Weekly Feature

2018-07-11 / Editorial

Amherst transportation service assists seniors

Bee Editorial

There may be times when it is difficult for seniors to get somewhere in the town for a service or appointment. The Amherst Senior Transportation Services is a nonprofit that runs out of the senior center to get seniors to doctor appointments and shopping at the price of a small donation.

This is an important service, as it allows seniors access to transportation and also provides them with a safe way to travel.

According to the not-for-profit Amherst Senior Transportation Services, it is seeing an increasing demand for programs and services that help seniors maintain their health and independence, live longer, stay engaged and contribute to society. To continue providing these programs and services, Amherst Senior Transportation Services will be participating in the Home Instead Senior Care Foundation’s GIVE65 Event. During this 65-hour online event, Home Instead Senior Care is rallying the community to give in support of Amherst Senior Transportation Services to obtain funds for a new van and help get seniors out in the community. Through this event, the organization is hoping to receive up to $5,000 in matching awards from the Home Instead Foundation to help with that purchase.

Individuals can donate by visiting www.give65.org/ASTSvans.

A donation contributed toward the purchase of a brand new vehicle in March 2016. According to the website, throughout a period of seven months, that vehicle logged 20,000 miles, which included more than 3,000 trips to medical appointments and grocery stores for seniors who would otherwise be unable to get out in the community. The transportation services are available to Town of Amherst residents 55 years of age and older residing in a private home or apartment, and for those in-need of transportation for medical appointments, attendance at Amherst Senior Center programs or grocery shopping.

There is a suggested contribution of $3 for one-way or $6 for round trips. Contributions are voluntary, and any amount a passenger is able to give is appreciated and will be used to maintain and expand the service. Reservations are required at least 24 hours in advance.

ASTS offers two scheduled morning pickups for trips to the Amherst Senior Center. Individuals also can call the reservation desk to see if wheelchair service can be arranged. For more information, call 636-3075. Reservations may be made from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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