As VON Annapolis Valley celebrates the fifth anniversary of the Companionship Transportation program, it’s hard to imagine what our community ever did without it. Since its October 2013 debut in Kings and Annapolis counties, the number of drives provided for clients who rely on resource is projected to increase to 750 by the end of this fiscal year.
With little to no access to transportation to carry out the activities of daily living, there is an increased risk of physical and emotional deterioration. Studies show that social isolation and loneliness are related to negative health outcomes.
Companionship Transportation was designed to address the growing need for transportation and social support for grocery shopping and errands. The program focuses on seniors who live independently in their own community, in particular the rural communities throughout Kings County and eastern parts of Annapolis County.
Funded by the Millett New Minas Recreational Trust, it is staffed by a coordinator and three drivers, one of whom is a volunteer.
In September 2013, Beverley suffered a stroke, resulting in the loss of her peripheral vision and ability to drive. "My family is spread across the country and no one is local," she says. "A VON nurse recommended the program to me, knowing I would need assistance with errands. I really miss my car, but this program has been a great help in my life."
"What makes our program unique is the companionship component, " says Jillian MacDonald, Program Coordinator. "The social support that clients receive helps them maintain an independent lifestyle."
"We serve all types of clients," says Susan, a volunteer driver. "Some may have mobility issues while others have mild dementias. I always offer my arm or help carry groceries, and I truly believe they are giving as much to me as I’m giving to them."
Companionship Transportation hours of operation are Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the exception of holidays.
For more information on this service, contact Community Supports at 902-678-3415 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.Read More