We connect volunteers with seniors who no longer drive, to help those who want to continue to live healthy and active lives in their own homes. It’s a need that just continues to grow around the nation and in the Austin metropolitan area, where we have found that very few workable transportation options are available to serve non-driving seniors:
- Family members may not always be available.
- Public transportation is not designed for individualized attention and older adults often don’t have the stamina to deal with mass-transit options.
- Taxi service can be costly for people on fixed incomes.
(Please view the brief video below for an animated overview of how the program works.)
Our organization has its roots in a 1985 pilot program called West Austin Caregivers. That region was targeted based on 1980 census tracks that showed a high concentration of people over the age of 60. Modeled after a national volunteer caregiver project, the pilot program offered transportation, companionship and minor home repairs; services that enabled older adults to continue living independently.
Today a network of seven organizations with the same mission make up the Drive a Senior network, serving Austin, Elgin, Pflugerville, Round Rock and Southwest Travis County. In 2013, Drive a Senior volunteers provided more than 40,500 rides; with all services included, our network devoted almost 80,000 volunteer hours to 3,200 older Central Texas citizens.
While each service area provides direct services to seniors in its coverage area, the network joins together to raise money, increase community awareness, and expand into unserved and underserved areas.