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O'Neill Center receives $10K grant for transportation services
Posted on: 05/07/2013
By  Andy Rex
The O’Neill Senior Center has received a $10,000 grant from the Memorial Health System to assist with their senior transportation program.
O’Neill Director Terry Zdrale tells WMOA News that the growth in the percent of the population over age 60 is alarming.

“Currently, we are at 24 percent of senior population in our county," Zdrale says.  "If you look at Belpre alone, (they’re) at 28 percent of the total population over age sixty.  Projections tell us that by 2020, it’s going to be 32 percent -- and by 2030 – nearly 37 percent of the total population here will be over the age of sixty.”
As a whole, about 20% of Ohioans are over 60 years old, and Zdrale says the growing trend of aging people makes the need for transportation services in demand – and people are taking advantage of it.  

“In 2012, we completed 12,810 trips throughout the county.  That included all the medical and other trips to our adult day and other non-medical trips that we did.  About 25 percent of those were to medical appointments in the county.  We also do some out-of-county.”
And, she says many of these people simply can no longer get around themselves.

“Either because of their physical condition or psychological disabilities they might have, they can no longer drive.  We still run into people now and then that never did drive.  Some older women really depended on their husbands or other family members.  That’s a group we’re running into still that needs assistance getting back and forth.”
Zdrale says the support they get from the Memorial Health Foundation and the other agencies is crucial.  For more information about the senior transportation program, call the O’Neill Senior Center at 373-3914.
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