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Rides offered to seniors, disabled

Door to Door program gives courtesy transportation
By: Martha Garcia, Colfax Record Editor
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Getting a free door-to-door ride to a doctor’s appointment, business appointment or even personal shopping sounds too good to be true. But for seniors and the disabled who don’t drive, it’s a real service offered by Seniors First through its Door-to-Door Rides program. Robin Yonash, a volunteer driver, said courtesy rides are provided for medical appointments, pharmacy trips, trips to the bank and other business appointments, visits to the library and even to the hair salon or to other personal-care services. While riders must live in Placer County, from Colfax west, the destination can be out of the area, such as Grass Valley, Sacramento or Davis. Betty Jean Bernbrock, of Weimar, is anxious to spread the word about services she has received from Seniors First, which also includes Meals on Wheals and the Friendly Visitor Program. Other programs offered provide home modification and safety repairs, the Health Express transportation service, the Senior Resource Guide, and SeniorLink referrals for senior programs and services, among others. “I have so wanted to let everyone know how blessed I have been with Seniors First in Auburn,” Bernbrock said. “They are truly ‘God sent.’” Bernbrock said she has become friends with several people who delivered Meals on Wheels for years and still call her. “The latest is a gentleman who came out to do repairs and start my air conditioner,” she said. For the Door-to-Door program, riders must be age 60 and older or disabled. They must also be able to walk; use of walkers, canes or crutches is allowed. For those in wheel chairs, the Health Express program provides transportation to medical appointments. There is no income restriction, but donations are gladly accepted. Yonash said Seniors First is looking for both riders and drivers for its Door-to-Door program. Seniors First provides liability insurance to cover drivers, who must use their own vehicles but receive mileage reimbursement. “This is a very rewarding volunteer opportunity as there is such limited access to public transportation in rural areas,” Yonash said. “Even in areas where Placer County offers door-to-door bus service, the Seniors First program is needed because it’s free.” For more information, call Seniors First at 889-9500, ext. 202; or toll free at 800-878-9222.