The older adult population in South Carolina is expected to double by the year 2030 to 1.8 million, according to the South Carolina Department on Aging. In Richland and Lexington Counties, the census data shows that almost 12% of seniors live in poverty.
NOTICE: The AARP Ride@50+ Program has suspended all service through June 30, 2020. No new rides by either new or existing users may be booked via the Program at this time. At AARP, our top priority is the health and well-being of staff, volunteers, members and the community at large. This situation is dynamic and AARP will monitor it closely for needed changes to this timeline.
The AARP Ride@50+ Program and Dallas Public Library have many things in common, including the intention to be a “one-stop shop” for those they serve and to act as a bridge to other areas of need. Of course, the bridge the library provides is figurative – providing access to knowledge and resources, while the AARP Ride@50+ Program provides a literal way for individuals to get where they need to go.
When people are drawn together by a common purpose, the energy generated is palpable. That is exactly how it felt when approximately 40 of Dallas’s finest community leaders and AARP Ride@50+ Program leaders came together on January 30, 2020 for an impactful Mobility Leadership Circle meeting. This group of local advocates and advisors to the Program are crucial to ensuring the mobility needs of the community are being met.
Ms. Carolyn moved to Columbia and now uses the AARP Ride@50+ Program to experience independence again after recovering from a serious stroke.
Visiting Nurses Association to Help Expand Awareness of Ride@50+ Program to Meals on Wheels Recipients in Dallas
For 86 years, the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) has been creating a positive, life-changing impact in Dallas County, Texas. VNA, a Meals on Wheels member, provides one of the largest Meals on Wheels programs in the United States, serving more than 6,000 meals each weekday with incredible volunteers, advanced technology, and precision execution.
After operating in Columbia, SC for over a year, the AARP Ride@50+SM Program, powered by Feonix-Mobility Rising, has expanded into Dallas, TX. While Dallas and Columbia are vastly different communities, from size – both in population and square miles – to traffic patterns and demographics, both communities, like many others across the United States, have challenges with transportation. Access to appropriate, affordable transportation is a barrier for many. Adrian Ford, a Dallas Area Ride@50+ Program Manager, assists the community in tackling these transportation challenges.
Columbia, SC area residents are in luck! As if the original “one-stop shop” functionality of the AARP Ride@50+ Program wasn’t already tremendously useful, now there are even more options to get from point A to point B. The AARP Ride@50+ Program mobile application for smartphone devices, called Feonix, now offers a new multi-modal function that includes local bus transportation, The COMET, in a whole new way!
Nahidah SoraMeere arrived in the U.S. in 2016 as a refugee from Iraq and resettled in Columbia, South Carolina. Despite not knowing any English, she was able to quickly obtain full-time employment working in food service at a local university with the help of the non-profit Lutheran Services Carolinas’s (LSC) Immigrant and Refugee Services. LSC is one of nine national agencies that help resettle refugees and help them achieve self-sufficiency and independence when they come to the United States.
The AARP Ride@50+ Program Supports National Kidney Foundation Patient Empowerment Workshop in Columbia
The gymnasium at Brookland Baptist Church in West Columbia, South Carolina was abuzz with energy and activity on the afternoon of September 22, 2019. The National Kidney Foundation, its partners, suppliers and various nonprofit organizations participated in the second annual Patient Empowerment Workshop, organized and managed by Rena Baker, Marketing Manager of Azura Vascular Care of South Carolina in conjunction with the National Kidney Foundation. More than 400 patients, caregivers and kidney health related community organizations participated in the event, which was established to educate, empower and support kidney patients, organ donors, and their families.
The AARP Ride@50+ Program is led nationally by Kyle Rakow, Vice President and National Director of AARP Driver Safety, a visionary leader for the future of mobility for older adults. A year post-launch in Columbia, Kyle explains what’s next for the program.
After over 17 years in the Army, Gene Bryant was faced with the most personal battle of his life when he returned home. Gene struggled with making the transition from active duty to life outside of the military and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. Gene reports he also struggled with access to the mental health care he needed, and through conversations with other veterans learned that on average there is a 120-day waiting period for access to counseling services. Gene knew he needed to do something to help, and in 2017 he and his wife Raina founded the non-profit organization, Battle Buddy 4 Life.
In a matter of minutes, Jamie, Kelly, Tracey, Erin, and Brian went from being typical adult children with busy lives to caregivers for their mother when she suffered a broken ankle from a fall. Their mother, Shirley, went from being a vibrant, independent adult to needing help. She broke her ankle so severely that she received a cast and had to spend a short time in an in-patient rehabilitation facility.
On any given day Kay Hightower, Manager of the Supportive Services & Outreach Unit with the South Carolina Department on Aging (SCDOA), can be found at her desk or around a board room table discussing ideas and policies that will enhance the quality of life for seniors in South Carolina. From her office window on the third floor of the Gervais Street office building in Columbia, Kay overlooks the city that she has called home for the past 15 years. In 2004, Kay relocated to Columbia from New York City to “escape the cold and enjoy life in the Palmetto State.” She quickly became involved with the SCDOA and has been enhancing the quality of life for seniors in South Carolina, through its services and outreach, for the past four and a half years.
Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority Awarded $250,000 Grant for Pilot Project to Enhance Transportation Options to Healthcare Services
Columbia-area operator of mass transportation, The COMET, will help more residents get to the doctor and other medical appointments, thanks to a competitive $250,000 grant awarded to Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority. With the kick-off of the pilot program, The COMET will offer shuttle service to bus stops throughout Lexington and Richland counties to help residents complete important healthcare-related trips.
It was a cool winter morning, and Ruth was getting ready for the day just like she had done a thousand times before, but that morning, something wasn’t quite right. Growing up, she used to do regular breast exams, but as life got busier over the years, she no longer found the time to do them. It had been years, but that morning something told her she needed to check. That morning, she found a lump.
Anyone who has the opportunity to meet and talk with Melanie Dalton can tell there is a special quality and energy that she brings when she walks into the room, almost like magic. As the AARP Ride@50+SM Program is now actively providing rides and support to individuals and local organizations like dialysis clinics, oncology centers, and veteran’s programs, finding the right leader for the Columbia community was a critical step. That leader and the new Ride@50+ Senior Area Manager as of June 2019, is Melanie Dalton.
To most people, the Bend of Four Holes Swamp sounds like a place that people may go on Halloween to get spooked at a haunted house. Good guess, but no. The Bend of Four Holes Swamp is the farm community where Claudia Brooks, Director of the Always United program and Development Officer for the United Way of the Midlands, grew up. It is located about 65 miles from Columbia, South Carolina. “The Bend,” as it is known, is home to families that could trace their roots to the very beginning of South Carolina statehood.
For decades, arranging transportation has been a challenge for people 50-plus and caregivers in Columbia, South Carolina. Recognizing the need for an innovative solution that would work for urban, suburban, and rural residents of Richland and Lexington counties, AARP Driver Safety launched the Ride@50+ Program, powered by Feonix – Mobility Rising.
The AARP Ride@50+ Program, powered by Feonix – Mobility Rising, is proud to bring this innovative, one-stop shop for local transportation options to Columbia, SC.
Columbia, South Carolina resident Gloria Berry uses the AARP Ride@50+ Program to book rides for her medical appointments and leisure trips, like out to eat at her favorite restaurant.
Book Clubs, Fitness Programs, Painting, Classes and More - AARP Ride@50+ Program Helps Columbia Residents Access Lourie Center Programs
Featuring fitness, cultural, and educational opportunities, the Lourie Center is dedicated to providing engaging opportunities for adults over 50.