWI is to promote and enable longevity and independence through programs that support healthy aging of body and mind.
Three broad areas of lifestyle, EATing, MOVing, and RELAXing, were identified in the Clearwater Osteoarthritis Study as important in preventing, managing, and to some extent, treating arthritis and most diseases of aging. Subsequently, they all have been linked to improved quality of life and have now become the foundation of the programs devised by AWI.
AWI offers three different types of weekly classes: Functional Fitness, Nutrition, and Yoga. The Functional Fitness classes are led by a highly experienced Physical Therapist who was part of the original research study. Our Nutrition program includes topic-specific classes, one-on-one counseling and group weight management classes let by a Registered Dietitian. And our Gentle Yoga classes are led by a highly trained instructor who is also a Registered Nurse. All yoga classes can be modified to meet any physical limitations.
The overall goal of VIDA is to improve the wellness and self-sufficiency of each senior by effectively providing culturally and linguistically competent programs and services that meet the seniors' unique needs and to help them age in place in the community where they live.
Vida Senior Centers' purpose is to provide welcoming sites for seniors to access needed services and participate in activities that 1) promote health, wellness, fitness, nutrition and nutrition education; 2) address and reduce food insecurity and hunger among seniors and 3) promote socialization and recreational activities that help reduce isolation and promote an active body and mind.
Volunteer Training, Research and Advocacy Programs for Long-Term Care Communities
by Community 360
Community 360 recruits, screens and trains long-term volunteers for nursing homes in the Omaha, Nebraska metro area. Our trusted volunteers' weekly visits make a meaningful difference in the lives of senior residents who, too often, have no one else. Trained volunteers are also a valuable source of support to the care staff in providing person-centered activities. Community 360's Give65 goal of $8,500 will fund the ongoing training and placement of these weekly volunteers, as well as national research and advocacy programs to demonstrate the positive impact of a credentialed-volunteer program on senior well-being and care outcomes in nursing homes.