Care Partners introduces Senior Rides program

The Care Partners Senior Rides program is an exciting new resource for seniors in the community. Senior Rides is a volunteer assisted transportation program that fills in the gap for transportation needs not met by Arrowhead Transit or friends and relatives.

“Arrowhead Transit is a great resource in Cook County,” commented Debi LaMusga, the program’s new coordinator. “But there are times when the Duluth schedule doesn’t work for them, or the day gets too long. They may need someone to walk with them to the office or help with grocery bags.”

In addition to medical trips to Duluth or other regional centers, Senior Rides will offer rides within Cook County for medical appointments as well as wellness and social activities for those over 60. “Care Partners is pleased to offer another way to help seniors live independently and safely and another resource for their caregivers,” says Care Partners Program Director Kay Grindland. 

Care Partners is currently recruiting Senior Rides volunteer drivers. Volunteers must have a reliable vehicle and good driving record. Care Partners will reimburse mileage and provide a short training. Providing this one-on-one service can be very rewarding and the schedule is very flexible. Volunteers can choose to provide rides to Duluth, or just around town.

The next orientation is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 27 from 2 to 4 p.m. in the lower level classroom at Sawtooth Mountain Clinic. Call 387-3788 to sign up or for more information.
The Senior Center has been offering volunteer-assisted rides for out-of-county medical reasons for many years.  A federal Older Americans Act grant from the ARDC Arrowhead Area Agency on Aging has allowed Care Partners to expand on that service. Care Partners is working closely with the Senior Center to transfer their service to Senior Rides so all volunteer assisted transportation is under one roof. 

Beginning, Oct. 1, those over 60 who need a ride can call Debi LaMusga, Senior Rides coordinator, at 387-3788. Debi has been a volunteer with Care Partners since its start-up in 2007. It is best to call 48-72 hours ahead of time. Clients are encouraged to contribute a donation or cost-share to help support the program.