Florida Volunteers: The Driving Force for Senior Mobility
Florida volunteers play a key role in helping provide affordable transportation alternatives for the state’s growing number of older adults, but conflicting Florida statutes and the resulting lack of liability protection can discourage potential volunteers, according to a new issue brief released today by the Winter Park Health Foundation (WPHF).
The new publication, Florida’s Volunteers: The Driving Force for Senior Mobility—Identifying Barriers and Enabling Change, was produced by WPHF in an effort to educate consumers, stakeholders and policy makers on the challenges involved in using volunteer drivers in Florida
It is hoped that the release of this information will spark a thoughtful public discussion on ways to overcome existing obstacles, said Patricia Maddox, WPHF President. The brief is available as a PDF to be downloaded here.
“The Foundation is well aware that mobility is the linchpin for success as it strives to create a community for a lifetime—where people of all ages are valued and supported,” Ms. Maddox said. That is why it has supported various transportation projects, including the development of the Independent Transportation Network project, ITNOrlando, an affordable transportation service for seniors and those visually-impaired that uses both paid and volunteer drivers, and community care teams, a faith-based all-volunteer program.
And that is why the Foundation decided to produce the new issue brief.
Other states are finding ways of dealing with the issue, and their approaches are covered in the brief. With the number of Floridians older than age 60 already exceeding four million, the brief notes, it is a good time to consider solutions that would help volunteer-dependent transportation programs succeed.
The Winter Park Health Foundation is a private, not-for-profit organization that funds research and projects improving the health of children and youth, older adults and the uninsured. For more information on the Foundation and its work, please visit www.wphf.org