Council on Aging provides ‘Under 60 Transportation’

Claude Taplette has used St. Charles Council on Aging’s transportation for nearly eight years.

“I’m blind. I can’t see,” Taplette said. “The driver helps me to the steps where I need to go for dialysis. They’re very helpful and I get along with them very good.”

Taplette, 42, uses the service three days a week – typically Monday, Wednesday and Friday – or when he needs a ride, which is funded by the United Way of St. Charles.

It’s important for this St. Rose resident because he doesn’t always have transportation to reach this vital medical service, as well as doctors.

April Keller, executive director of the Council on Aging in Hahnville, said the “Under 60 Transportation” program is intended to provide medical transportation, which is available five days a week.

Parish residents under 60 years old who are disabled and need to go to the pharmacy, dialysis or therapy typically qualify for the help.

To line up a ride, call by 1 p.m. the day prior to the appointment.

“Without the UW funding, the Council on Aging would not be able to do this,” Keller said.

She estimated five to six people a week use the transportation, mostly for dialysis.

“Our drivers go to their homes and take them where they need to go,” she said. “It used to be available only for therapy or dialysis, but now the trip can also include a ride to the pharmacist or grocery store.”

St. Charles Council on Aging runs three centers in the parish in Luling, New Sarpy and Norco that provide meals and activities to all senior adults in the parish. The Home Delivered Meal Site is at 626 Pine St., Hahnville, and delivers hot meals every weekday, as well as frozen meals for weekends and holidays, to homebound senior citizens.

Meeting a growing demand for services is the Council on Aging’s biggest challenge and it’s expanding to meet those needs.

Overall, the agency serves the parish’s estimated 7,700 seniors, disabled people and family caregivers with services and information to promote physical and mental health, as well as offers options for living that ensure personal dignity and individual choice.

“We’re growing rapidly, pretty much in all our services and mostly in-home deliveries,” Keller said.

Bateman Senior Meals in Baton Rouge delivers the food hot Monday through Friday at 8:30 a.m. Agency personnel portions the food into meals at the old Hahnville cafeteria, and drivers begin delivering them at 9 a.m. All clients must be fed by 12:30 a.m.

In St. Charles Parish, anyone 60 years or older who lives in the parish qualifies for agency services. Assistance is not based on income and comes at no cost to the client.

In addition to the activity centers, the Council on Aging advises on crime prevention, exercise programs, legal assistance, a Medical Alert service, help for caregivers, personal care, recreation, utility assistance and wellness. Services are also available for home-bound seniors.


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