FAIRBORN — Throughout the extremely cold and snowy days this winter, volunteer drivers from the Fairborn Senior Center have continued to make sure local seniors get where they need to go.
Transportation coordinators Charlotte Brady and Jim Adams were busy this week scheduling trips for senior clients who had to cancel doctor appointments and grocery trips last week due to the severe weather.
“Most of them have no other way to get to the grocery, doctor or dialysis other than through us,” Brady said Thursday. “They still have to have food and get check-ups. We’ve had a lot of trips to Kroger today. And we had a couple who wanted to go to Walmart because they have cabin fever and just need to get out.”
The center has three vehicles, including a wheelchair accessible van, that operate from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. There is a fee but eligible individuals could be exempt or pay a reduced fee. They providing transportation to medical appointments, social service agency appointments, local merchants and Senior Center activities.
Any senior citizen, except those living in care facilities, age 60 or older who live in Fairborn or Bath Township or any Senior Center member age 50-59 who live in Fairborn, Bath Township or Enon is eligible for the transportation services.
Brady became a volunteer driver in 2000 after using the service herself following a bad car accident in 1997. Adams trained her to be the second transportation coordinator in November 2005. Adams works in the office Monday through Wednesday and Brady is there Tuesday and Thursday. They each drive on days they are not in the office.
“I can’t recall any other winter like this. It seems like this has been the worst we’ve had to put up with,” said Brady, who did get caught by an ice storm several years ago while taking a client to an appointment in Centerville. “I stayed at her appointment with her and then we crept home, playing music and singing the whole way. It took hours, but that was just one day. It was nothing like this winter.”
When the weather is bad, Adams and Brady must decide if the roads are too hazardous to travel and then call to inform the clients. While the Senior Center was closed Tuesday due to the subzero temperatures, Adams drove several clients to the doctor. This is common practice for the coordinators.
“If the weather gets bad, we prevail,” Brady said. “This is a wonderful service and it’s so important to them. Being a senior myself I know first hand how important it is.”
The transportation coordinators need to know about appointments in advance. Clients can schedule medical appointments up to 30 days in advance. Grocery store, beauty/barber shops and shopping trips should be scheduled 3-5 days in advance. Appointments for non-medical trips will be provided as space is available.
Appointments must be scheduled by calling the Transportation Coordinators at 937-878-4141 ext. 216.