For many older adults, finding adequate transportation to medical appointments, grocery stores, or even to community events is often a burden. This burden often turns into an even greater challenge when mobility issues are involved.
Sally, 81, struggles with medical issues that have challenged her mobility for many years. The pain and stiffness in her joints left her immobile and in need of assistance with simple chores like housekeeping, laundry and cooking. Living alone in Portland, Oregon, Sally’s daughter often worried about her mother. “My daughter urged me to move to Arizona,” Sally says, “but I didn’t want to be a burden, or give up my independence.” Ultimately, Sally made the decision to leave her home of 60 years and move to Sun City.
Though the warm weather certainly helped Sally’s joints and overall health, she still struggled to find transportation that would accommodate her mobility issues. The Sun City Community Assistance Network was able to connect Sally with rides to doctor’s appointments and shopping trips, but she was still unable to find rides to community events and classes.
She became especially interested in the many health and strength training classes offered through Sun Health’s Center for Health and Wellbeing. “There was a strength training I was very interested in,” she says. “I knew it could help me with my mobility issues and finally get me out of my wheelchair, but I had no way to get there. I just wanted to get back to walking like a normal person again.” A volunteer from Benevilla was able to take Sally to her strength training classes. With the help of these classes, Sally saw incredible improvement to her overall health. With a transition from wheelchair to scooter, she was ready to find more programs to continue her health improvement journey.
She found her answer at the Northwest Valley YMCA’s Silver Sneaker program. With her insurance willing to pay for her fees, Sally’s only challenge was finding a way to get there. Luckily, Northwest Valley Connect was able to fill the gap for Sally’s transportation needs. “The first time I used Northwest Valley Connect, I was overwhelmed by the generosity of the volunteer drivers,” she says. “ My driver was on time and made me feel so at ease. He was so generous in wanting to help me.”
With the help of Northwest Valley Connect’s transportation services, Sally has been able to make her Silver Sneakers appointments and grow healthier and stronger. She now uses only a cane instead of a wheelchair or scooter, and is filled with positivity about her life. “I am determined to come back from all of this, and be as good or better than before,” she says.
Without Northwest Valley Connect, Sally’s health improvement journey would have come to a sudden halt. She is grateful for their friendliness and desire to help people fill their transportation needs. “I really appreciate Northwest Valley Connect, and I would tell anyone else needing a ride not to hesitate to call,” Sally says. “They work so hard to find me transportation every week. I never fail to say thank you!”