It was a touching movie, but unlike Miss Daisy, many senior citizens don't have a "well to do" son with the money to fund a fulltime chauffer.
The fact is, often something as simple as getting to a doctor’s appointment can be a tremendous hurdle to overcome for a senior citizen. Many can no longer drive themselves and must rely on friends or relatives for transportation. It can become a burden to those around them and an embarrassment for those who have prided themselves on being self reliant – even in their golden years.
But senior citizens in Gwinnett County who are in need of transportation at a reduced cost will soon be assisted by a new voucher program being set up through Gwinnett Senior Services.
GSS hopes to have transportation providers set up and ready to work under its new Get In Gear program within the next few weeks, according to Curline Registe, Assistant Mobility Manager for Gwinnett Senior Services.
“We’re hoping by the end of this month,” says Registe, adding that Gwinnett Senior Services is currently taking applications from potential transportation providers.
“We’re getting to know (the potential transportation providers) we have in the community,” says Registe.
The Get In Gear voucher program will allow senior citizens to pay the transportation providers, who will then drive the seniors to their medical appointments as well as other crucial destinations. Under the Get In Gear program, the seniors – as well as adults over 18 years of age with disabilities - will be given vouchers by Gwinnett Senior Services to pay the transportation providers for their services as they are needed. Gwinnett County and the federal government provide most of the funding for the program.
Gwinnett Senior Services is currently taking applications from any and all potential transportation providers.
“We need taxi cab, limousine and bus and van companies,” says Registe, “and they must be licensed and insured with vehicles in acceptable condition.”
Registe says Gwinnett Senior Services is talking with anyone willing to provide services - even individuals who want to work.
“We’re not turning away anyone because we haven’t set any specific guidelines yet,” Registe explains.
Once the applications are accepted, GSS management will review them and determine who best fits the Get In Gear program. When those providers have been agreed on, GSS will administer a screening process. This will include a background check on each potential transportation provider.
“We have to make sure that our seniors are secure and safe,” says Registe.
The Gwinnett Senior Services Center is located at 567 Swanson Drive in Lawrenceville. For more information concerning the Get In Gear voucher program, including how to apply as a transportation provider, call 678-377-3019 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website at www.gwinnettseniorservices.com.