Combating social isolation can be tough for all of us, but for seniors, the fight is especially difficult. Loneliness in seniors increases the risk of premature death, dementia, heart disease, stroke, depression, anxiety, and suicide. Yet nearly 1/4 of adults aged 65 and older are socially isolated.
On top of this, lack of access to transportation makes it difficult to get out and make social connections.
The Neighborhood House Senior Center aims to make community access easier through the SW RideAbout shuttle, which provides free shopping and recreational trips for seniors.
A typical month’s shuttle includes hitting senior discount days at local stores, visiting the farmer’s market, checking out Portland’s many food carts, and exploring parks and natural areas. Last month, a group of seniors visited the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden, where the accessible paths and good company made for an enjoyable day.
For more information about the SW RideAbout, and transportation for seniors and people with disabilities, contact Ride Connection, at (503) 226-0700, or Neighborhood House transportation coordinator Marie Haviland, at (503) 482-1405.