July 24, 2014

Older residents need transportation assistance

Jane Walker
Gardner
I’m writing you with the hope of getting your help with a problem we have in our community.
I currently take a friend to dialysis three times a week in Olathe.  In trying to find him back-up transportation, I’ve discovered that none exists.  The problem seems to extend beyond late afternoon appointments, and “after hours” transportation to daytime appointments as well.
The Olathe Medical System seems to be our primary source of medical care.
I have already presented my idea of getting attention drawn to this problem to Steve Devore at the Chamber of Commerce.  He said they have frequent calls asking about something origination in this area and not coming from Olathe.  The Johnson County Area on Aging has a volunteer program with a waiting list and one reluctant to come this far south to pick-up and return people who need help.
From people I’ve already talked to, both in Gardner and ones who are working at the hospital and the Dialysis Center, they are asked about it as well.
I would like to ask the people of Gardner if they themselves would benefit from some kind of medical shuttle service from our city to the Olathe Medical Community.  I know Olathe and other cities provide a like service to their residents.
If not themselves, maybe they know of someone who would, and it could be beneficial to our ever-growing community.
Our residents are going to grow even older and I know of several who live by themselves and rely on friends and family for transportation.
I am sure that by friend is not the only one who really has no one else, and if not for me would not be able to get life saving treatment.
I need numbers, to show Steve when we meet again.
I know a year or two ago in one of the city council meetings the issues of our aging population were discussed, and this could be huge.  I know it is a needed service, but no the degree of it.
The questions are simple:
• would you or someone you know benefit?
• do you think this kind of service is needed?
• would you support this?
I am not opposed to polling people outside of Price Chopper but, through you, I can reach a greater demographic.

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