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Not So Golden Years: Mobility

Time spent after retirement is often referred to as the Golden Years. But for many seniors, old age brings on a set of very significant challenges.
Time spent after retirement is often referred to as the Golden Years. But for many seniors, old age brings on a set of very significant challenges. For some, illness or frailty can lead to the loss of their driver's license.

Ignazio Luongo, affectionately known as "Neish," is a frequent visitor to the Broome West Senior Center. Once getting there was an easy drive. But now Neish relies on B.C. Lift since recently having his driver's license taken away. "It surprised me, I'm disappointed and right now, I feel like my head's cut off. I can't stand it, not driving. I depend on my nephews, my nieces, my sister and I don't like that. I want to be on my own."

Assisting those like Neish who regularly need transportation assistance, enter the organization Get There. Mobility Management Coordinator Nick Cecconi says improving mobility throughout the region is its primary goal. "It wasn't necessarily the services that they found inadequate. It was getting people to those places that provide those services."

The Get There Call Center provides experts in transportation. Phone calls, emails and even walk-ins account for nearly 60 inquiries per month. "They'll work with someone who needs to get from Point A to Point B. They'll take some questions, find out a little bit more about that person, find out what their needs are and they'll find a way to work out the solution."

But they can't solve every issue. Leading a more spontaneous life, having the ability to pick up and leave for that sale or visit a loved one can become a big problem.

"My wife is buried in South Carolina. She died in 2001," said Luongo. "I promised her that I would go down every year and spend a little time with her and now, I can't do that."

Getting to the doctor's office, the pharmacy or food shopping is essential for well-being. When transportation is no longer readily available, services such as Get There can help.

The Get There call center hours are 8 to 4:30 Monday through Friday. The service is free. The toll-free phone number is 855-373-4040. This Friday, NewsChannel 34, in cooperation with the Broome County Office for Aging, will host a live phone bank to help connect local seniors with services in our area.
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