In 2015, there were more than 40 million licensed drivers in the U.S. age 65 and older. Driving often helps older adults stay mobile and independent, but the risk of being injured or killed in an automobile accident increases with age. On a recent episode of Community Health Matters, Ed Cole and Carrie Brumfield discussed Senior Ride Nashville, a new ride-share program for older adults. View their segment here.

A collaboration between the Council on Aging of Middle Tennessee and the Senior Transportation Leadership Coalition, Senior Ride Nashville was created in 2016 to help Nashville’s growing senior population stay safe. Projections show that nearly one-fourth of Davidson County’s population will be over the age of 65 by 2020.

Dedicated to creating a community that values older adults, Senior Ride Nashville connects Davidson County residents aged 60 or above who no longer drive with volunteers who do. To qualify for the program’s benefits, seniors must complete a brief in-home assessment with an occupational therapist to ensure they will be able to safely get into and out of a vehicle. They also must pay a membership fee of $25 a month and a flat rate of $6 for each ride.

The volunteer-powered transportation service assists seniors in getting to the doctor, grocery store, beauty shop, pharmacy and everywhere in between. Destinations are not restricted but trips are encouraged to remain within Davidson County and each roundtrip ride should be less than three hours. If the ride needs to be longer than three hours, the trip can be split between two different drivers.

To learn more about Senior Ride Nashville’s ride-share services or volunteer as a driver, visit SeniorRideNashville.org.

If you are searching for additional senior services, contact the Area Agency on Aging at 1-800-677-1116 or visit eldercare.gov.

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Community Health Matters airs on the second Monday of each month at 9:30 a.m. Central Time, with an encore showing on the second Wednesday of the month at 1 p.m Central.