State grant helps Davidson County seniors

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DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. -- The North Carolina Department of Transportation granted Davidson County’s Senior Services with $250,000 towards transportation for seniors for medical, nutrition and general activities.

The Rural Operating Assistance Program Grant distributes approximately $100 million state and federal dollars annually to counties to assist with seniors or those with disabilities in rural areas.

Transportation Finance Manager Doug Duffey said the county assists approximately 100 seniors per month, but the number of trips depends on the demand and calls for help with any medical appointments.

“For instance, in July, we served 12 dialysis patients 249 trips just in medical. We did an additional 38 trips for regular doctors’ appointments, dentist appointments and those types,” Duffey said.

To schedule a pickup, all seniors have to do is make a simple call to the center.

The grant will allow them to continue their services and perhaps expand the general transport to grocery stores and pharmacies.

Jean Diebold uses the transportation to the Senior Center for Bingo, exercise and the meals about three times a week. Without it, Diebold said she would be stuck at home.

“I don’t have transportation and there’s nothing where I can walk and it’s very convenient,” Diebold said.

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