RIDE ASSIST NAPERVILLE
I can’t fight it – as much as I’d like to. I’m getting older, which means the adults in my life are also getting older and may start needing more assistance than I can provide. Every year the population numbers increase around the world. An interesting statistic from Demographics Now predicts that the Naperville population will have grown to 150,000 by 2019, and of that number, it is estimated that 27% will be over age 55. Many of the suburban townships have created special programs and organizations catering to the growing needs of our seniors. The Senior Task Force from the City of Naperville was established in 2014, with the goal of improving the quality of life for Naperville Seniors. Their goal is to improve awareness among seniors of available resources, assist with transportation challenges, housing concerns and healthcare resources. The task force works with volunteers and new partnerships to address these local needs.
One such partnership is the nonprofit corporation, Naperville Seniors in Action d/b/a Ride Assist Naperville (RAN). The mission of RAN is to assist Naperville Seniors, their families and caregivers by providing safe, affordable and dependable transportation back and forth from medical appointments. Volunteer drivers not only take time to get their rider to their appointments, but also stay with them the whole time.
“This is so different than other transportation providers,” says Tim Ells, President of the Ride Assist Naperville. “The drivers will pick them up, wait during the appointment and take them home, even stopping at a pharmacy if needed. We knew there were seniors that were ignoring their doctor’s appointments just because they couldn’t get there, and we had to come up with a service to assist our growing elderly community.”
Since the RAN gave their first ride in April, they have completed 384 round trip rides with more being scheduled every day. The program is always looking for more volunteer drivers or volunteers for other organizational needs. Funding for this initiative is challenging, so they are grateful for any cash donations as well. As the organization grows, the costs will rise. They are currently seeking a company or individuals who would like to be a major sponsor. For more information on this much needed service, visit their website at www.rideassistnaperville.org.
Mindy’s February Giving Inspiration: Do you have seniors living in your neighborhood? During this snowy season, take some extra time to help clear their sidewalks and driveways for them. If you have extra salt, throw it down to help prevent them from slipping.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Mindy Kyle is the owner of Be Inspired Studios and is passionate about helping people discover what brings them joy and to live a full, healthy and happy life. She has her Masters in Fine Arts degree in creative writing from DePaul University and lives in Naperville with her husband, three children and the cutest dog in the land.