The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program received extra funding that will allow the company to expand its service to include disabled people.

Before the expansion of service, RSVP offered rides in rural Nevada and Carson City to seniors.

“We are able to help even more people now and can provide persons with disabilities aged 18 and old with free escorted transportation services provided by volunteers.” Said Susan Hass, Executive Director and CEO of RSVP. “We need more drivers to help us to deliver these services, and we provide mileage reimbursement or offer our vans (when available) to transport those in need.

“I encourage volunteers to come forward and help fill the gaps for seniors and disabled persons who just need a little help to get to their doctor’s appointments. If you can volunteer a couple of hours a week or even once a month you will be providing a tremendous service to your community.”

RSVP offers free escorted transportation so that rural Nevada’s seniors and people with disabilities can see their doctors; pick up prescriptions; grocery shopping and socialize, services which an RSVP news release called “so important to the confined elderly and those who are disabled.

The largest factor keeping people from the goods and services they need to stay independent is lack of transportation.

Being unable to get to these goods and services is an economic and quality of life problem.

The cost of long term care must be shouldered by state, and local, and federal government. Services which allow seniors and disabled people to stay in their own homes saves these governments money.

Easy access to transportation also helps alleviate some of the anxiety the elderly and the disabled feel about living at home.

A study commissioned by the Clarity, a company that produces amplified telephones, and the Ear Foundation examined the attitudes and anxieties of the nation’s elderly.

The study, entitled “Aging in Place in America,”  found that seniors fear moving into a nursing home and losing their independence more than death.

People who are homebound and isolated are more vulnerable to depression, and potentially suicide.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the “elder suicide rate” in Nevada is nearly triple the national average. The CDC also reports that the elderly are the most at risk of committing suicide, the news release says.

RSVP’s local field representative has more details about how to volunteer or use the company’s free services. Please call Tannis Causey in Carson City at 687-4680 ext. 7.