Betty is a much happier woman.
The senior who lives in Inwood is back doing the things she loved after the Erie St. Clair Local Health Integration Network provided a $25,000 subsidy for the lowest income earners to use transportation services provided by Lambton Elderly Outreach.
Betty lives with Ruth Syer and has been cut off from the day-programs and social outings she had become accustomed to when LEO abruptly ended a subsidy which allowed the woman with cognitive disabilities to attend programs in Sarnia.
“All of the sudden everything was cut off,” says Syer. “She couldn’t access programs unless we drove her.” That meant a 50-kilometer trip to Sarnia which was difficult because the Syer’s have a hobby farm where they offer programs for people with disabilities. “She didn’t understand this stuff, she just knew she was missing out.”
So the Syers put a lot of miles on their car and a lot of gas in the tank.
When LEO called last month saying Betty might be eligible for the new subsidy, Syer was surprised. Betty did qualify and there was more. “The rate has dropped from what she was paying before cutting subsidy.”
Now Betty is back out on the road. “She loves going to the hair dressing shop…she’s tired but…she doesn’t want to give anything up. She’s getting the stimulation she requires…it is better that she is mentally active. It keeps her out of the long-term care …that’s what these programs are for, to keep their minds active.
“She’s very excited, she tells everyone about it…it has been an early Christmas present.”
Over the past five years, the number of clients has increased 49 percent and the number of rides has increased 60 percent
Over 1,900 people use the two main transportation services, Canadian Red Cross and Lambton Elderly Outreach
A transportation study recommends a central phone line to coordinate services
LHIN wants to discuss funding possibilities for transport services